When Raquel Pomplun, 26, was brainstorming ways to make more money for college, never in her wildest dreams did she think she’d end up breaking barriers in modeling. Yet that’s what happened when the San Diego native applied to Playboy. With encouragement from friends and family she tried out and gained the nod of approval from none other than Hugh Hefner himself. But Raquel became not just any Playmate; in 2013 she was named Playmate of the Year, making her the first Mexican-American and bilingual to attain the honor. Her life has been a whirlwind ever since. ‘LLERO caught up with Ms. Pomplun and discovered that this estrella’s assets go well beyond her looks.

‘LL: The last time we heard from you, you were making waves as Playboy’s first Latina playmate. What are you working on right now?
Raquel: I currently have a small role in Mark Wahlberg’s new movie called, The Gambler. I [also] have something else that I can’t officially announce yet that is television related. I also host Blackbelt TV’s “Rockin’ Rounds” and co-host of Playboy Radio’s “Mansion Mayhem” where we go behind-the–scenes of the Playboy mansion and all the parties. I still model here and there too.

‘LL: Speaking of Playboy…how did that all happen anyway?
Raquel: It was an accident. It came when I was working and going to school full time. I was studying biochemistry and needed another job. So my friend suggested I go back to modeling because I used to do it before. But I am only 5’6”, I can’t do runway modeling, and I was already older. So she was like, “No, you can do swimsuit modeling,” and she went on and on about it. Then finally at the end she asked, “Why not Playboy?” So I went home and told my husband the entire conversation and he was like, “why not?” I told him “I am super skinny, I have no boobs there is no way.” But he encouraged me to try out for it. So I filled out the form online and they called me. I went in and two months later they asked me to be a playmate.

Raquel Pomplun in black bra

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About The Author

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Navani Otero is a New York City based multi-media journalist. Her work has been published in The New York Post, Latina, XXL Magazine, In Touch Weekly, msnNOW and MTV News. The self-professed music junkie splits her free time helping out on The Heavy Hitters Radio Show on SiriusXM and mentoring aspiring teen writers. You can read her observations on life at www.navaniknows.com.

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