Meet the Most Eligible Bachelorette, Playboy Playmate of the Year and certified sound healer making the world a better place. Introducing SUNSHINE SHEN…
Congratulations on your MAXIM cover, Sunshine. How does it feel?
I’m totally floored with excitement! Being on the cover of MAXIM Australia has always been a dream of mine and one I never thought was possible – especially growing up in a small town and having such limited resources. I’m truly so honoured and humbled by this mind-blowing opportunity!
Tell us a bit about yourself and give us a brief background of your life story so far.
I was born in a small industrial city town on the Northern border of China and Russia. My Father is Chinese and my Mother is from Kazakhstan, so being “different” growing up has always been the daily norm. I grew up under the influence of my Chinese cultural background but my Eurasian features have never made me popular amongst the people around me. At the age of seven my parents and I immigrated from China to America and took up roots in a small town in Florida where I attended the local University. As soon as I could breakaway from the expectations of my parents, I pursued my dream of becoming a Playboy Playmate and it embarked me on a long journey to the west coast where I eventually became one of Hugh Hefner’s painted ladies and worked closely around him and his family for the last few years of his life. Shortly after, I achieved my goal of finally earning the title of Playmate and even the 2020 Playmate of the Year! At times, I still can’t wrap my head around my accomplishments, so far, as a small-town immigrant living in the centre of Beverly Hills, who is also making breakthroughs in the fashion industry!
Why do you think you were named Playboy Playmate of the Year over the other women?
All women are beautiful to me no matter what colour, shape or size. I think with a stroke of good luck and great team by my side we were able to create content that’s both sexy and original.
What’s one thing you’ll always remember about Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner?
His good sense of humour and his appreciation for betting small amounts of money – for fun – over a good game of backgammon is quite unforgettable. I loved every single moment I worked at the Mansion, making new incredible friends at several of the world famous Playboy parties. My most unforgettable visit at the Mansion would have to my first family Sunday Funday which was also the first time I’ve ever met Hef.
What did you love most about being one of the lucky women to be appointed as Hef’s Painted Ladies?
There’s definitely more to the job than being pretty – we were direct representatives of Hef himself at these Playboy parties and events, so we had the daunting task of always being at our best both physically and socially amongst some of the biggest celebrities and most beautiful models in the world – all day and night! But, I have to admit, being one of Hef’s Painted Ladies will forever be the coolest job I’ll ever have in my life and I’ll never take the rare opportunity I was given for granted.
Speaking of jobs, you are also a certified sound healer. How did this come about?
I became a certified sound healer about two years ago when I was inspired after a very close friend brought me to my first sound healing session. I was completely mind blown when I found out all the health benefits sound healing brings to its participants. From insomnia to even the possibility of recess cancerous cells by constantly regulating the body’s vibration with 432HZ frequencies – it has become one of the most notably forms of metaphysical healing. Being an adventurous Gemini I couldn’t help but find out all the ins and outs of this amazing healing therapy for myself.
Is working on your spirituality your main focus these days?
Yes it is – my spirituality is who I am and I hope to finish up the fictional series I’m currently working on in order to spread the importance of universal love and unity in a surprisingly risqué manner.
Tell us about this amazing photo shoot for MAXIM.
Thanks to my amazing production team we were able to pull off this special summer-themed cover shoot on a yacht located in the ultra-posh city of Newport Beach, California. Overall, my absolute favourite part about this photo shoot is of course the setting and location as this is my first time ever shooting on a yacht! It was not as simple as it sounds considering some environmental factors that we couldn’t control, however with such a strong team as mine we’re always ready for ANYTHING!
Well, you look gorgeous. What’s your best asset?
I definitely think my best physical asset is my small body frame and proportions that allows me to appear much taller in photos, despite me being only 158cm. Having a 21-inch waist doesn’t hurt either, but life isn’t just about what’s on the outside. To me, my most precious trait would have to be being able to find balance between being confident while remaining down-to-earth.
You have almost half a million Instagram followers. What’s the weirdest thing someone has sent you via your social media?
I have many people always sending me their bank account information and coming up with elaborate stories about why and what they need the money for. Although I never respond to my DMs I find them extremely entertaining to read out aloud to my friends.
What message do you have for social media trolls you’ve had to endure?
Projection and envy are deadly substances that you probably shouldn’t poison yourself with on a daily bases. Very rarely do influencers with large platforms respond emotionally the way you would hope for them to. At the end of the day, time is the most precious commodity and you’re just wasting yours by spreading your own insecurities on the Internet.
What have you learnt about men over the years?
I’ve come to realise that men are actually adult-sized babies who need as much gentle love and attention as women!
What does a man have to do to try and win you over?
I love tall men with effortless alpha personalities! No lies, no need for exaggeration or the need of impressing me or anyone else. However, he must be a natural gentleman and understand how to spoil and constantly show his affections through the means of great generosity.
Have you ever been to Australia?
I have some extended family members on my father’s side who immigrated to Sydney, but I have not been since I was a very young and don’t remember much of it. However, I do have many beautiful model friends from Australia and they tricked me with the stories of the deadly “drop bears” and convinced me it was a real animal – I later found out it’s just a name for koala bears that the locals would use traditionally to scare the tourists!
Finally, do you have any big plans for the rest of 2020 once this coronavirus pandemic is sorted?
I’m not too optimistic that this whole thing would blow past us before 2020 is over, so unfortunately my plans for the rest of this year are cancelled. I hope that 2021 will come around soon and we can all have a fresh start. ■
NAME: Sunshine Shen
BORN: June 5, 1991
HOMETOWN: Harbin, China
LIVES: Beverly Hills, California USA
FIVE-WORD SELF-DESCRIPTION: “I am conscientious, honest, ambitious, motivated and imaginative.”
BIGGEST PHOBIA: “Spiders.”
GO-TO DRINK: “Kiwi star fruit refresher from Starbucks.”
HIDDEN TALENT: “I’m a five-star gourmet chef!”
LIFE MOTTO: “Work for the finer things in life!”
Photographed By ARTHUR ST JOHN (IG: @ARTHURSTJOHN) Interview by SANTI PINTADO
Fashion designer & stylist: PAOLA ESTEFANIA (IG: @PAOESTEFANIAOFFICIAL)
Hair & make-up: SOREYA YANN (IG: @BEAUTYHAUSLA)
Hair & Make-Up Assistant: Nicole Oheb (Ig: @Styledby_nicci)
Hair Extensions: Pretty Party’s Ruby Pony Tail (Ig: @Prettypartybty)
Videographer: Wells Phinny
Set Manager: Reese Darlington (Ig: @Thedjreese)
Make-Up Products: Uvé Beauty (Ig: @Uvebeauty)
Production & PR: Emily Blair Media (Ig: @Emilyblairmedia)
Location: H2o Hotel (Ig: @H2otel_newport)