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West Hartford Woman Is Playboy's First Connecticut Centerfold

Hall High School graduate Ashley Doris Wilson appears as 'Miss March' in the issue of Playboy being released Friday.

WEST HARTFORD, CT -- Ashley Doris Wilson, who now goes by the name Ashley Doris, didn't set out to be the first Connecticut woman to be featured as a centerfold model in Playboy. She didn't even plan to attend a casting call for the magazine at all.

The 23-year-old West Hartford native was in Las Vegas last summer, competing in a "Miss Hawaiian Tropic" bikini contest, when a friend convinced her to go to the Playboy casting being held at the same hotel. Doris was selected to pose for Playboy.com, and then was asked to attend a Playmate casting call.

"Heff [Hugh Hefner] himself had to point me out," Doris said Wednesday from San Diego, where she has spent most of her time since she finished up her centerfold shoot at the Playboy Mansion in December. Playboy gets as many as 15,000 applications a month for the opportunity to be a Playmate, Doris said. "The fact that they randomly chose me is crazy."

She didn't tell many people at first – not even her mom. On day 19 of 21 at the mansion, she said she texted her mother. "At first when I texted my mom she said, 'What? Playmate?' but then she said, 'OH WOW, CONGRATULATIONS!' all in caps in the text when she realized," Doris said.

Doris was surprised to learn that she was the first Playmate from Connecticut, since the magazine has been around since 1953. "I wasn't thinking about that until an interviewer told me I was the first. It was a huge surprise," she said.

Modeling was not part of Doris' career plan when she graduated from Hall High School in 2007. She was a dedicated dancer, a member of Hall's Jazz Dancers, and studied ballet and other forms of dance for 15 years with Miss Estelle Jones and the Hartt School in West Hartford.

"I graduated at 17, I was thinking about college and working," Doris said. She was attending Central Connecticut State University and working at Lane and Lenge Florists on Park Road in West Hartford when her first modeling opportunity arose.

"She came to work for me right after high school. She was a good worker, and always very pleasant to our patrons. I wanted to promote our wedding work, and asked her to pose for me as a bride in an ad," said Lane and Lenge owner Bob Dinucci.

The photos turned out beautifully, and he told Doris, "You really should be modeling."

Dinucci contacted his close friend Gerard Barrieau, whose daughter-in-law had been a top model and was working on growing her photography business. Cheyney Barrieau created a portfolio for Doris — free of charge — and made some introductions.

"She started to get quite a bit of work," Dinucci said.

Doris is not tall — only 5'5" — and she knew she couldn't make it as a New York model. She did a lot of work in the Boston area, while continuing to work at Lane and Lenge when she could.

Doris has appeared as a young mother in ads for Toys R Us and Coppertone. She has modeled for Adidas and Reebok. In an ad which will appear for CVS this spring she plays a pharmacist.

"It's kind of weird how it's all so varied. Pharmacy is very different from Playboy," Doris said, laughing.

Right now she isn't seeking any more commercial work and said she has a packed schedule of appearances for her role as Miss March. She's hosting the Miss Hawaiian Tropic World Finals in a few weeks — the contest she was trying out for when she attended the Playboy casting call.

"It's kind of cool how it came full circle," she said.

Doris said she is "absolutely, 100 percent glad" that she was chosen for Playboy, and said her friends are excited for her, too.

As for the part about posing nude, Doris said after a little while she wasn't uncomfortable. "On the set there were 15 people. They've all done this so many times, I had to pretend I'd done it many times, too. Within 10 minutes, I felt like I had." She said after years of modeling and posing to get the best angles, it's really all the same.

The theme for her centerfold spread was based on flowers — all peonies, roses, pinks and pastels. "They took the cue from my florist days," she said.

Doris' family is still in West Hartford, and she was back home for Christmas and New Year's, she said. She'll definitely be back this summer when she will appear as the first Playmate from Connecticut at the Summer Nationals vintage car show at the Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, CT.

Doris said she loved her work at Lane and Lenge and hopes to be able to help them out during their busy seasons if she is in town. "It gets crazy busy there. They'll be swamped right now for Valentine's Day. I was so used to doing a dozen red roses with a ribbon," she said.

Dinucci said, "She's more than welcome to come back, although the pay scale will be very different." He said Doris would have been a great help this week.

