Ida Ljungqvist, Miss March 2008, was named Playmate of the Year 2009. She was the 50th Anniversary Playmate of the Year and the first to devote her title to charity.
Ida was born in Tanzania to a Swedish father and a Tanzanian mother. Thanks to her father’s job with UNICEF, she’s lived all over the world—Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, England, France, Sweden, Denmark, and Los Angeles. “My first language is English, but I speak Swedish and Swahili,” she told Playboy.
Ida was discovered while working in the Bebe boutique in Beverly Hills by another Playmate of the Year, Sara Jean Underwood. “She used to shop in my store,” said Ida. “She thought I was Playmate material.” Sara came in with the Girls Next Door cast, and on camera they offered Ida the chance to pose for Playboy.
“I was in total shock when they asked me to pose. I’m kind of a thrill-seeker. Throw me in—I’ll sink or swim!” said Ida. “I never thought I would be a model, let alone a Playmate, but it’s a great opportunity and a platform to raise awareness of world issues.”
Ida has a degree in fashion design and marketing and would like to return to school for more advanced courses in economics. “For now I’m going to focus on my career as a model,” she said. “But eventually I think I’d like to be a fashion designer in New York City. I’d like to work behind the scenes in the fashion industry.”
Ida also devotes a lot of time to charity work, a passion she inherited from her father. “I’m a really positive person,” she said. “My dad, he’s, like, saving the world, so good luck to whoever decides to marry me! He’ll have some big shoes to fill.”
What does it take to get Ida’s heart beating faster? Ida told Playboy that her turn-ons include “laughter and a great sense of humor.” She’s attracted to guys who can disco and do the “sprinkler” dance. Ida has also been linked romantically to Playmate Kristina Shannon.