Over 30
by Blake Linton Wilfong -- The Wondersmith!

Yes, this time we're talking age, not BMI! :-) By now, you should be convinced that Playboy Playmates are ideal sex symbols and role models because their delightfully slender bodies make them healthy and long-lived. Logically, it follows that women whose lives are extended by maintaining a low Body Mass Index (BMI) should retain their youthful sex appeal for many years.

Up to this point we've relied solely on scientists and statistics for proof that a low Body Mass Index (BMI) is vital to long life and health. But Playboy Magazine has presented evidence we can see with our own eyes; some Playmates are over 30 when their gatefolds appear in the magazine, yet these women are every bit as ravishing as their younger colleagues. Indeed, it is impossible to distinguish these older Playmates from those in their teens and twenties without consulting their Playmate Data Sheets.

In scientific terms, we have formed a hypothesis: that slender women remain beautiful despite growing older. We can prove the hypothesis by searching back issues of Playboy for older Playmates.

Starting from the original Playmate Data Sheet in July 1977, the first "thirty-something" Playmate is Janis Schmitt, with an unquestionably healthy BMI of 18.9. A Bunny at the St. Louis Playboy Club, Janis Schmitt was 30 years old when her gatefold appeared in the February 1978 issue. The "Dear Playboy" section of the May 1978 issue included letters from readers expressing amazement and envy at her youthful appearance, accompanied by another hot photograph of her. At age 32, Janis Schmitt attended the August 1979 Playboy Mansion pajama party; a photo from that event showing her in lingerie was published in the January 1980 issue and proved she was still looking great. She also starred as one of the lovely Vestal Virgins in the movie "Mel Brooks' History of the World: Part I" in 1981. She was 33.

Cindy Brooks became the April 1985 Playmate of the Month at age 33. She had already worked as a model in San Francisco and Hawaii, and, like Janis Schmitt, was already a Playboy Bunny. Again, a sexy follow-up photograph appeared in the "Dear Playboy" column two months later, alongside letters from readers praising Cindy Brooks' unfading beauty. Through the age of 39, she starred in minor movie roles requiring a beautiful woman.

When it rains, it pours--or showers. In the very next issue following Cindy Brooks, May 1985, came Playboy's most popular and successful over-30 Playmate, Kathy Shower. This golden-tressed beauty was 32 years old and had an enviable BMI of 18.0. Kathy's full-body centerfold portrayed her elegant beauty from head to toe (and remains one of my personal all-time favorite Playboy photographs). Kathy and her long, lean legs had already appeared as the cover girl on the April 1984 Playboy, and again graced the cover of the August 1985 issue. In the June 1986 issue, she was announced Playmate of the Year, with another fabulous pictorial at age 33. She returned again in the May 1988 issue, her beauty unchanged at the age of 35, for a new 8-page pictorial shot in Jamaica. Yet that was not enough: In the "Playmate Revisited" pictorial for the August 1996 issue, Kathy Shower returned at age 43 with an impressive 3-page nude pictorial. (These seem to be new photos, but considering her timeless beauty, it's impossible to be sure.) Shower's career as an actress is equally impressive: she starred in major roles as sex sirens in more than 30 television shows, videos, and feature films. Her most recent such appearance was in "Erotic Boundaries" in 1997, around age 44. In the words of two of the movie's reviewers, Kathy Shower's "body still looks fantastic" and she is "beautiful to look at".

Susie Owens, distinguished by her long, flowing blonde hair, was Playmate of the Month for March 1988 when 31 years old. Hers is an inspiring story: Susie reported that she had reduced her BMI from an unhealthy, unsightly 27.1 to an enviable 18.8 through a regimen of diet, exercise, and sports. She was even writing articles for "Muscle and Fitness" and giving lectures explaining the secrets of weight loss through physical fitness. In the May 1993 Playboy, Susie Owens, then 36, returned for five smashing pages of new nude photos, proving she had beaten the statistics and maintained her healthy physique. She had also become co-creator of and inspiration for "Flaxen", a comic-book superheroine whose origin paralleled Susie Owens' real-life transformation from overweight nurse to streamlined sex symbol. Bravo!

History repeats itself. The very next issue after Susie Owens' debut, April 1988, featured 30-year-old Playmate of the Month Eloise Broady from my own home city of Houston, Texas. Another lovely long-haired blonde, her BMI was a perfectly satisfactory 19.0.

Next up: Quintessential buxom blonde Julianna Young became Miss November 1993 at age 33 with a BMI of just 17.0. This made Julianna Young slender even for a Playmate--an especially amazing feat considering her ample 38DD bust. And in a continuing pattern, Julianna Young was followed the next month, December 1993, by Arlene Baxter, age 31. Statuesque and leggy at 5'11", Arlene Baxter nonetheless weighed in at just 130 pounds for an excellent BMI of 18.1--which no doubt contributed to her ongoing success in modeling and television.

Playboy found the ideal Playmate for its April 1996 "Women of the Internet" issue in 30-year-old Gillian Bonner. A ravishing former model with an impeccable BMI of 18.6, Gillian was also founder of Black Dragon Productions, the software company that produced the groundbreaking erotic CD-ROM game "Riana Rouge". Naturally, Gillian Bonner herself played the title role in the game's live-action videos. With a degree in computer animation and a lust for "computers with lots of RAM", she was the ultimate cybergirl.

It is clear that the over-30 Playmates lend credence to our hypothesis. In the next section, we shall consider even more convincing evidence.

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