toni from w hart February 15, 2013 at 03:18 PM
since when is this something to be proud of? anyone??
Eveliss DeVaux February 15, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Toni what I like to say is "to each their own" I'm so tired of people judging others for their choices. We don't always have to agree with someone's choices but should respect that people are different. I would never pose for Playboy but refuse to judge people that do.
verneen paradise February 15, 2013 at 04:35 PM
embarrassing truly embarrassing used to be proud of my town proud to raise my children here definitely disappointing.
verneen paradise February 15, 2013 at 04:39 PM
she is a beautiful young woman it is wanting more for our beautiful daughters the world is harsh want the best for our children and create a world they can feel safe and proud of why perpetuate what could harm them.
justin February 15, 2013 at 05:14 PM
I thought it was going to be something different like they used a plus size model, a handicap model, or something else that would make it a first, So what makes this a first and her so special is that she's from Connecticut.....wow!!!
justin February 15, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Yes she is beautiful, but when I hear the word first I'm thinking something that sets her apart from any other centerfold like for example a plus size model, a handicap model, something away from what you usually see in playboy. This is no different nothing sets her apart from any other model that has been in the centerfold except that she's from Connecticut who ever wrote this article should of chose a different headline/ title for it.
Zack February 15, 2013 at 06:19 PM
It must be great to make thousands of dollars without actually working. Unfortunately, that will never happen to the majority of us. It's great for her, but does anyone actually buy Playboy anymore? You know with this whole internet and free porn thing going on? Just wondering.
Dickie Doodles February 15, 2013 at 06:29 PM
And since when is it something to be ashamed of? And I want self righteous toni to answer this one.
verneen paradise February 15, 2013 at 10:06 PM
I would love to see true stories of conviction and hard work. I know of a young woman who took 2 buses at 6 in the morning to go to a catholic middle school on a scholarship. She is someone to write a story about West Hartford Patch. People with hard work ethics, morals and an inner passion to be a true gift to society. Someone we can hold as an example to live up to. I am no longer subscribing to west hartford patch if this is the town news deemed worthy of writing about. I allowed my children to look at the West hartford patch and see news we could discuss and scenes familiar to them but this is not what I will share with them. I don't believe that freedom of choice or speech meant that we lost our moral compass and that we have to live in a society driven solely by money and taking the easy road. Success true success comes from looking back on the road you have taken and being able to share your experiences as difficult as they may have been which will benefit others for generations to come. The young lady who got up before the sun and worked hard and went home much later on 2 buses is who is worthy of a story. She is the embodiment of the America I love.
Tom Reed February 15, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Yawn.IMO, it's a non-story.
Gerson Goldstein February 15, 2013 at 10:49 PM
She has everything to be proud of. You may not get it but I can tell you in life there are many things to be proud of and being a beautiful and personable woman who millions of men (and women) are drawn to is certainly an exciting one in a lifetime event for this girl. Some people may be proud of their intellectual achievements, others their beauty, perhaps they can swallow a sword. They are all achievements. Granted there will be angry feminist women out there, perhaps women that find themselves unattractive and jealous who choose to label this sexism because they have nothing better to do. Hate to break it to you but women have been looked at for their beauty and sex appeal since day one. Understanding the GENETIC reasons for this might just help you to understand in part what being sexy is something to be proud of not hated. Congratulations to her and her family. Playboy is a great magazine.
janeyre February 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM
She is lovely. Nothing to be proud about, though.
verneen paradise February 16, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Sword swallowing requires hours of practice, musical instruments require hours of practice, talented athlete hours of practice, being a scholar hours of studying Getting naked can we call this a talent
Ronni Newton February 16, 2013 at 03:27 AM
West Hartford res. - We have all kinds of stories on this site. Today I also profiled a young woman, who also graduated from Hall High School at just about the same time as Ashley Doris, who has just released her first album. We had a video about the Citizens Against Gun Violence rally yesterday which many residents participated in, and along with our Farmington editor I wrote a story about the potential impact of changes to car taxes. One of the most read stories recently was about Hall students who donated their hair in honor of a staff member who has pancreatic cancer. All of these stories are news about people, events, or situations which are about and/or impact West Hartford. It is up to West Hartford Patch readers to decide what is of interest, and what to read. I hope you will continue to read what interests you. And, if you can provide the information about the young lady who took two buses to go to school on a scholarship (and if there is some connection to West Hartford), that's a story I would love to write!
Allan Gedan February 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM
shes hot...
verneen paradise February 16, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Thank you Ronnie for your reply. The fact that you care about your readers is refreshing and gives me hope. The young lady graduated from middle school and was a Hartford resident who took these buses to attend a West Hartford middle school. I will try to contact other parents to see if they new the young girls full name. My daughter was 2 years behind in school but I will definitely follow up. I will always remember her for her wonderful smile and determination and she is an example to live up to in our household. This story was upsetting as having personal experience with sexual abuse it is not something a young woman easily overcomes. I want all young woman to be valued for who they are and to value themselves for beauty is fleeting. Thank you again for response I truly appreciate it.
West Hartford tax payer February 16, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Good for her, the real bad news is that now all her old teachers can see her naked
toni from w hart February 17, 2013 at 08:07 PM
tell this young lady to put her damn clothes back on, grow up & quit acting like a woman no worthy man would respect. period. next you'll want a pose of her next to a strippers pole. it may be 'acceptable' in some circles of liberal thought, but when this gal is 55, i wonder if she'd change her mind or think as 'freely' as some who think this is complimentary to showcase.

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