Paige's pages: Cav is <I>Playboy</I>'s Miss October
As most UVA fourth-years polish resumes and attend job fairs, one UVA co-ed has positioned herself to begin a career she never imagined when she began school three years ago. Positioned provocatively, one might add.
Amanda Paige, a fourth-year sociology major, is Playboy's Miss October, a $25,000 honor that comes with an eight-page spread in the venerable men's magazine.
"My close friends are really supportive, and my roommates are so excited about it!" says Paige.
The North Carolina native is less forthcoming about her family's feelings. "They're supportive," she says slowly, adding, "I'd rather not talk about that."
The child of a cardiologist and a nurse, Paige would rather not use her real last name in print. Whatever their feelings, the family has had a year to get accustomed to the idea of Paige in Playboy. Last October, using the name Paige Gellar, she appeared along with three other UVA co-eds in the "Girls of the ACC" issue. She's the one posing topless at Chap's ice cream shop on the Downtown Mall.
Chap's owner Tony LaBua says Paige seemed "very nice"– if somewhat uncomfortable– at the shoot. Mid-session, LaBua offered to leave, and she agreed. When he saw Paige some time later at a football game and reminded her of where they'd met, she again seemed uncomfortable, he says.
But there's no discomfort associated with her welcome into the Playboy family, an experience she calls "amazing."
It began last August, when she first flew out to L.A. for a "Playmate test." Paige says she didn't change her routine much in preparation for the shoot. "I've always worked out," she says, " and I've always had a healthy lifestyle."
However, her smooth bronze glow in the October centerfold comes compliments of Mystic Tan, "a spray tan," she laughs. She says she hasn't had any surgical help, although it's something she'd consider in the future to "age gracefully."
The natural beauty knew she'd passed her "test" with flying colors, when the founding father of skin magazines, Hugh Hefner, selected her for his pages and then hosted her at his famous L.A. home.
What's it like to visit the Playboy mansion?
"It's actually, like, so normal," answers the four-time visitor, who spent a month there for her Playmate shoot, and whose centerfold was shot in a fake library in the L.A.-area mansion. "It's like a vacation," she says.
Along with several other Playmates, Paige joined "Hef" at the American Film Institute awards for director George Lucas, an experience she calls "surreal." She lived in the mansion during shooting for Girls Next Door, a reality show that follows Hef and his three live-in girlfriends (Holly, Kendra, and Bridget), who Paige says, "make people feel so welcome." Paige says she'll appear in the background of three episodes of the eight-episode series, which debuted August 7 on E!.
Hef earns high marks from Paige.
"He's a gentleman, so generous," she says. "He's so intelligent, something I don't think a lot of people realize."
Though she looks forward to her next visit, Paige is back at UVA, where, contrary to some expectations, she does not have a boyfriend. And she's not particularly concerned about her Playmate status attracting additional on-Grounds attention.
"I feel like when you're 20 years old and in college, you always have to be cautious about boys and their intention in being with you," she explains.
While she plans to devote herself to her studies and her sorority, Delta Gamma, Paige's Playboy connection is far from over. She'll take a publicity trip to San Francisco this month with Miss September, and following her May graduation, she plans to head west where Hef will put her up rent-free for a few months while she pursues a modeling career.
Now that's a perk no college job fair can offer.
Age: 20. I turn 21 on October 28
Why here? UVA
What's worst about living here? When all the students come back, the traffic. And the parking. I've gotten, like, six parking tickets over the past three years.
Favorite hangout? Downtown Mall and the Corner District. I like Zocalo a lot.
Most overrated virtue? no answer
People would be surprised to know: I make really good grades.
What would you change about yourself? Nothing really
Proudest accomplishment? Right now, it's my issue of Playboy and the fact that I'm about to graduate from UVA.
People find most annoying about you: I just got a new puppy, and he's not housebroken.
Whom do you admire? I had a boyfriend in high school who had cancer, and I really admired how he went through it and how he handled himself at 18.
Favorite book? The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird and The Da Vinci Code
Subject that causes you to rant? I think it's really frustrating when people talk about the war in Iraq and when people bash America. I understand that people don't like the president, but I still think they should be respectful of him because he is the president.
Biggest 21st-century thrill? My cell phone
Biggest 21st-century creep out? The Internet, and how so many people can monitor you and find out things about you and you didn't even know it.
What do you drive? 2001 Toyota 4-Runner
What's always in your fridge: Diet Dr. Pepper
In your car CD player right now: I actually don't have any of my CDs in my car because they're still in my apartment from when I moved, but my radio is on the country station.
Next journey? San Francisco and then Boston to promote my issue
Most trouble you've ever gotten in? When I was in high school, my best friend and I lied and told our parents we were going to one another's house when we were really going out to meet up with guys. Unfortunately, her mom called my house, and we got caught... it was so bad. To this day, my mom calls that night my moment of temporary insanity.
Regret: no answer
Favorite comfort food: Pizza
Must-see TV: Laguna Beach, Desperate Housewives, Girls Next Door, CSI, The OC
Favorite cartoon: Scooby Doo
Describe a perfect day. To sleep in, wake up at the Playboy Mansion in L.A. because they always have such beautiful weather out there, and then to go to the beach or to go hiking with my friends.
Walter Mitty fantasy: no answer
Who'd play you in the movie? Jessica Simpson... I love her!!!
Most embarrassing moment? no answer
Best advice you ever got? no answer
Favorite bumper sticker? "One hellUVA school"
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO
Eat your heart out, J. Geils Band– Amanda Paige's October 2005 Centerfold
Last September, Paige signed her, um, autograph.
FILE PHOTO BY LINCOLN ROSS BARBOUR
Michael Love (bottom right) won't be the only one gawking at Miss Paige this fall.
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO