Photo Caption: Beth Williams
This past August Ohio University graduate and Athens County native Beth Williams was chosen by Playboy as Miss August. Now she's shooting for Playmate of the Year, and she's looking to rally some hometown votes.
Williams, 25, was born at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital in Athens and grew up near Glouster as well as in Meigs County. She attended Ohio University and graduated in 2009 with a degree in health-service administration.
She said in an interview Friday that the 12 playmates from each month of the previous year are eligible for Playmate of the Year through voting that just started up.
"(The voting) helps a lot in picking Playmate of the Year," she explained. "The editors don't go solely on votes but they won't pick a girl who ranked 10th in the voting. So it helps tremendously."
The editors also look at factors such as how the girl represents the company and how well she photographs, among other things.
The Playmate of the Year receives a large cash prize, usually some sort of vehicle and a variety of other opportunities that come with the designation, Williams said. If past practice is any indication, the winner also gets featured on the magazine's cover with a substantial pictorial layout inside.
Williams has already had a whirlwind 2012. She graduated with a master's degree in health-care administration from Walden University, an online college based in Minneapolis and, of course, started receiving national attention from her August centerfold spread in Playboy.
"Since my issue went out, I've gotten to work for Playboy, work in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and Chicago, Canada and L.A.," she said.
She also got to shoot a movie in Las Vegas as an extra in a swimsuit competition, she said, with the movie featuring five Oscar winners. She couldn't provide details on the name of the movie or the stars, but said it would be out next year.
"It's been great," she said. "I get to go to the (Playboy) Mansion whenever I'm in town. Last week I got to build gingerbread houses with Hef (Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder and impresario). Mine was the only one that collapsed."
Williams has also been spending her time working with a company called YOR Health that focuses on creating healthy eating habits and dietary standards for models.
Williams said the company sells everything from antioxidant products to weight-management tools.
"It really helps people with digestive issues," she said. "Their products are great. It's a great company… This company has (products) that are good for your overall health."
Williams also already has been doing some charity work, going to Columbus last week to help a radio station with an event to help the homeless during the holiday season.
Williams said she has been around Athens County for the holidays. And, she added, traveling to exotic locales hasn't changed her at heart.
"I'm still a country girl," Williams said. "I love traveling, but Ohio's always going to be home to me."
Williams said that she's hoping to win Playmate of the Year and be able to represent that Ohio pride.
"It would be really cool to put OU on the map," she said. "A Playmate of the Year from OU would be insane! I'm really excited. And there hasn't been a blonde Playmate of the Year in six years!"
Voting goes through the first week in January at www.playboy.com/playground/view/playmate-of-the-year-2013.