Playmate of the Month June 2000 - Shannon Stewart

May 31, 2000


Shannon Stewart


Stephen Wayda

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The road west out of New Orleans passes a host of scenic wonders both man-made and natural, from Lake Pontchartrain and the plantation houses that line the Mississippi River to the bustling port of Baton Rouge and the miles of bayou. For the past 22 years, the country roads outside Baton Rouge have ...

At home in Louisiana, Miss June tries to fend off persistent finger nibbling from her tiny Maltese, Ivy (one of a menagerie of pets), long enough to tell her story.

Q: As a small-town girl, how are you adjusting to life in the fast lane?

A: I'm getting addicted to Los Angeles. At first I hated it. It was so fast that it freaked me out. But when I go home now, everything is so slow.

Q: Where is home?

A: I grew up in a little town outside of Baton Rouge. We're smack-dab between Lafayette and New Orleans. It's pretty rural, and small enough that the people you've known since kindergarten are usually the people you keep in touch with all your life.

Q: What do these people you've known all your life think of your appearance in PLAYBOY?

A: I think everybody kind of expected it [laughs]. News travels quick in small towns. But I don't think anybody really believes it until they hear it from me.

Q: You've been modeling and appearing in beauty pageants almost all your life, haven't you?

A: My mom started me in pageants when I was a baby. And growing up I did fashion shows and runway modeling. I kept doing pageants until I was in about eighth grade. I won a lot of state titles. But when it stopped being fun, I quit.

Q: Why did it stop being fun?

A: It really got catty, and it just started to seem vain and stupid to me. I think it's horrible to base your self esteem on whether people you don't know think you're prettier than the next girl.

Q: And how did you hook up with PLAYBOY?

A: I had come out to LA for a modeling job, and it fell through. I was ready to go home and let the whole modeling thing go. I was going to go to school, get my degree in animal behavior and work at a zoo or something. And then a friend said I shouldn't go home until I gave PLAYBOY a shot. So I went into Playboy Studio West, and it all started happening [laughs]. Now I've got the bug again.

Q: So your focus is back on modeling and acting?

A: I still want to go to school, but this opportunity came out of the blue for a reason, and I'm definitely not going to let it pass. I'm going to try to keep a level head at the same time. I don't want to get lost in the whole LA thing. It's not me.

Q: In other words: You can take the girl out of the small town, but you can't take the small town out of the girl?

A: Right! People tell me, "Don't forget where you came from," but I don't think I could. I mean, I have teachers from the third grade I still keep in contact with. The friends, the neighbors, the people I grew up with-I can't forget them. They're the ones who've supported me from way back when, and they're still around.

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