|Jaslyn, Miss April|
Girl after girl has been under attack for either being too out of place (Karina) or very poorly shot. First was the infamous turn of Shawn Dillon, whom I was vastly disappointed with due to newcomer Tony Kelly and his ugly, unplanned, and unacceptable showing.
Then came last month's beauty, Ashley Doris, who was hammered for her pictorial by fans everywhere. Another relative newbie, Sasha Eisenmann, was heavily panned for this photo set (which I sort of enjoyed, given my A- rating on it). Everything from the setting to the costuming to the washed out lighting scheme was under fire, and Playboy wisely hit back with an improved "xtra" pictorial by Eisenmann.
Would Playboy stick by their new army of photographers, or bend to the fans' wishes to bring back the vets, who've done the job for years? For the answer, just take a look at Miss April's pictorial. Stephen Wayda reprises the central role, putting together a very respectable pictorial for Jaslyn Ome.
|Jaslyn's good side|
To me, Jaslyn's appearance as Playmate of the Month begins and ends with her charm and style, and her ability to show it off. While Jaslyn has a tendency to come off as a bit stiff and lost in a few of her photos, she has a great natural feel that sets her apart. While other girls might have had some trouble breaking through some missteps here and there, Jaslyn is just too damn cute to fail. She builds legions of fans by just flashing her accessible smile or squaring her silky thin shoulders.
Given Jaslyn's classic, solid pictorial performance and keen sense of space in front of the camera, the thing that obviously can be her Achilles' heel is her body. Although it's been proven that a thin, small-breasted body type like Miss Ome's does work in countless cases, it's still an impediment in the end. Large breasts are simply better and more photogenic, and this is a nude magazine after all. At times, Jaslyn can look somewhat awkwardly thin, and almost downright stick-figurish. Although her size and legs are a redeeming quality, and that butt can look positively drool worthy, it's the one thing that truly holds her back.
- Face: A-
Jaslyn's physical focal point is the source of her charisma and energy, and melds together with a great pictorial. She has a toothy, fresh grin and a messy tuft of hair that looks sexual and intense all the time. Although her skinniness makes her face a little too angular and accentuates the squareness of her jaw a bit excessively, she's hard to forget.
- Body: B
Jaslyn is too thin, and frankly could use an extra five pounds to balance her out. In some photos, she looks strangely square and angular, due to the balance being thrown off in photos where her butt isn't properly featured... as it should be, since it's by far her best trait. Her cute, round butt cheeks feature favorably for a model whose genitals are rarely seen.
- Talent: A-
While not as sexually overt in her posing as Ashley, her predecessor, Jaslyn is a solid talent. Her sinewy frame is wonderfully contorted left and right, and her overall persona is really the kicker. Although she hits some strange points where she seems a bit unsure about where to make her next move, and the "fashion model" stiffness is always pervasive throughout, she never fades and delivers a good performance under great instruction.
- Pictorial: A
After the rage and protest with seeing amateurish photography and editing work by Playboy staff for the last two months, bringing expert Stephen Wayda back could really correct the course, right? Absolutely. With a wonderful pictorial set, and a virtuoso use of an imperfect subject, we have something special here. Lots of juicy, sexual, active posing, piled thick with some nice costuming and color tones. This is refreshing, and simply the best pictorial since Shelby Chesnes, albeit a complete absence of genital shots.
- Centerfold: B+
Jaslyn's centerfold doesn't really hit hard on all cylinders, or any for that matter. With some really great positions and angles in her pictorial set, this strange sitting shot doesn't capture the length and balance that Jaslyn has the potential to exhibit.
- Overall: A-
Jaslyn is a model that I see as underscoring the upward trend we're seeing in Playboy since the last month. While both Ashley and Miss Ome haven't been the perfect examples of what we need to see from our Playmates, they're a start. She's a model that's generating tons of buzz, and certainly should be towards the top of many fans' pick lists for PMOY in 2014.
It's important to keep in mind that every time we see Playboy take a step forward like this, they seem to take two steps back almost immediately. With Jaslyn, they showed that we're not quite ready to move forward from our beloved Playboy legends - the Stephen Waydas or Arny Freytags of the world. These are the guys who've given us the great moments, and with Jaslyn they show that the photographer can take a middling Playmate and make her a powerhouse. Let's hope the newbies learn from the best, and fast.