Photography by Jeston Brandon – @perfectlyflawlessphoto
MUA by @nichellemua
Describe yourself in three words: Adventurous, Resilient, Charismatic.
Were you excited to shoot for Playboy? Absolutely! I never thought that I’d have the opportunity to be in a magazine, let alone the cover of the notorious Playboy. Not only does this allow me to showcase my hard work as a model but to advocate for what I’m most passionate about, plant-based pizza and mental health.
What was it like starting out as a model? Being a model was never on my bucket list if I am being honest. I had never considered myself ‘model-worthy’. I took to heart the words of others and for a while, I did not give myself the credit and love that I deserved. My first photoshoot was in April 2018; I wore a pizza t-shirt, ripped jeans, and converse. Although I was nervous, my photographer and friend @corymackphotos was very encouraging and made me feel like I was deserving of every second. From that point on, I was unstoppable. I even took the risk of finishing my 6-year enlistment in the US Air Force to be a full-time freelance model.
What would you consider to be your biggest challenge as a model so far? My biggest challenge and a challenge I believe a lot of individuals face, is the constant pollution of negative comments and threads on social media. Growing up, I was very self-conscious due to years of bullying and harassment from others. I know first hand what it feels like to be told that I am not skinny enough or pretty enough for my current career. I’ve also been told that I am no longer a good influence to others or well respected due to the amount of clothing I choose to wear or not to wear. This hits home for me because no one should ever feel or be told that they are not good enough because of a career/choice that does not harm themselves or anyone else.
Describe your perfect day off when you are not modelling? This may be surprising to some, but a perfect day for me would be sitting out on the porch drinking beer and eating pizza naked. I like to keep things low key when I’m not traveling.
Do you feel more like a city person or a country person? I appreciate and enjoy the opportunities that I have traveling to major cities and working with incredible photographers, but I will always be a country girl. Nothing warms my heart more than time spent on the back roads and tearing up my boots on the dance floor.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? That’s a decision I’ll have to make once I’m done traveling the world!
Do you have a secret talent? If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a secret talent.
A guilty pleasure? I will never turn down Pizza! My favorite pizza place to satisfy my guilty pleasure is @mora_pizza in Wynwood, FL. It is basically the Playboy of pizza and 100% Vegan!!
Which song is absolutely certain to make you cry whenever you hear it? One Step Closer by Linkin Park. July 13, 2017 I had my own suicide attempt that I have openly shared on my platforms. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the way I felt in that specific moment and this song takes me back to a place that I never want to be again. A place that I never want anyone to go to. Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park committed suicide on July 20, 2017. On average there are 130 suicide attempts a day. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from; anyone can suffer from a mental illness and that’s exactly why I’m such a strong advocate. I told myself that if I’m going to continue to live, it wouldn’t be like that and since then I’ve made it a priority to reach out and help others feel worthy and loved.
What is your favourite word in any language and what does it mean? Vulnerability. Most people fear the thought and action of being vulnerable but vulnerability is my strength. It’s inspiring, it’s rare, and it’s the only bridge to building that connection with others.
Any last words you would like to share with the readers? I want to thank everyone who has supported me and encouraged me to keep fighting. I’ve been questioned and I’ve been doubted, but I’ve also had an amazing support system to keep me driven. I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for them. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for them. Although I am grateful to be on the cover of this Playboy magazine, I’m on a mission to become something much larger than just a face or a body on a cover. This is just the beginning. Thank you.
Want to see more of Aleen? Then follow her sexy adventures on Instagram @thefitpizzagirl for all her latest news and content updates!