SAY IT AGAIN, SAM
miss september has a message: there's more to life than just being pretty
Attention, regular guys: Samantha Dorman, our Miss September, would rather hang out with you than with the jet setters she met in the modeling world. Especially if you're interested in saving the environment. It's not that she regrets her seven years of modeling: "It taught me what my values really are. Now I realize that I'd rather spend a year saving birds from an oil slick than posing for a camera. My taste in men has also changed. When I was younger, I admired flashy guys in expensive cars, but along the way, I found out that most men like that are jerks. Now I'd much rather be with an ordinary guy who has a good sense of humor." Sam, as she prefers to be called, was a 16-year-old student at Keswick Christian High School in her home town of St. Petersburg, Florida, when a rep from a Tampa modeling agency discovered her in the popcorn line at a local movie theater. Soon she was working regularly, modeling everything from skis to mink coats. "The mink assignment was in the summer, in very hot weather, so I didn't wear anything under the coat except a bra and panties. I felt kind of silly wearing a fur coat and underwear," she recalls. Having risen through the modeling ranks to the glitzy Wilhelmina Agency in New York (you've seen her in diet Coke and facial-scrub TV commercials), Sam had but one unfulfilled professional goal: posing for Playboy. So on a visit to Chicago to see her then boyfriend, a professional football player, she contacted Associate Photography Editor Michael Ann Sullivan. No fool she, Michael Ann immediately dispatched the 5'10" Sam to our photo studio to pose for the cover of our July issue, which features "The Height Report," a pictorial on tall women. Her dream fulfilled, Sam plans to enter college and major in marine biology -- with a minor in communications. Her interest in working with wildlife stems from her childhood: "As long as I can remember, my mother and my older sister have been rescuing and adopting lost and injured animals -- cats, dogs, whatever. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian." While waiting to enter school, Sam has been busy working for her father, a Christmas-tree farmer and restaurateur, at his new barbecue eatery in North Carolina. "It has the best barbecued-pork sandwich in the world," she claims. Just what we ordinary guys ordered.
Photography by Richard Fegley