Anyone who doesn't believe in fairy tales should meet Anna-Marie Goddard. Ten years ago, our 40th Anniversary Playmate was not smiling from the pages of a glossy magazine. She was minding cattle in the barn behind her home in Ysbrechtum, Holland, population 300. Those cows used to peer through the windows of the house each morning, waiting for the girl who milked them to wake. And young Anna-Marie, then 13, didn't mind. She lived in Friesland, a northern province of the Netherlands, not a thrill-a-minute Amsterdam. Anna-Marie knew about faraway places, of course. She loved American movies and joked to her mother about getting married in Las Vegas someday. But Frisians tend to stay in Friesland, a place so suspicious of the wider world that its legendary hero was Grûtte Pier, a Teuton who chopped the heads off outsiders who dared to venture north. "Even today most Frisians aren't very cosmopolitan," says the one who this month becomes the most famous Ysbrechtumian ever. "I don't know why I was different, but I was. And it was always cloudy in Friesland. It rained all the time, and the people were so conservative. I had to get out, to see more of the world." Anna-Marie sent her picture to a Belgian fashion magazine when she turned 17 and her career was launched. A little scared, she took a train to Ghent, Belgium, then moved on to modeling jobs in Madrid, Milan and Munich. In Munich she met American screenwriter and model Collin Goddard. It was - what else? - "love at first sight," says Anna-Marie. So they ran off to get married. Where? "In Las Vegas, at a place called the Little Chapel of the West. My mother couldn't believe it. My joke had come true." Living happily thereafter in a house overlooking the Pacific in southern California, and working throughout the world, she caught the eye of Playboy's West Coast Photo Editor, Marilyn Grabowski. Anna-Marie's test shots convinced us that this no-longer-provincial Dutch girl was something special. Perhaps her European roots made her seem utterly, naturally, sensual. "We are not so uncomfortable about sex as you are in America," Anna-Marie says, smiling. "Europeans are more open. Even in conservative Friesland, people don't worry about nudity and sex. And because we're a more sexually free society, there's not this kind of crazy curiosity. Even as kids, we know all about sex, so it seems normal to us. A teenage girl goes to the doctor and gets birth control pills. That's what I did when I was 16. That doesn't mean you have to jump in bed with a boy right away." We saw the uninhibited Anna-Marie as someone who was extraordinary enough to be even more than Playmate of the Month. As our 40th Anniversary Playmate, a title she "hoped for so hard I was staying up nights thinking about it," Anna-Marie Goddard represents the Playboy ideal. "I am honored and excited," she says. So is her mother back home. Mom's reaction to the news that her daughter would pose for Playboy was, "Did you get to meet Hugh Hefner?" The proud daughter responded, "Yes, and he says hello."
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