Up close and personal:
Heather Rae Young
Interview by Carter Jung
Styling by Tiffany Dean
Make up by Traci Barrett for nars cosmetics
Location: Finish line auto craft
Hot. It's one of the most overused, if not the most used adjective to describe an attractive girl. If there was a 10 Hottest List of the Hottest Words Ever, "hot" would easily take first. It's that hot. Hot is so hot, there are widely-accepted spelling variants of it (i.e., hawt, hott). But when it comes to describing Heather Rae Young, "hot" is an understatement. In temperature terms of hot, Heather would be solar. If we're talking spicy, King Taco's red sauce has got nothing on her. Now that's hot.
But a single adjective isn't enough to describe Heather Rae; spend some time talking to her and "sweet" comes to mind. Raised in the mountain town of Running Springs, CA, population 5,986, her humble roots 80 miles east of the madness of Hollywood probably had something to do with that. "Determined" is another. If she looks familiar, that's 'cause your print-loving hands have probably held her in many other magazines, including the one most read for the articles, Playboy. That's right, she's Miss February 2010. Hot, sweet and determined, get ready to see much more of Heather Rae Young, but for now, read as we strip away her layers, metaphorically, and get to core of her hotness.
You've been a SoCal girl all your life, but you didn't have the typical L.A. experience.
Even though I'm an official 'L.A. girl' now, I was raised in Running Springs, up in the San Bernardino mountains, which was an amazing place to grow up. We had snow in the winter and our summers were unbelievable. Everyone was friendly and it instilled values that come from growing up in a small town.
How was it growing up in the real hills?
I had a national forest as my backyard. How many people can say that? I would hike down to the creek and swim, go sledding in the winter, and I had a handful of ski resorts to choose from. It might sound dorky, but I love skiing.
Was school a one-room Little House on the Prairie deal?
[laughs] You would think! My high school was actually fairly large. All the kids from the surrounding communities came together for high school and our class consisted of more than a hundred students. Even though we weren't small, we didn't have separate cliques in school. We still had different types of kids but everyone was friends with each other.
In your high school years, what would you have been voted 'Best' for?
I almost won for best hair. I've always had really long, silky hair and have taken good care of it. It's still long and pretty, but over the course of photoshoots, it's seen some damage.
Did you hold down any odd, mountain jobs growing up?
I had a few funny after-school jobs that you probably wouldn't think I would've had. My first job was as a server at a pizza place. My second, and very mountain-y job, was as a ticket checker at the Snow Valley Ski Resort. My final one before I left the mountains, I was a clerk at a video store.
When did Manifest Destiny hit?
I moved out right after I turned 18. Even though Running Springs is a great place to raise a family, I knew I wanted something more, and to get that, I needed to move off the mountain. I moved in with my high school friend, Amy, who had a cute little apartment in Redlands, CA. Not a huge leap, but it was the first step to where I am now.
What are the three things you miss most about home?
The quality of people-most of my best friends still are from high school. The lack of traffic, too. But most of all, my mom and dad who still live up there.
The three things you don't miss?
Having to drive down the mountain just to get to a mall. Being snowed in for days and waiting for the sun. Choice of men to date-everyone knows each other so it was slim pickings.
How did modeling come about?
I went to a Playboy casting at the mansion and got a call back to do Special Editions online. Afterwards, I got an agent, a manager and met some amazing people in the industry who guided and helped me book some work. When I felt I was ready, Josh Ryan, a photographer, submitted my pics to Playboy and I got a call to test.
Was Playboy something you always wanted to do?
I first saw an issue of Playboy when I was 14, you know, a boyfriend's dad's. It sounds stereotypical, but I thought Playmates were the most beautiful women in the world. I looked up to them and I wanted to be glamorous and sexy like they were.
And now you're the February 2010 Playmate of the Month!
Yes! It's such an honor that Hef picked me as one of the 12 girls featured all year. I found out last April and shot my pictorial shortly after, but it took some time to find out which month I would be. I felt like I dreamt the whole thing, but when I found out that I was going to be Miss February, it meant the world to me. One of my lifelong dreams came true.
Million dollar question: Does your dad know?
