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Interview With Kelsey Simpkins By Chris
Kelsey Simpkins is girl who has graduated from college
with an English Degree.
Plus she has been in 2003 Girls Of Big 10 Issue Of
Well I wanted to know why she did it and more. So Read
Q. How has your life changed since doing
A. I first did the shoot back in April, so my fifteen or so
minutes of fame didn’t actually come until the end of
August, which by then it had become a sub-plot in my brain.
Playboy didn’t actually change my life; it just gave me a
little bit of buzz, if you will, and a lot of attention
that I was unprepared for. It has opened some doors for me
in the modeling business and I still get some flattering
emails from across the country, but otherwise, the most I
gained from the experience was how to handle myself better
in the midst of strange popularity. I always thought that
I’d write a really emotional poem or novel that would make
people remember my name, and I’m still looking forward to
doing that, but in hindsight, Playboy just reconfirmed my
notions about how much sex does sell.
Q. Why pose for in Playboy?
A. I used to live on Lucas St. in Iowa City, Iowa with
three of the best boys in the world. John, Luke and what I
like to call, the Tedimus. They’re great guys who spent a
lot of time humoring me, playing video games with me, and
over all being good friends. I ended up posing for Playboy
because I lot a bet to John and I don’t back out on
promises. I didn’t actually think that I would get
accepted, so I figured auditioning would be the end of it.
Sometimes things work out in funny…for the better. I
can’t reveal the bet, or the circumstances under which I
lost, but I will say this, Johnny boy has a set of lungs on
him that a girl my size can’t compete with…
Q. How did your parents respond to you being in
A. In my house the rule is at eighteen you are responsible
for what you do and the actions you take. Since it was the
October issue, I thought that I had until, at least, the
end of September to inform my parents about it, but I
learned a lot about early editions… I sent my
parents an email, since they’re busy people, telling them
that there was “something” I needed to discuss with them.
They got the email, but days after they got the issue. My
dad is an avid subscriber and was flipping through the
pages of his new issue when he saw it. I suppose he grew a
few more gray hairs when that happened. I got a phone call
from my mother and they were a little shocked, since it was
really out of character for me to do something that
explicit. I’m a book nerd, not a model, so they were
confused. More importantly, the issue didn’t upset them,
but rather that I had failed to mention that I had pierced
my nipple. They were really supportive and helpful when it
came out since I got harassed by news people and a few
weirdoes, if you will. They accept that I make my own
decisions, and though they may not agree with them, they
are willing to try to understand them. God bless them for
Q. Was it fun doing the photo shoot?
A. Yes, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so pampered in my
whole life. I wasn’t really uncomfortable, considering the
situation…standing on my knees on a poker table for
six hours topless and smiling. They fluffed my hair,
brought me bottled water and removed ill positioned poker
chips when necessary; so overall the shoot was a good
experience. Plus, it was interesting to see the photos they
took as they did little retouching for the final
productions. They have some great make-up artists.
Q. How have people responded when you tell them you’re
A. Most people are either shocked or amused by it. A lot of
times, especially with people who know me, they are
intrigued that I would do something so candid. Others
congratulate me on my boldness, and then of course, when it
first came out, I dealt with some nasty stares here and
there. I would go to class and my name would get called and
then I would hear whispering and pointing for the first few
minutes; that eventually fizzled out, but it never really
bothered me. Most people don’t have a problem with it, and
even if they did, it wouldn’t be any of their business. I’m
a big girl and it’s my life. If I wanted an opinion about
it I would ask for it, sometimes I do, but mostly, I just
lock it away as a fond memory for when I’m eighty, sitting
on my porch in Nowhereville, petting my fifty cats, so that
I can flip back through the pages and go hey, I used to be
Q. Have you learned a lot doing your degree?
A. The University of Iowa is a great place to be an English
major. I have learned a lot, read a lot, and written a lot
during my three and a half years here. I hope to continue
my education, possibly with The University of Iowa. Some
really great writers have come out of the workshop here and
I intend to be a book worm/nerd for the rest of my life. If
Iowa has taught me anything, it’s that I am my own worst
critique, and that folks, is the best a writer can be;
never settle for your first draft, your fifth, or your one
hundredth, it can always get better. Sorry, I think I just
sounded like a Graduate student TA.
