Back in 2014, Kennedy Summers was crowned as Playboy’s Playmate of the Year, an honor that has gone to famous other models and personalities such as Lisa Winters (1957), Shannon Tweed (1982), Anna Nicole Smith (1993), Jenny McCarthy (1994), and Brande Roderick (2001).
But even though Kennedy has looks that could kill, she is also the definition of “inner beauty”, and her charitable ways, outlook on life and various personality traits are proof of this fact and what sets her apart from others.
The Levity Ball sat down with Miss Summers in Hollywood, California to find out more and why it’s always important to wear sunscreen….
When did you first decide that modeling for outlets like Playboy was for you?
I decided to model for Playboy as my last modeling job ever. I started modeling when I was fourteen and I “retired” at 24. When I finished my last ever job as a fashion model, I went to medical school and got a master’s degree. While I was in med school, I really missed modeling, so I thought Playboy would be a great finale to my long modeling career. I didn’t realize that it would actually be the complete opposite of what I had planned!
You were born in Germany but raised in Virginia… How is it living in Hollywood, California now compared to where you grew up?
California is my favorite place I’ve ever lived. I thought that I would live in Asia forever; I thought that I’d never be able to leave Thailand, specifically. I fell in love with the Eastern culture, but it’s hard to compare that to life in California. California life is so outdoorsy, healthy, and active, which I love. My favorite thing is just being able to go on a hike or a run with my little dog. I love being able to work out and enjoy all of the incredible vegan options in this city!
You have also traveled all over the globe (Singapore, China, South Korea, Canada, and South America) for modeling… where was your favorite place?
My favorite place that I’ve lived overseas is definitely Thailand. I love the people, the food, and the atmosphere. I’ve spent probably a total of four years there and I still go back 1-2 times a year!
Now that you have gained the title of Playboy’s Playmate of the Year, what is your next goal?
Now that I’m PMOY, my next goal is to get my fitness company off the ground. I’ve been working with an exercise physiologist to develop a workout routine for everyone that can be done in the comfort of their own homes!
You are a 3rd year Med student… what type of medicine do you hope to practice one day?
I would love to be able to work with burn victims. I think being able to do dermatology and take care of their skin would be incredibly rewarding. I have some experience with this from recovering from my own burn accident, and I think I could offer them a little bit more hope than the average doctor.
You are involved with a lot of charities… which are closest to your heart?
The charities that are closest to my heart are Wounded Wear, which alters clothing for soldiers who come back from war without limbs. They make their clothes and homes a little more accessible than they were before the soldiers left. I personally know a few Navy Seals who came back from war missing eyes, legs, parts of faces, and other body parts, and I know that this service really helps them transition back into normal life after war.
Social media loves you (@misskennedys)! What are some tips for others looking to increase their followers?
Thank you! And I would say to definitely avoid hashtags! I’ve never really used them and I think that they annoy followers. I try to post at popular times of the day and I also do shoutouts with my friends!
What is the best advice you have ever been given in life?
The best advice I’ve ever been given in my life came from my grandmother. She always said, “Beauty don’t last, brains do.” I–and she–know(s) this isn’t grammatically correct, but I think that it’s funny. It definitely stuck with me all these years. I didn’t grow up hearing, “You’re pretty.” I grew up hearing, “You’re smart,” and I wish that more little girls would hear this. It’s great to be beautiful, but it’s even better to value yourself for something that’s not fleeting, especially when the rest of the world is predisposed towards valuing women for their looks.
What is your advice for others that want to get into Playboy or modeling?
My advice for others who want to get into modeling is to take care of themselves! Don’t crash diet or starve yourself. Watch what you eat, eat mostly vegetables (I like a strict vegan diet with minimal sugar and fat, but that’s just what my body craves. We’re all different.), and work out regularly! If you’re healthy on the inside, you’ll look your best on the outside! Also, ALWAYS wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun if you want to have a long career!
And final question: What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for making people think twice. I want to inspire young women to not fit into a box that someone else created. I want them to be themselves, even if that self doesn’t make sense to anyone else. I want people to look at me and think, okay, here’s this girl who modeled, but she didn’t quit living and getting an education just because she achieved that goal. Education is the one thing that no one can ever take away from you. You can lose your looks, or your house, or your husband, but if you have an education, you’ll always be able to take care of yourself. I want to be remembered for making that statement.