UC Berkeley Student Poses for Photos in May Issue of Playboy

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A UC Berkeley student bares her body in the centerfold of Playboy magazine's May issue, which hit newsstands and bookstores nationwide.

Brooke Berry, a sophomore English major, first appeared in the October issue of Playboy. That issue, titled "Girls of the Pac-10," featured 10 UC Berkeley students.

Berry, who is currently taking a year off from school to promote her work for Playboy, said some UC Berkeley students reacted negatively when learning of her appearance in the magazine.

"Some people at Cal reacted kind of weird," she said. "Some of the girls were mean to me but the guys were nice."

Despite the criticism, Berry said she enjoyed a little bit of celebrity in her hometown of Homewood, Calif., located near Lake Tahoe.

"My friends back home thought it was a big deal," she said. "It's a small town. A lot of people treated me like a celebrity and they would be afraid to approach me. It was weird, but it's been pretty much positive."

As for her family, Berry said that, at first, her parents were not as supportive as she had hoped.

"My dad didn't say what he thought and my mom was really mad at (the Pac-10 issue)," Berry said. "But she's gotten used to it. When I got my first check, she realized it was more of a job. I think they're proud of me."

One Playboy executive said she was thoroughly impressed with Berry's poise and maturity.

"She's the real deal," said Cindy Rakowitz, president of Playboy promotions. "Brooke really stands out. She is intelligent and confident and has a good sense of humor."

Rakowitz also referred to Berry in industry jargon normally reserved for elite models.

"She is definitely an A-mate - that's my term for playmates who are going to make it," she said.

Rakowitz also said she thought Berry could possibly become famous.

"I have a good sense of someone who is going to cross over and make it like some of our other playmates," Rakowitz said. "My challenge is to take the playmates to the next level to becoming a household name - like Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. I think I have a very good chance of doing that with her, whether it be a Guess girl, Baywatch, movie parts or commercials."

Playboy magazine has recently stepped up its efforts to appeal to a college-age crowd in order to increase lifetime readers, Rakowitz added.

"The marketing strategy is to connect to the younger audience," she said. "We are really emphasizing the 18-24 market."

Berry said she hopes to continue her education and eventually receive a master's degree in English.

She added that she is not planning on a career in Hollywood, but she would consider that option if such an opportunity arose.

"I don't think I have the love for (acting) because it takes a lot of commitment to be an actor," she said. "(But) if someone were to ask me to be in a show, I would jump at the opportunity."

The Playmate of the Month said working naked for extended periods was occasionally uncomfortable.

"I was cold a lot of the time," she said. "They had heaters on me and stuff."

Berry, who has always felt at ease with nudity, said the atmosphere of the photo shoots was positive.

"They are all very professional," she said. "(The photographers) are used to being around naked women so it's no big deal."

The single centerfold picture took a week's worth of photo sessions, Berry said.

"You just have to sit there and do it until you get it right," she said. "The makeup is really time-consuming, too."

One UC Berkeley senior said having a fellow student in the magazine is a "honor" for the campus.

"I think it brings a good name to our school, just because it shows that we have hot chicks and we're kind of known for not having them," said George Hasbun.


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