Her mother got her started in modeling, and once she developed her voluptuous figure - which happened almost overnight at the age of 18 - she aced that, too. "In thirty days my bra size went from a B to a D," she says, still amazed. "And I lost four inches off my waist. I don't know what happened. It's not like I suddenly started eating right. All I could think was, Thank you, God." She entered local beauty pageants and bathing-suit competitions and she routinely cleaned up. It got so that when the other girls learned Jennifer Lavoie was in, they were out. Of 20 competitions, Jennifer won 17 and was runner-up in two more. Did she cry when she lost? "God no," she says. "I hate that." A New York City photographer named Mishka saw a picture of Jennifer and offered to put together a portfolio for her free of charge. "I'd never posed nude before," says Jennifer. "When my boyfriend suggested I take off my top while sunbathing in Cancun, I said, 'No way!'" When Mishka first mentioned nudity, she told him the same thing. But she saw some of his nudes and thought they were "kind of arty," so she finally agreed. "It was fun. My mother went with me and sat through the entire session reading magazines. Mishka suggested I send the shots to Playboy, and I guess the rest is history."
Jennifer is thrilled that it worked out, of course, but she has kept a good grip on things. "People have told me that I should move to California to try for a part in a soap opera or a movie. But I'm happy doing what I'm doing." Unattached now, she's grateful to Playboy in another way. "Doing this pictorial made me realize I don't need a man in my life. I can be my own person." All the same, she wouldn't mind if a good man came along. What type would she prefer? "Somebody who is sincere, confident and sensitive," she says. "I'm a Pisces, I'm into emotion." Looking at you, Jen, so are we.
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