Part of a new era in Cooper’s Playboy, Vendela is the first female to go where no Playmate has gone before, by fearlessly setting a graceful, bad ass precedent of Bald is Beautiful as Playboy’s Miss January 2019 Playmate.

Originally from Sweden, Vendela is now a popular model living in Los Angeles who works closely with the Trina’s Kids Foundation. She enjoys speaking with other models about the modeling industry and how its possible to still make it whether you are short, not skinny or even have a shaved head like her. She has battled substance abuse (drinking) over the years and wants others to learn from her mistakes (now fully sober) and her experience in the past with domestic violence.

We are honored and excited to bring our readers an exclusive special interview with Vendela staying in the tradition of “Playboy firsts” by Ashley Salazar the first ever Playboy Miss Social of the Year.

You’ve been on quite a journey with Playboy as Miss January this year, how has it been?
It’s been great! I’m so happy to be a part of the Playboy family.

What did it mean to you to become the first shaved head Playmate?
I want to show people that hair doesn’t define beauty and that you can be feminine and sexy without hair. Being the first girl with a shaved head in Playboy has been a great experience so far and I’ve received so much positive feedback! I hope that being the first girl with a shaved head will be an eye opener to many girls out there. It’s such a liberating feeling when you get over the obsession of your hair. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shave it all off, but just knowing that you’re so much more than your hair is a great feeling.

Are you happy to see the nudity back in Playboy? (For many, posing nude is very a empowering personal experience)
Of course, although I loved the pictorials in the non-nude magazines too.

Your boxing pictorial was photographed by the legendary Josh Ryan, how was it shooting with Josh and are you a MMA or boxing fan? If so who are some of your favorite fighters/boxers?
He’s an amazing photographer and I had such a great time on set with him and the rest of the team. He made me feel super comfortable and I think that’s one of the most important things as a photographer.

You’ve been very open about your past relationships, which takes a lot of courage. Both men and women seem to stay in relationships that are destructive and damaging to them, as individuals can find ourselves scared to leave such relationships, what advice and words of encouragement do you have for those who still may find themselves there? (It can be scary)
Just know that you’re not alone. So many people are going through the exact same thing you’re going through. Nobody will judge you, so please open up to a family member or a close friend. You might not believe this but so many people will have your back and support you, more than you could ever imagine. And you WILL survive without your abusive partner and you’re worth so much more. Just keep fighting and don’t give up on yourself.

Photos courtesy Zack Teperman of ZTPR | Vendela 

What was the best advice a manager or mentor has given you in your life so far?
Stop being so scared, what’s the worst thing that could to happen?! You can’t be successful until you stop being scared of failure.

When was time you felt completely discouraged and how did you push through it?
The other day, and honestly, I didn’t push through. I gave up that day on that specific task. We all have those days sometimes. Next time I’ll push even harder.

You are currently the female face for Battlefield 1 – in the name of the Tsar, what has that experience been like for you?
It’s been a great experience and it’s still one of my favorite shoots ever.

Would you like to do more modeling gigs in the video game world?
I’ve never been into video games but it would definitely be fun to do more video game characters!

What’s in store for your future goals and aspirations in life?
I don’t like speaking about my goals, I prefer to work towards them in peace.

In the impressionable age of social media what do you want your followers to get out of following you? Both men and women?
I want to inspire people to always be themselves. I try to be as honest and transparent as I can because I want people to feel like they can relate to me. I’m just like you. I have bad days, I have good days, I’m insecure, I doubt myself. We all have flaws. People tend to hide them on social media and pretend everything is so perfect all the time. I don’t want to do that.