miss february has great gatefold genes
The more things change in the Eden clan, the more they stay pretty much the same -- as pretty as American beauty gets. Almost 29 years ago, America's girl next door was Miss December 1960, Carol Eden. To find this month's exemplar of that famous girl-next-door look, we didn't even have to go next door. We stayed home. Daughter Simone Eden, you see, grew up. This month, we proudly present the first second-generation Playmate ever. "I couldn't be more proud," says Carol.
"I couldn't be more excited," says Simone. "I've wanted to follow in my mom's footsteps since I first saw her picture in the magazine, when I was ten. Now, at last, it has happened." Born Simone Howe, Miss February switches surnames this month. Henceforth, she'll be Simone Eden, in honor of her mother. Not that mom and daughter agreed on everything. "As a kid, I could be a little wild," she says. "Mom was always working -- she was a model, then a nurse -- and I rebelled. I grew up fast, mostly on my own. I always told her I was going to be a Playmate, like she was. She didn't quite believe me. Now that I am a Playmate, we're closer than ever."
Simone's mother, now a licensed vocational nurse who cares for the elderly in San Clemente, California, agrees. "It has brought back a lot of memories," she says of sharing a history-making moment with her daughter. "I remember some of the fan mail I got when I was a Playmate, and the thrill of being recognized on the street. I'm sure Simone will enjoy that. And I think she'll be a wonderful representative of Playboy. She's sweet and kind and so enthusiastic. Simone is a natural."
All-natural California girl Simone Eden surfs, skis and works out to uphold her spectacular figure -- and the family name. "I love looking good," she says. "I'm shy by nature, but sometimes I don't mind showing off." When the subject is men, she is not at all shy. "I don't like machismo, but I don't like guys who need instructions, either. I like daring men."
In olden days -- when Simone's mom appeared on our centerfold -- a glimpse of breast was looked on by some as cause for arrest. Things change. "Mom and I -- we're the first mother-daughter Playmates ever, and that's special." The Edens prove that while some things change, other things -- like the beauty of the girl next door -- are American perennials.
Photography by Richard Fegley