Playboy SA cover girl Yolandi Malherbe chats to us about dating, lingerie and why you don’t have to show your vajayjay to get attention!
How did you first break into modelling?
I’ve always had a passion for modelling. I started out doing a shoot here and there, but it wasn't until I'd done a fashion shoot for YDE, followed by a role in a Jax Panik music video, that people took notice. Then along came Playboy and things have been busy ever since!
How were you ‘discovered’?
I was discovered by a photographer on Twitter back in 2010. He did my first lingerie shoot.
How did you get involved with Playboy?
I read in the newspaper about Playboy launching in SA and when I heard that my idol, Tracy McGregor, would be gracing the cover, I knew that the magazine would be a hit in SA too. I waited for the launch issue to see what it was all about. When I saw the first edition, I wasn't THAT impressed. I thought it was very FHM minus the bra. Then I saw the May edition and I absolutely fell in love with the Playmate's pictorial. I followed Playboy on Facebook too and that's how I heard that girls in SA could cast, but I just didn't have the guts to do it. Deidre Loots, who was involved with Playboy when it first launched, approached me on Facebook (she probably saw me commenting on all things Playboy related) and asked me to cast. I printed the form she sent me but I was too nervous to complete it and send it back. Then, one day, I sent it in and crossed my fingers. Two months thereafter I got the email to say I’d been chosen for a Cape Town casting. It was one of the biggest castings of my life…I certainly felt the pressure. Exactly seven weeks later, I got the call from then-editor, Peter Piegl, to say I'd been chosen. I started screaming, it was extra special since I was chosen as a Playmate in my birthday month. Since then I’ve worked super hard to be the best Playmate, a great role model and an exceptional ambassador.
Do you think that there are some stereotypes which surround Playboy models?
Absolutely! Not all Playmates are blonde with fake boobs. And we're not stupid either. There are natural, smart, AFRIKAANS girls, such as me! Not all of us have a burning desire to move to the mansion and sleep with Hef. Well, not me. There are a lot of people who have an outdated mindset, or rather uninformed mindset, about Playboy and its Playmates. We're NOT porn stars. It's so tasteful and classy, trust me. The five times that I've posed for the magazine I've shown that you don't need to show your vajayjay in order to grab attention. I haven't ever, nor will I ever.
Tell us about the April 2013 cover shoot – how did it go?
Wow, where do I start! I've been dying to get on the cover since July 2011! I worked really hard to prove I'm worthy of it and the Playboy team took note. Just as I had forgotten about that goal - I was focused on the Miss Zag for ZigZag Magazine contest - I got the call the next day RIGHT AFTER hearing that I didn't make the top 6 for Miss Zag. So, again, I learned as one door closes, another one opens. When Playboy editor, Charl du Plessis, phoned me, I missed the call, but seconds later I got an SMS that read 'please phone me with regards to the Playboy cover'. I dropped everything and phoned him right back. Then Charl spoke the words I've been dying to hear for so long. This was at the end of January 2013 and my cover was scheduled for March, so we didn't have a lot of time. Leah Hawker, Playboy's official photographer, and I quickly met up one evening and discussed concepts over a bottle of wine. We did the shoot early in February at Leah's studio. The concept was classy, mature and sexy images that appeared as if it was done in my bedroom. We also played with a Polaroid and played on the whole self-shot phenomenon. I had the experts of Jenro Beauty doing my hair and make-up, and we also had THE most amazing lingerie from Inner Secrets. The shoot took about eight hours and it was a lot of hard work. I put my body through a lot of posing and stretching and uncomfortable positions. We also had a photographer and a film-crew cover the behind-the-scenes, which should air on ETV early April. So watch out for more details. I'm super happy and proud of this shoot. I look at the cover and I think to myself, I did it! Just as March approached, I got the news that my cover is postponed to April, because Playboy wanted to do a cover for the rape and abuse crisis in SA. Which I totally respect, but keeping a secret this big for another month isn't easy! But time flies when you're having fun (or just working your butt off), and now I can finally reveal that I’m the first Afrikaans chick to get a cover of Playboy. That gives me a sense of achievement for sure!
Given your large fan base, do you ever receive any weird request/gifts from people?
I've received some really cool and unexpected gifts before - head phones, teddies, sweets, clothes etc. Weird requests include 'marry me', 'send me naked photos of yourself', 'can I please get a pair of your worn stockings' or 'I'd love to buy a pair of your shoes to put in a glass cabinet in my bar'. Seriously?
What kind of lingerie do you prefer?
I love lingerie that is too beautiful to hide under your clothes. I love a good push-up bra too! Black lace is my weakness.
What kind of man do you usually go for?
I don't think I have a type. I love sporty guys because they're fit and always full of energy…The ripped body is a bonus. I love a man who isn't afraid to work hard. Ambition and intelligence is a must!
Are you currently in a relationship?
I am, but I keep my relationship and family private. I think my career is exciting enough to keep everyone entertained.
What is your number one non-negotiable when it comes to a man?
A man is the hunter. My grandma taught me this.
What do your mom and dad think of your Playboy work?
My mom is very proud. She's the one who supported me and motivated me when I first went for the casting. My dad wasn't too keen at first, and understandably so. But over the months he's gotten used to the idea. I've achieved a lot of other things because of Playboy, and they're proud of that. They're supportive parents. The rest of my family also all want to see me reach my full potential.