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Playboy chooses Asian co-ed for college girls edition

December 2, 2004 

University of Maryland sophomore Yen Hoang is featured in the special "Girls of the ACC" issue of the magazine, one of four Maryland women featured alongside 34 others from the 10 other conference schools.

"It's a nude picture, but its not that bad," Hoang told the Gazette, a sophomore biology major who lives with her parents in Bowie while attending school. "Playboy is really classy. I don't really mind my picture being in it."

Hoang was selected for the special issue after attending an open casting call near the College Park campus in the spring. Her roommate told her about the auditions after seeing an ad in The Diamondback, the campus newspaper. Hoang said she had mild aspirations to be in a magazine some day - something like Maxim, FHM or Playboy - though she had never modeled before.

"I was kinda nervous, but I went there and it worked out and I ended up in the magazine," she said. "The opportunity arose and I went for it."

Women audition for the college edition by having photographers take a few Polaroid pictures, giving their information and waiting to see if Playboy gets back to them.

A formal full photo shoot in mid-April 2004 at a Washington, D.C. club. The shoot, with makeup, lighting and pictures, took seven hours. But Playboy only chose one picture - a full body shot of Hoang wearing nothing but boots, a belt and a necklace. 

The models got paid for appearing in the magazine, but Hoang would not disclose how much it was. "It was fair and fun," was all she would tell the Gazette.

Hoang said her parents have been supportive of her appearance in the magazine.

"They knew I put a lot of thought into this before," she said. "My parents are pretty understanding and open-minded."

The magazine appearance became a matter of a school pride for Hoang and her friends as she was featured alongside Atlantic Coast Conference rivals Duke, University of Virginia and University of North Carolina.

"I feel like I'm representing Maryland," she said. "I think they're well represented. I'm pretty happy about the four girls from Maryland that made it in. Playboy picks the most beautiful girls."

The magazine features a different conference of colleges every year and has not done an ACC issue since 1998. The college issue is one of the best-selling of the year, spokeswoman Theresa Hennessey said. Hoang, who is planning on attending pharmacy school after completing her undergraduate work, is an example of the types of women Playboy likes to feature, Hennessey said.

"It's not like she's taking arts and crafts classes," she said. "She's a smart girl. Women can be smart and sexy."

For now, Hoang said any future magazine appearances will come second to academic work.

"It's kind of a spur of the moment kind of thing," she said. "I'm kinda focused on school right now. Maybe after I graduate I'll think about doing some modeling."

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