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Playmate of the Year


with Sunshine Shen 

Photographer ArthurStJohn @arthurstjohn

Hair Stylist & Make-up Artist @xosoreya 

Location: @rosestudiola 

Creative Direction: @emilyblairmarcus

Set Assistant: @nicoleoheb 

Videographer: @xenialeo 

Congratulations on being chosen as Playmate of The Year! You must be thrilled?

Absolutely! I was taken completely by surprise when the news came about. I couldn’t believe that not only do I already have the honor of the Playmate title but now I’m officially Playmate of the Year! I mean seriously, how many girls can say that?! I feel so blessed! 

Tell us more about your modelling journey to this very exciting moment for you?

I honestly never really imagined myself as a successful model, growing up I took all AP classes since middle school and spent a ton of time keeping to myself. However after college I just finally decided to follow my heart and pursue the dream I never really shared with anybody. Being a small-town Florida girl without much means, I couldn’t fathom the concept of eventually living in Beverly Hills let along becoming ‘Playmate of the Year’! This all seems so surreal to me and frankly feels like some sort of insane out of body experience! 

Looking back, what has been your most memorable moment?

Although I always try to focus my mind on the present moment, one of my best memories would be being a part of the last ever ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ party at the Playboy Mansion. It was the last time a lot of us painted ladies got to see each other at the Mansion so I really enjoyed my time celebrating with old friends and meeting wonderful new ones! 

Meeting so many people on your way, who has been the most interesting?

As a retired Beverly Hills socialite, I’d say I’ve met more than my fair share of extraordinary characters! However, none would ever be more interesting than the man that I’m currently engaged to. I’m a VERY lucky girl!

Your career path is exceptional and different as a Self Realization Guru and Sound Healer Practitioner, why this specific path?

 What brings me the most joy in life doesn’t derive from materialistic origins; I rather devote myself to giving back anyways I can to the world which is one of the reasons I decided to take the spiritual path. Being a self-realization guru, my primary aim is to help people who comes to me become more aware of their own hidden potentials and encourage their optimism to shine a light even in the darkest of times! During this process, I often introduce them to art of Shakti Sound Healing which helps reset our body’s vibrational field to its happy & healthy 432 HZ. 

Spirituality is something close to your heart, was there a specific moment that brought it on for you?

One of the most crucial part of spiritualism is letting go of the meanings we gave to material things that once allowed us to hold them in such high regards. I had to learn this the hard way myself about 4 years ago, when a “friend” who I thought was trustworthy set me up to be robbed. I lost everything that I devoted my entire life to obtain up to that point, and it actually helped me become the person I am today! Make no mistake, my lifestyle did not actually change; however, by letting go of the importance of such things it allowed me to refocus my life and fulfil my true purpose as a guru and healer. Shortly after, I was able to manifest endless amount of abundance to myself, and of course I always show the utmost gratitude to my loving husband every time he brings beautiful blessings into my life! 

Growing up in Haerbin (China), what is some of your fondest memories growing up?

Haerbin is known for its freezing winters so one of my fondest childhood memories would have to be going to the ‘Ice and Snow Festival’ with my entire family! 

Did you have a role model as a child and how did he/she help you grow into the person you are today?

My childhood role model would have to be my mom. She’s a super genius nuclear physicist from Kazakhstan and she was invited to come to America to work for the International Laboratory, so without her I doubt we would have ended up in the States in the first place! She was strong and independent; taught me to never settle for mediocrity in life. Thanks to her tough ways I was forged to never give up on the things that matters to me the most!      

You currently reside in California, tell us a little about your journey to the United States. Was it difficult to adapt to a different world and culture?

Like I said, I was brought here by my Mother who was brought out to the States for her intellectual abilities. Therefore, at a very young age my Father’s family in China made sure I was very versed in the western ways and since my grandmother was an English professor at the local university the language barrier was never an issue for me. 

Meeting the late Hugh Heffner, how would you describe him? 

Hef was always in good humor regardless of his age! He was a big fan of Backgammon and played it often with his friends and family circle. His favorite topics of discussion would have to be history and cinematography! 

In an interview with Evertalk TV, you mentioned that when he (Hugh) met you for the first time, he did not like you very as he was more into the “blonde bombshell” look at that time. How did you win him over?

To be honest, I’m not quite sure that it was him I won over. I was lucky enough to be included into his family and friends circle by his best friend and physician at the time! Then eventually I think Playboy as global brand just had to get with the times and move onto more modern & exotic tastes in order to please their readers! 

What is your most memorable moment at The Playboy Mansion?

My favorite moment at the Mansion would have to be when I was hand selected by Hef to become one of his legendary ‘Painted Ladies’. 

You have been modelling since the age of 22, what has kept you motivated to keep going in such a competitive industry?

I’m definitely more focused on my spiritual work at this point in my life. But when incredible opportunities comes up for me, like being Playmate of the Year, who would be crazy enough to turn it down? 

What is next for Sunshine Shen?

Life is a mystery but I’m ready for anything that comes my way! 

Want to see more of Ms sexy Sunshine? Then follow her on Instagram @captainssunny for all her latest stories and content updates!

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