This week I’m answering some of the questions that have come in from readers; the first question after my first column was published is from LaShawn in San Diego, California. The rest have been gathered over the past weeks.
Besides being a powerful advocate for animal rights, what other opportunities has your time with Playboy blessed you with and are you planning any new projects in 2014?
I’ve been very blessed after being in Playboy! I’ve traveled all over the US, Maui, Cancun and Hawaii and been asked to be in TV shows and movies. My favorites were working with Cameron Diaz on Bad Teacher and meeting Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Kevin Klien in Last Vegas. Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman have always been two of my favorite actors.
In my personal life I’m working on training my recent rescue, a year old dog that I fostered that was dumped with her new born puppies. Now that her puppies have been adopted I kept the mother and I’m training her to be a therapy dog to go to children’s hospitals and VA’s to help cheer up the patients.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Truly feeling grateful for everything in your life, good or bad. You can’t be grateful and miserable at the same time. I believe the ‘bad’ things or things that we don’t understand can be a gift from life, they are something we need to learn and grow from or a sign we need to take a new path.
What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Deciding it would be a good idea to ride my bike on a wall as a kid. It wasn’t. I fell and landed on my head. That explains a lot some days …
Do you believe in intelligent life on Earth?
I’m greatly amazed by the intelligence of people on Earth. But I’m gravely afraid of unintelligent people gathered in large groups.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
A man who talks down to the waitress, is rude to staff or doesn’t tip 20 percent. I fully believe how a man treats a waitress will be how he will treat you in six months. In general, I believe how people treat servers is a huge show of their character. If a man talks down to the waitress, is impatient or demanding, expect the same behavior from him towards you soon. Guys that speak to the waitresses as people and joke around with them will have a much greater chance at a second date!
What is your favorite activity?
I know the “long walks on the beach” is very cliché, but there is no where I feel more at home than walking in the sand with waves hitting my feet while watching the birds search for food. Especially before summer comes and I am the only person there. The rest of the world disappears.
Do you believe in reincarnation?
I’m more afraid of it. It makes sense to me that if we don’t accomplish and learn everything we were supposed to in this life, we could keep coming back until we do everything we were “supposed” to do. That’s half of my driving force with charity work and helping animals. I don’t want to die and see everything I was supposed to do, but I didn’t come close to finishing it all!
What did you want to be as a child?
A Veterinarian. Until I found out I have a stiches phobia. I had a shot and one stich on my face and stood up to walk out and it felt like the ground came up and hit me. I finally came to in another room and the doctor said I fainted five times. Not embarrassing at all
Even after rescuing 114 animals I can’t stomach stitches on them. My cat recently had her eye removed from cancer and when she’d rub her head against me and touch me with the stiches I’d almost faint, or vomit. I decided to work with animals no one else could fix though so it still worked out well for me.
I saw on your Twitter you chased down and caught a Pit Bull that was bleeding heavily and put it in your car. Have you ever been afraid of being bitten or attacked and ruining your career as a model?
No. My friends and family were constantly afraid for me though! I had a Rottweiler that weighed as much as me that bit a woman’s arm in half right before I got her. I had to keep a metal leash on her because she would try to bite the leash in half to get away and attack people. She acted like a puppy towards me though. I think since dogs usually bite out of fear and I’m not afraid of them they don’t see me as a threat.
I caught a second pit bull that was running through traffic with an extension cord tied around his neck. I chased him through a really bad area and finally caught him and carried him back to my car.
I was more afraid my car, that I parked on a side walk so it would look like it had already been stolen, wouldn’t still be there than I was of the dog turning its head and biting my face.
Pit Bulls scare me less than any other breed. They are used for fighting because they are so loyal to their owners that they allow themselves to be ripped apart to make people happy. It’s really sad what people have done to what was the number one breed for families, known as “Nanny Dogs” in the 70’s.
All Celebrities say that they love their fans. Do you or is it just something everyone says?