I'm super honest with my family. I hate secrets and honesty is the biggest part of any relationship, so yes, both my parents know. With my dad, it's not something we talk about every day-he doesn't like to think about his baby girl modeling lingerie, let alone going nude.
Yes, that would be a whole different type of mountain people-Appalachian. Did you meet Hef?
Yes! Hef is amazing and very kind. He created an industry for women to feel empowered and is every bit the legend.
Were you always comfortable in the nude?
I love being naked. I'm not self conscious at all. Sometimes I forget when I'm on set that maybe others may not be as comfortable with it as I am. I guess not everyone is as comfortable seeing a naked girl in the flesh. [laughs]
As a qualified expert, who's the hottest nude chick on the planet?
Marissa Miller and Adriana Lima. Technically, they've never been fully nude, but they're insanely hot! I love all the Victoria Secret models.
Who do you think should pose in their birthday suit?
Anne Hathaway, she is a classic beauty.
Watch Havoc. She's butt-naked in that flick, messing with cholos. Who should've kept it on?
Kathy Bates in About Schmidt.
Oh man . . . thank you for drudging up that mental image. Shudder. Switching gears, judging from your resume, you're a girl who's into cars?
I've shot for six or seven car magazines now, and that's probably because I love cars and driving fast. I think the type of car you drive and how you maintain it represents the kind of person you are. Example: I tend to keep my cars super clean because I'm very organized.
So what you're telling me is that I should be looking for girls with really dirty cars? Like filthy dirty?
[laughs] If you're into that sort of thing.
On occasion. What else are you into?
I'm really into fitness and running-I love kickboxing and dancing. I like to read or watch movies to wind down.
During our photoshoot, you mentioned you played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?
I just started getting into it. I had to play the game for a while to learn it, and now I love playing. I yell at the screen while I play and throw the controller a lot!
Sounds like you suck about as bad as I do. We should play online! Now that you're a full-fledged L.A. girl, do you do the whole Hollywood scene?
I'm more into dinner and a nice lounge. Don't get me wrong-I like to dance, but I'm not so much into the club scene.
How about the Playboy Mansion parties?
I've had some fun times at the parties, although it's challenging to walk the cobblestone walkways with heels and a drink in your hand. [laughs]
Wildest mansion story?
I was looking for a good friend and I found him at the monkey cages. With a girl on her knees in front of him. And she wasn't tying his shoe.
Sounds like a banana slipped out of the cage! Any douchebag encounters?
[laughs] Too many to list. It's douchebag heaven. There are way too many guys carrying around their ATM balances with them. I go for the hot girls, anyways. [laughs]
So would we. What three qualities do you look for in a guy?
Personality is the most important-I need a man who can make me laugh every day. I like guys who are secure in themselves which usually leads to older guys.
Being conceited. Someone who tries to be something they're not, and guys who aren't goal-oriented.
Besides Playboy and, uh, 2NR, have any other crazy photoshoot stories?
There was a bikini shoot in Jamaica that was one of the craziest times I've ever had. There were 14 of us girls, and we were in Jamaica for eight days. On the last night, we were all drinking way too much and got completely out of control. We started pouring champagne on each other and a few of us got into a wrestling match and ripped off each others' clothes. I don't know what comes over me when I drink, but I start to attack girls.
If you were a male, that would be considered sexual harassment. Luckily for us, this is just a case of bi-curiousness. Hott! Have any other stories?
None as sexy, but I did talk my junior high school friend into shooting for Playboy. They loved her and two days later she tested for Playmate. Three weeks later she got the call that Hef selected her. Totally classic, two mountain girl Playmates.
Two? 2NR can always use a second mountain cover girl.
Heather Rae Young
Birthday: September 16th
Hometown: Running Springs, CA
Thanks: Playboy; Josh Ryan; Joyce Bonelli, Ricardo Ferisse and Ivy Sims-my three favorite makeup artists and good friends; my mom, dad and sister Jenna; Michelle, my wardrobe stylist at Chic Little Devil; Robert Valentino; Import Tuner: shooting with you guys was such a blast-everyone was so nice and fun to be around; lastly, my fans-I can't wait to show you more of my work!