Playmate is a female model featured in the centerfold/gatefold of Playboy magazine as Playmate of the Month (PMOM). The PMOM's pictorial includes nude photographs and a centerfold poster, as well as a short biography and the "Playmate Data Sheet", which lists her birthdate, measurements, turn-ons, and turn-offs. At the end of the year, one of the twelve Playmates of the Month is named Playmate of the Year (PMOY). Currently, Playmates of the Month are paid US$25,000 and Playmates of the Year receive an additional US$100,000 plus a car and a motorcycle. In addition, Anniversary Playmates are usually chosen to celebrate a milestone year of the magazine.
Playboy encourages potential Playmates to send photos with "girl next door" appeal for consideration; others may submit photos of Playmate candidates, may be eligible for a finder's fee if their model is selected. In addition, "casting calls" are held regularly in major U.S. cities to offer opportunities for women to test for Playboy. The Playboy photographers and Hugh Hefner then select which models become Playmates. The Playmate of the Year is chosen personally by Hugh Hefner, taking into account an annual readers' poll.
According to Playboy, there is no such thing as a former Playmate, “Once a Playmate, always a Playmate”
First Playmate: Margie Harrison (Miss January 1954) in the second issue of Playboy. Marilyn Monroe, who was featured in the first issue, was the only one to appear as "Sweetheart of the Month".
First Playmate to be chosen three times: Marilyn Waltz (Miss February 1954, April 1954, and April 1955 — her first appearance was as Margaret Scott)
First and only month in Playboy history to not have a Playmate — March 1955 (no issue published)
First centerfold (two-page): Janet Pilgrim (Miss July 1955)
First fold-out centerfold (three-page): Marian Stafford (Miss March 1956)
First foreign-born Playmate: Elsa Sorensen (Miss September 1956) was born in Denmark.
First Playmate born in the 1940s to appear: Elizabeth Ann Roberts (Miss January 1958) appeared at age 16 and remains the youngest Playmate ever featured.
First Playmate twosome (two in the same month): Pat Sheehan and Mara Corday (Misses October 1958)
First Playmate to fill out a Playmate Data Sheet (not included): Marianne Gaba (Miss September 1959)
First Playmate to become Playmate of the Year (1960): Ellen Stratton (Miss December 1959)
First Playmate to have died: Tonya Crews (Miss March 1961) died in an automobile accident on Aug 7, 1966.
First foreign-born PMOY: Christa Speck (Miss September 1961) was born August 1, 1942 in Danzig, Germany.
First Canadian Playmate in US Playboy: Pamela Anne Gordon (Miss March 1962)
First Asian-American Playmate: China Lee (Miss August 1964)
First Dutch Playmate in US Playboy: Astrid Schultz (Miss September 1964)
First African-American Playmate: Jennifer Jackson (Miss March 1965)
First Playmate to get breast implants: Sue Williams (Miss April 1965)
First Playmate to commit suicide: Sue Williams (Miss April 1965)
First Playmate born in the 1950s to appear: Cynthia Myers (Miss December 1968)
First twins to be Playmates: Mary Collinson and Madeleine Collinson (Misses October 1970)
First Playmate to show clearly visible pubic hair: Liv Lindeland (Miss January 1971)
First Playmate to pose for a full frontal nude centerfold: Marilyn Cole (Miss January 1972)
First Playmate to pose for a full frontal nude centerfold with clearly visible entire pubic hair: Bonnie Large (Miss March 1973)
First Playmate to be younger than Playboy: Monica Tidwell (Miss November 1973) was born in January 1954, when Playboy's second issue was on the newsstand.
First and only Playmate to have a double-sided, front-and-back centerfold: Nancy Cameron (Miss January 1974) was the 20th anniversary Playmate.
First Hispanic-American Playmate: Ester Cordet (Miss October 1974) was from Panama
First Playmate with signed centerfold: Jill De Vries (Miss October 1975)
First sisters to be Playmates in different months: Janice Pennington (Miss May 1971) and Ann Pennington (Miss March 1976)
First Playmate Data Sheet (included): Sondra Theodore (Miss July 1977)
First Playmate born in the 1960s to appear: Lee Ann Michelle (Miss February 1979)
First video Playmate (1982): Lonny Chin was also the magazine centerfold in the January 1983 issue.
First Playmate born in the 1970s to appear: Simone Eden (Miss February 1989)
First mother and daughter to be Playmates: Carol Eden (Miss December 1960) and her daughter Simone Eden (Miss February 1989)
First Playmate to become a LGBT spokesmodel and advocate in the LGBT community: Stephanie Adams (Miss November 1992)
First Playmate with visible tattoo on centerfold: Jennifer LeRoy (Miss February 1993)
First Playmate with visible navel piercing on centerfold: Gillian Bonner (Miss April 1996)
First Playmate of the Month to be a Penthouse Pet of the Month (October 2000) as well: Linn Thomas (Miss May 1997)
First triplets to be Playmates: Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn Dahm (Misses December 1998)
First Playmate born in the 1980s to appear: Kimberly Spicer (Miss June 1999)
First Playmate without pubic hair: Dalene Kurtis (Miss September 2001)
First Playboy Cyber Girl to become Playmate: Stephanie Heinrich (Miss October 2001) is the first Cyber Girl of the Week (September 2000), as well as the first Cyber Girl of the Month (January 2001).
First Playmate to have been Miss USA (1995): Shanna Moakler (Miss December 2001)
First Playmate born in the 1990s to appear: Katie Vernola (Miss June 2010)