By Travis Mounts
If you read Playboy magazine – and admit it, some of you do, even if it’s just for the articles – you may have noticed a familiar face on the cover and inside the pages of the October issue.
Pamela Horton was named as the October 2012 Playmate of the Month, and the magazine is on sale now. Horton, now a Wichita resident, was a 2006 graduate of Clearwater High School. She attended Clearwater schools from eighth grade through graduation, lived in Garden Plain from fourth through seventh grades, and has lived in Derby and Maize, too.
A southern California native, her family moved to Kansas after her father took a job at Bombardier-Learjet.
Horton made her way into the pages of Playboy the same way she began her modeling career – somewhat by accident.
A self-portrait on the social media site MySpace was seen by a photographer who messaged. She was skeptical and approached things cautiously, getting advice from her sister who had done some modeling. It turned out the photographer was on the up-and-up.
“He’s one of the best that I know,” she said. “It was a great shoot, and I had a natural knack for it.” That quickly led to more jobs, which helped pay for school at Wichita State and Newman University.
The economic downturn led to her losing a music scholarship, and she leaned on modeling more.
Long hair is a big selling point, and once she grew hers out after leaving school, the work has been nearly non-stop, she said.
Her work ranged from commercial shoots for Sheplers Western Wear and an athletic company in Kansas City, to nude shoots for fine arts photographers and photo classes.
She was noticed by Playboy based on photos that were on Model Mayhem, a networking site for photographers and models.
“They called and said they wanted to test me for Playmate,” she said. “I thought it was so far beyond my reach.”
The first shoot came in November and she was approved for a centerfold. She went back to the Playboy mansion several more times to shoot the rest of her layout.
Then in September came the news that she would be on the cover – a feat that’s not a given for Playmate of the Month. Often the cover goes to a celebrity – including men on occasion.
She’s now on a two-year contract with Playboy and can work as much or as little as she wants for them. The payday for being Playmate of the Month is nice, she said, although it’s not enough to live on. If she gets named as Playmate of the Year – her odds are 1-in-12, of course – she’ll reap the rewards of a six-figure payday plus a car and a motorcycle.
In the meantime, Horton hopes to use her new-found celebrity to launch a new career.
“My pipe dream is to be a character developer for a video game company,” said Horton, a self-professed gamer. She’d be happy to be a spokesperson as well. And of course, modeling and acting remain options.
“Playboy opened so many doors. I have so many opportunities in front of me. The choices are limitless,” she said.
Horton said her parents have been supportive of her modeling career, although Horton said her dad was a bit apprehensive about her appearing in Playboy. Now that it’s done, she said he’s proud of her.
“When I found out I was Playmate of the Month, my mom and I cried,” she said. Then came the news of her cover appearance. “Words can’t describe how it makes me feel to be on the cover.”
The California native loves being a Kansas girl, and identifies herself as such. She has no overriding interest in returning to California and its high cost of living.
“I love the people. I love the weather,” she said, adding she finds the storms beautiful. “Moving to Kansas was amazing. It was the first time I had allergies or saw roadkill.”