Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2009 Playmate of the Year

After an overall weak year of competitors for Playmate of the Year and a tougher, deeper class for Cyber Girl of the Year, we've gotten our answers for both, and they've been surprising in the oddest ways. With a deep class of CGOY candidates, we were left with an oddball choice that befuddled fans in Sharae Spears, and one which will go down as one of the bigger upsets in Playboy's history. The PMOY choice for 2009, however, is one that is a pleasant surprise that might just be one of the best ever.

The choice of Ida Ljungqvist for Playmate of the Year was leaked quite a while ago with Playboy-sponsored hints and rumors, but it's been recently announced in the Cyber Club, making it official to the Playboy world. It's being lauded as a fantastic choice by fans all over, and for very good reason. Ida is a fascinating choice for PMOY, and one that few expected, considering the powerful following behind Juliette Frette. People were sure Juliette would be a shoo-in. And even if it wasn't her, Laura Croft or Kelly Carrington looked like surefire contenders to take the crown.

Why did people doubt Ida's chances? Why should they have? In a year where diversity has been celebrated in the USA and around the world? In an era where things are turning around and "exotic" is the word in terms of modeling? Surely, a Swedish/African living in America would be the ideal choice for our times, but somehow we all didn't see it coming. Maybe we weren't ready before, but Ida has brought real change to the way we see Playmates.

Gone are the busty blonde bombshells with cookie-cutter looks and blank stares. Gone is the pasty white skin and ruby lipstick. Ida Ljungqvist may go down as one of the most important Playmates of the Year ever, but not just for her ethnicity or her position, but for her incredible performances and outstanding beauty.

Ida, in every way, is a well-deserving model, and incredibly qualified for the PMOY crown. Her Playmate of the Year pictorial is simple, well-produced, and memorable, while being well in keeping with her identity and photogenic style. It showcases her otherworldly, ethereal body complete with every voluptuous curve and glistening muscle. Simple shots, like this one, give a great view of Ida's well-toned but substantial body, as well as that sexy dark hue that makes her one of the best black Playmates in history. Ida, once again, is a dream to behold, taking every single angle and working her body all the way to the end.

I must say bravo for a wonderful PMOY pictorial, because they so often fall short of expectations. In the shower, Ida continues her incredible performance, taking on complete nudity in the water, in a state where she just glows. Photographer Stephen Wayda knows what to focus on, too, as Ida's strength lies in her hips, and the pictorial knows where to take its direction. As it draws to a close, it takes a lighter, brighter feel which is less agressive with Ida's body, with Ida on white sheets in a classic theme that never fails to disappoint.

All in all, a very excellent performance from a girl who can go down as one of the great PMOY's of all-time. Ida is a girl with layers and layers of depth, who can transform photos with her engaging smile and unique face, and who is a welcome addition to the history of Playboy's Playmates. Thanks to Playboy for not taking the shortcut here and the easy way out, but taking up the challenge instead of making such a powerfully sexual subject and making her even better through immortalization.

Consensus... A

Ida Ljungqvist
Playmate of the Year 2009

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