If you met 44-year-old Chicago librarian Peggy Wilkins, you might not guess that she is an avid Playboy reader, let alone the magazine’s biggest fan. Her love affair with Playboy began when she was 13 and stole an issue of the magazine featuring Nancy Drew actress, Pamela Sue Martin, on the cover. Today she has an entire one-bedroom apartment dedicated to housing her massive Playboy collection—she lives downstairswith her BF. In addition to being a reader and collector, she manages databases of others like her, communicates with the Hef himself, and has made it her mission to keep the magazine moving in a positive direction. In 2002, Peggy started the 50th Anniversary Playboy Roundtable, a group whose mission was to “bring together dedicated Playboy readers and contributors to discuss in detail Playboy’s past, present, and future, using the past and present as a springboard to the future.” The agenda included covers (no longer as artistic), Playmates (how they were being displaced in favor of celebrities), the decline of the word count and quality of the articles, and most recently, the use of digital photography for centerfold photos. “It may have been a coincidence,” Wilkins said, “but within two weeks of me sending the report, [Hef] replaced the editorial director.”
But through the ups and downs, she has vowed to remain a loyal reader as long a Hef is steering the Playboy ship. She calls him “one of the nicest, most generous people I’ve ever met … a great human being, basically.” So why does she love the mag so much? “It’s not a detached model—there’s a connection with the viewer, a sense of fun. What’s degrading about [nudity], especially when it’s presented artfully, beautifully?” Wilkins said.
Now that’s a serious fan. [Chicago Reader]