Students React to Playboy Magazine Photoshoot in Charlottesville

By: Bianca Spinosa Email
By: Bianca Spinosa Email

March 30, 2009

Photographers from Playboy magazine will be in Charlottesville Monday, hoping to recruit University of Virginia students for their "Girls of the ACC" issue. Some women's rights groups at the university are not happy about it.

The magazine hopes to pick at least one woman from each of the 12 schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Many students CBS19 talked to said they hope a woman from the University of Virginia is not chosen.

The photo shoot takes place at an area hotel. The location is top secret. Only UVa students who apply find out where it is. Feminist leaders on grounds said they view Playboy as exploitative.

"It ends up manifesting its effects in different ways, whether that's looking down on women or increased rates of sexual assault," explained Evelyn Hall, co-chair of the Sexual Assault Council at UVa.

"I think Playboy will be hard-pressed to find UVa women who want to engage in this sort of filth," said Marta Cook, a member of the Sexual Assault Prevention Association.

A representative for Playboy told CBS19 that the students do not have to pose nude. They can choose to wear swimsuits or lingerie. She also says that their majors and interests are taken into account. However, many students are not convinced.

"I think if Playboy comes to UVa it gives our students and our women a really bad image," said Alisa Abbott, a third-year student.

"I think it's completely inappropriate, and I hope that no one signs up for it," said Liza Brown, a second-year student.

The chair of the Sexual Assault Council said there is a continuous debate about whether Playboy empowers women. She said some women like the attention and should not be judged for that.

"It's important in this whole issue not to look on these women as bad for doing this," said Hall. "It's not about putting a value judgment on them."

"I don't think Mr. Jefferson would be too happy about it, but if that's what people want to do, then no one should stop them," said Danny Bennett, a third-year student.

Tto sign up for the photo shoot, you have to be at least 18 years old, and you must be enrolled at the University of Virginia.

The last time Playboy visited Charlottesville was about four years ago when Amanda Paige, a fourth-year student at the time, became Miss October.

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