Shallan Meiers, Playboy’s Miss September 2002, had the right look to become one of the three finalists on the Fox special Girl Next Door: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold. As a 20-year-old model she had to overcome serious jitters about baring it all. “The show was one big Fear Factor for me,” she said. “I’ve been a shy person all my life. If I was ever into it with a guy, by God, the lights were off. I didn’t even want to change in front of anyone on the show.”
Shallan said she bonded with Miss August Christina Santiago after the program ended, and admits to cooking up a little mischief with contestant Jill Scott. “One night the cameramen watched us all go to bed,” she said. “I asked Jill, ‘I wonder what would happen if you jumped into bed with me right now?’ I thought it would be funny. So she jumps into bed, throws the covers over our heads, and starts moving around like she’s humping me. The cameramen sounded like a herd of elephants running up the stairs. We were both in our own beds by the time they got there. They probably thought I was wild, and then I disappointed them. You put yourself out on a limb for a reality show, especially one with a controversial topic. I feel like it is easier now to let things roll off my back. I’m a more confident person.”
Shallan was born in California but lived in Arizona and Reno before settling in Las Vegas eight years ago. She started modeling at age 13 and won the title Little Miss Las Vegas in 1999. Shallan studied international business and communications in college and was taking some time off to work as a showgirl to save money for school when a Fox executive casting director spotted her.
“This woman came up and asked me if my breasts were real,” she said. “I thought she was drunk or something. I didn’t know what was going on until she gave me her card. I took a risk and gave her my number, and before I knew it, I got the call saying they wanted me for the show and a camera crew was filming me in my home.”
One thing Shallan isn’t shy about is what she looks for in a guy. “I have noticed that the conservative types tend to think alike—and that really bores me,” she told Playboy. “I gravitate toward people who live on the edge. I like a guy who has many layers. A lot of girls just base things on looks, but I don’t. Also, I don’t always go with what is logical, and I’ve never had the urge to try something that everyone else talks about. I never took any drugs or even smoked a cigarette. I get my own natural rush from things, and I like going out and finding that thrill in life.”
Shallan told Playboy she’s turned on by humor, spontaneity, confidence, independence, a gorgeous smile, ambitions, and intelligence. She joked, “How about a Boy Scout with piercings and tats?” She’s turned off by “side hair parts, Speedos, arrogance, dishonesty, a guy who needs to be perfect. … If you’re human you’re not perfect.” She also told us that “mean people suck!” and that, in her eyes, the worst thing a guy can do is treat his mother badly.