Elsie Hewitt is used to causing a little confusion. A rare amalgam of warmth, world-tested savvy and undeniable sex appeal, our June Playmate gets that people have a hard time accepting what they don’t understand, especially when it comes to those who refuse to be lumped into society’s rigid categories. The first thing you notice may be her body—curves that seemingly defy the laws of physics, or at least average genetics—but like any beautiful woman, Elsie is so much more than her corporeality.

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Born and raised in London until the age of 10, when she moved to her current home of Los Angeles, Elsie is self-possessed and precocious, seemingly older than her 21 years. She carries herself with the air of a young woman who has lived, perhaps because she has. “I’ve been working since I was 15, and I’m totally independent,” she explains. Then again, this old soul is not without an element of wide-eyed innocence. “Recently, I’ve been realizing not everyone has the same heart I do. There’s a lot that people don’t know about me,” she admits. “I’m very sensitive, even though many people just see me as another sexy girl on Instagram.”

Needless to say, Elsie’s Insta feed doesn’t tell the whole story. When she isn’t modeling, she’s absorbed in acting classes (she cites Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Faye Dunaway as three of her favorite actors), and she’s the nurturer among her friends. “I always have advice to give,” she says. “I’m like a mama.” As for men, she doesn’t have a type, but one physical trait stands out. “Teeth are important,” she says. And when it comes to her own appearance, she’s legitimately low-maintenance. “I don’t care about looking perfect,” she says. “I don’t wear makeup. I just got my first haircut in six years. My hair was down to my butt. I chopped off 12, 13 inches, and it’s still long.”

Don’t think Elsie isn’t acutely aware of what she’s doing when it comes to what she shows and doesn’t show of herself—or the fact that a “sexy image” is often taken at face value. “Nude photography is about vulnerability, the beauty of the picture,” she says. “It’s not about sexualizing or objectifying myself. But everybody’s going to have their own opinion. You can’t please everyone. You just have to live your life and do what you want.”

 

ELSIE HEWITT

AGE: 21 | BIRTHPLACE: London, U.K. | CURRENT CITY: Los Angeles, CA

LIVE AND HELP LIVE
No matter where I am, who I meet or what I’m doing, I’m always kind and warm to people, because you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. There’s so much hate and anger in the world as it is. Everybody should be lifting each other up, especially women. There are enough men who are awful to women; we all need to be nicer to each other.

INSTA-GIRL
Sometimes I wish Instagram didn’t exist, but it’s such a big part of the modeling industry and of our lives, so I use it to my advantage. I have the power in my own hands to show what I want to show. Pictures are often one-dimensional, but there’s a personality behind the image. There’s an essence and a spirit—that’s what I love.

THE POWER OF NO
I’ve been told no countless times because of the way I look. If part of me feels discouraged by that, I use it as ammunition to work harder. I just continue to shoot and create on my own.

MY REAL PASSION
My favorite thing is going to restaurants to eat. Italian food is probably my favorite, especially pasta. I also love a really good steak. I like filet mignon with béarnaise sauce. And I have a huge sweet tooth. I love desserts. I love food.

THE IDEA OF ROMANCE
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I think time is the most valuable thing. More than anything, I appreciate quality time when you feel you’re really connecting with someone.

MY TAKE ON LOVE
It’s the best thing in the world. I love to love, but it’s not replaceable. It’s not rational. It’s not something you can decide with your brain. Your brain will tell you one thing, but your heart will do something completely different. You know what’s right. You know what’s wrong. Sometimes it just gets to the point where you’re like, “I don’t even know what I’m doing.” 

PREACHING POSITIVITY
It’s a cliché, but it’s important to be positive and believe in yourself, because what you put out is exactly what you’ll get back. Think how many unhappy people there are in the world who don’t realize that happiness is a choice. I think life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent the way you react to it. If you believe and hope, things will be okay.

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To see her nude pictorial, purchase the magazine here.