Q. What do you want to get out of your degree?
A. Mostly a certificate that says that I have completed it,
which I did this December.
Q. What would you most like to do after finishing your
A. Actually, it is finished and a good feeling at that.
I’ve spent the last couple of months bartending down at
Charlie’s in Coralville, Iowa. I like bartending and I’ve
been doing it for the last five years to pay my way through
college. I worked for Pearson for a while grading essays
from North Carolina, which was a great way to use my
degree. I’m actually off to Rockford, Illinois next to work
with the head of the theater department at a private school
that my brother in law teaches at. I will be helping write
and produce children’s plays, which to me, is cotton candy
and bubbles… Eventually, I’d like to work for a
publishing company since I don’t have any real desire to
teach. I’d like to proof manuscripts and do editing.
Someday, in the dreams of my future, I’d like to open and
run my own small publishing company with my friend Liz, and
published estranged literature, poems, prose, journal style
things, and the like. The future looks bright, if you
Q. What are some your favorite television
A. I don’t actually watch a lot of television. In fact, my
roommate and I don’t even own one. If I really had to
divulge my couch potato love it would be for “Family Guy,”
“Deadwood,” “Southpark,” and every once in a while I can’t
help wondering why Paris Hilton acts the way she does, but
I am enthralled when “The Simple Life,” is on down at the
Q. What’s your view on realty TV?
A. It sickens me, in a good way… Like I said, I
don’t really watch much television, and on the off chance
that I get the Discovery Channel or History
Channel…I’d learn about prehistoric man before ever
flipping over to a reality show. My only exception is that
my roommate and I once proposed making a satire of “The
Simple Life,” parodied “The Not So Simple Life,” starring
Liz Kuhne and Kelsey Simpkins as two struggling college
grads in the throng of life’s chaotic sense of humor. Or
something like that, but it could sell.
Q. What are some of your favorite movies?
A. Old and new? Some of my favorite classics are, “Reefer
Madness,” this 1936 cult propaganda film about the “evil”
found through smoking marijuana. I also like “The Hustler,”
with Paul Newman, back in his sexy days, and I’m a fan of
“The Princess Bride,” and old cartoons like “Tom and
Jerry.” As of recently, “Fight Club,” The Little Mermaid,”
(you’re laughing I know, but I’m serious), “Super
Troopers,” and so on.
Q. What movies that you have seen recently have you
A. Few, as my days are really busy post graduation. I did
see “Ocean’s Twelve,” a while back, but I was impressed
Q. What are some of your favorite musical
A. I wish I had time to answer this question fully, but I’d
start to ramble… I’m a fan of some rap, “Eminem,”
“D12,” “Dre,” “Snoop,” the basics. I like the new
“Killer’s” album a lot, “Ben Folds Five,” “White Stripes,”
classic “Lynyrd Skynyrd,” and “Black Eyed Peas,” and so
Q. What would we find on Kelsey Simpkins stereo at the
A. The new “Postal Service,” album. It’s phenomenal and has
an interesting story behind how the album was made. Look it
Q. Would you ever like to travel overseas?
A. I actually have done a lot of traveling overseas, here
and there, but I hope to continue building on that. I’ve
spent time in Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, Europe, and
I spent this summer in Crete, a Greek island off the coast
of Greece. I went to a creativity workshop and did some
writing and dreaming sunbathing by the Aegean Sea. It was
Q. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not
A. Ah, studying! Well, since graduation I don’t do a whole
lot of than anymore, but I have time to read more and every
once in a while I’ll try something informative, but I had
to read a novel by Hunter S. Thompson in honor of his
recent death, and then I’ve been stockpiling David Sedaris
and Denis Johnson novels lately. I miss the idea of school,
but not of studying.
Thanks for your time and if you have any last
Just to return the thanks and genuine interest in the
fading glory of Playboy…
Be good, be honest, be spontaneous, and be well.
Thanks To Kelsey Simpkins for doing the