Playboy playmate : When Playboy started calling, Hailee Lautenbach had no idea what to expect.
The Spring 2021 Playmate is a well-known model who isn’t hesitant to post practically everything on Instagram.
Hailee Lautenbach, a Playboy Playmate, speaks on her mental health struggles
For her picture shot by Graham Dunn, who has worked with other Playmates Jessica Wall and Savannah Smith, the 26-year-old worked closely with the company to design a ‘80s vaporwave motif.
Lautenbach donned Yandy, a PLBY Group subsidiary, for the spread, which included lingerie that wonderfully represented her love of all things 1980s. Lautenbach claims that the results left her speechless.
Lautenbach spoke with Fox News about her role in Playboy, how she built a social media following, and how she dealt with her mental health issues.
Fox News: Congratulations on being selected as a Playmate! To you, what does the title imply?
Hailee Lautenbach: First and foremost, perhaps conceitedly, but it validates what I’ve been doing professionally for the previous 15 years.
From a no-name model to Hailee the Playmate in just a few years.
As a result, it’s both affirming and fulfilling. It’s also an honour to collaborate with such a storied brand.
Fox News: How would you describe the shoot to someone who hasn’t seen it?
Lautenbach: It was the most massive production I’ve ever worked on. My jaw fell when they informed me how much everything would cost.
Isn’t this all about me? Throughout the day, I had butterflies in my stomach. I was giddy with anticipation and kept a smile on my face the entire time.
But, because there was some partial nudity involved, I was curious as to how it would play out.
But I had three people looking after me the entire day, running about with towels and making sure I was comfortable and secure.
They were constantly inquiring about what I needed to feel my best. It had been the ideal experience. I’ll cherish and remember it for the rest of my life.
Fox News: The photoshoot was inspired by the 1980s. Why?
Lautenbach: For me, the notion was quite crucial. You never give input as a model.
You simply show up and accept whatever is thrown at you. When I booked Playboy, though, I discovered that I had complete creative control.
And I was instantly transported to the 1980s. I was always fascinated by the time period.
My dad and I used to watch ‘80s movies every weekend, so it was ingrained in me.
Fox News: How did you react to the photographs when you first saw them?
Lautenbach: I was terrified. When the images aren’t retouched, I usually don’t look at them.
I’m always afraid. When I saw these, however, I screamed and jumped up and down.
It looked fantastic. It was just what I was looking for.
I looked like something out of a ’80s film. It was indeed a dream come true.
NBC News: You’ve relocated to Portland in order to be near your family during the pandemic.
What did people think of your appearance as a Playboy?
Lautenbach: Of course, they’re aware of Playboy’s current status. It’s such a contrast.
It’s a gathering of women, for women. So my mother is pleased with me. Previously, it was more along the lines of, “Oh, Playboy.”
They’re [now] proud after seeing the images and hearing how amazing [the crew] was to me.
Fox News: How did you prepare physically for the shoot?
Lautenbach: I had determined, for some reason, that I wanted to take my health to the next level before booking Playboy. As a result, the time was ideal.
I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I was already eating well and exercising regularly, but I wanted to learn to skate.
As a result, I began to do so. And it gave me a really good butt *laughs*.
And the most bizarre part is that I got this ab roller and used it on a daily basis.
And I had something like a six-pack. As a result, I didn’t do anything. However, I believe that the ab roller and skating assisted me in preparing for Playboy.
I’ve never been physically fit, but for Playboy, I was doing some weird poses.
And, to be honest, without core strength, I wouldn’t have been able to get these images.
As a result, it aided my photography. So, get out there and skate. It’s good for you, it’s enjoyable, and it tones you up.
NBC News: According to your Playboy profile, you originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue a modelling career.
And it appears that after you started collecting social media following, you began to feel more at ease in LA. What do you mean by that?
Lautenbach: It was a fascinating experience. When I initially went to Los Angeles, I already had a modest following.
“Delete your Instagram,” agencies would say back in the day. “You’re a model,” she says.
As a result, it was a little disappointing. But this is, after all, me.
When you go to castings these days, they always ask for your Instagram account.
But I created a following organically by oversharing my life – the good and the terrible – almost like a reality show. My friends and relatives were transformed into characters.