I really appreciate all my fans and having had the opportunity to speak to so many people all over the world for so many years! I’m always amazed at the generosity of my fans. I’ve received so many thoughtful gifts and am very touched that so many people have taken the time and expense to buy and send me gifts, when they’ll never meet me in person. It means so much more that they just want to send me a gift not expecting anything in return.
I really enjoyed meeting so many fans at autograph signings. I can see why some girls can get big heads after becoming a Playmate. You are treated like royalty as soon as your plane lands, stay at the best hotels and resorts and sit and sign autographs for people who stand for hours in line to get a signed photo.
But seeing how excited and nervous people were to meet me and how much it meant to them when we would have a fun conversation, I’d try to write something personalized so they would feel special — that is my favorite part.
My favorite person I signed a photo for was a woman in her 80’s. About half of the people who wait in line are women getting autographs for their sons, boyfriends or husbands. I asked her what name she wanted me to sign it to and she said “To me of course! This is going on my wall next to the grandkids photos, you are the first and probably only celebrity I’ll ever meet!”
It was so sweet! I tried to make every fan feel as special as she made me feel after meeting her.
What advice would you give to women trying to become models?
Listen to your gut and don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing! Don’t listen if a photographer tries to tell you a nude photo will be “great for your portfolio.” Real photographers will never try to get you to do anything you are not comfortable with.
Always respect everyone you work with and demand respect as well. The saying “You teach people how to treat you,” couldn’t be more true in the modeling business.
And believe in yourself! If you don’t believe in you no one else will either. A lot of the super models have imperfections, gaps in their teeth, etc that make them stand out and has helped their career. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t believe you are not perfect. No one is. That’s what great lighting is for.
Most importantly, and this goes for all women — tell yourself you are beautiful, inside and out. So many women spent half their lives only focusing on their imperfections, only to look back years later and wish they could shake their younger selves and tell them how beautiful they really are — and that gravity and time moves faster than you realize! Enjoy your youth!
What do you believe women’s biggest faults are?
I think women need to remember to put their needs first. That old expression ‘If Mamma ain’t happy nobody happy’ is very true. My married friends’ biggest concern is that they focus too much on trying to please everyone else and feel short changed at the end of the day. Trying to balance jobs, marriages, children etc. can be really hard and it’s easy to feel you are “loosing yourself” if you don’t take the time to give yourself what you need to thrive.
Women need to feel it’s ok to take time out of each day to do something that makes them happy and fulfilled. Then everything else will fall into line.
It’s so sad seeing how many women stay in bad relationships out of fear of being alone. If a man doesn’t make you feel like you are the most important part of his life, you need to break up with them and use the time alone to figure out why you allowed someone to treat you badly. There is no need to settle when there are so many wonderful men who will appreciate you just as you are, when you are ready to accept it!
Christine Smith was born in San Dimas California and lived in a few other states but considers Cali the best. She loves biking and rollerblading up the coast and supporting the local beach bars.
Her heart has always been with rescuing animals rescue groups gave up on for being too vicious or sick, She’d rehabilitate them and find them homes. She’s rescued 114 and counting!
After visiting Playboy studios with a friend she was named Playboy’s Miss December 2005. Christine enjoyed traveling all over the US, hosting events and doing autograph signings. She won a Celebrity of the Year award in London for radio interviews. Had fun being in TV shows and movies, Bad Teacher is her favorite; Christine considers working with Cameron Diaz was an honor!
She felt very blessed to have the title of Playmate; it allowed her to help countless charities by “using her name.” She received an award from the Veterans Administration for her volunteer work and has been able to help many charities helping the wonderful people who serve our country and many animal rescue groups.
Her favorite part of being a Playmate has been meeting her fans, and she’d try to make each person feel special and give them an experience to remember.
She is very excited to now be a part of The Baltimore Post-Examiner and be able share her experiences and speak with all the readers!