That’s how I got my following — by being a relatable nerdy person who happens to be a model living in LA and showcasing the realities of life there.
Fox News: How essential was it for you to break the rule of being a model who was also active on social media?
Lautenbach: I’ve only recently begun to put myself out there. People were photographing plants or their food and publishing them on social media.
I was sharing selfies or photos of myself modelling. I actually lost almost all of my Portland friends because they thought it was arrogant.
“Why is she sharing a selfie?” for example. What a 180-degree turn of events.
“Don’t use Instagram,” even my agents said. I could have given in and listened to them, but I was too content to be myself and share that with others.
I pushed through and rebelled in a small way.
Fox News: What are your thoughts on models blogging on social media these days?
Lautenbach: It’s fine in my opinion. It pushes the bounds of who can be a model, in my opinion.
For instance, I’m a little curvier. I’m only 5’9″ tall. To be a real model, I need to be six feet tall.
However, I believe that having Instagram expands the definition of who can be a model.
It’s also fantastic for everyone. Without being a model, you can be a regular person on social media who becomes famous and gets big ads… I mean, being mysterious is cool, but I’m not like that.
NBC News: You discussed your mental health with Playboy. When did you first discover you were having trouble?
Lautenbach: I’ve always been a cheerful individual. I always have a good mood when I get up, eager to get the day started and run around.
There was no dramatic event, only a steady downward spiral. It began when I felt a dark cloud looming over me, to the point where I spent a week hiding in my bed in Los Angeles.
Maybe it’s just TMI, but I’m just lying there, not being hygienic. My shades were closed, but I could see the palm trees swinging outside.
“Why can’t I just go outside?” I think to myself. “Why can’t I just go fetch the mail?” says the narrator.
Even though my pals were phoning, it became too much for me to even look at my phone.
When my excellent friends began beating on my door, saying, “Hey, let us in,” I understood it was harmful.
“Are you all right?” “I think I have depression,” I said. And that was the end of it.
“I think I need to see a therapist to check on my mental health,” I told my mother.
There was never anything that was too black. I couldn’t seem to motivate myself to accomplish anything.
I was given a diagnosis of severe anxiety and depression. I was on medication for a while, but I think I sorted it out and am no longer on it.
Other coping mechanisms have emerged for me. But, yes, that’s when I noticed something wasn’t quite right.
When I was unable to get out of bed.
NBC News: What was your first reaction when you heard the terms “high anxiety and depression”?
Lautenbach: If you’re looking for a unique way to express yourself, try “I’m messed up,” I said.
Then, after a couple of hours, I answered, “No, I’m not.” That’s OK. “This is something I can handle.”
And then, because I’m an open book, I instantly went on social media to talk about it.
Everything is shared with me. And I felt compelled to keep folks informed since they are so invested in my life.
But what happened was that I got a lot of DMs from girls and boys stating how amazing it is to have someone with a larger platform speak about these issues.
I made them feel less strange. I assisted them in visiting a doctor and discussing topics with which they would not have previously felt comfortable.
In that sense, I’m delighted it happened. Others were able to benefit from my assistance.
How are you today, Fox News?
Lautenbach: I’m overjoyed. I’ve lately been single and have a history of jumping from relationship to boyfriend.
But I’ve been single for about six months and I’ve never been happier.
I’m learning to like and know myself. In my mind, I’m becoming my own best friend.
And everything is going swimmingly. I believe that if you truly send out positive energy and spread kindness, wonderful things will come back to you. And that’s where I’m at the moment.
Fox News: Is there anything you do to improve your mental health that you think has helped?
Lautenbach: One of the things I started doing was printing off calendars from the internet and starting a streak.
And every time I do it, I’ll make a happy face. You don’t want to put an X on the day and break your streak after getting a couple of smiling faces in a row. Take, for example, a 30-minute walk.
I also write in my journal for five minutes every morning when I wake up.
I make a list of goals for the day as well as mantras for myself. And it’s fantastic.
Because when despair strikes, I am like a vampire who is unable to leave the house.
“Let’s go for a walk,” I convince myself. It’ll only take 30 minutes.” Then I say to myself, “This is magical.”
“The world is a wonderful place.” Of course, it’s different for everyone, but simple things like getting outside and writing things down have helped me.
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