A sheepish student moved up in the line and adjusted his baseball hat before presenting his copy of Playboy's October issue to Kelli M. Keller '97. She opened it to her picture, and with a fat felt-tipped pen scrawled. "To Wilson, with love," across the shiny page.
Keller, along with Amanda S. Proctor '97 and Kelly K. Johnson-Arbor '96, were all featured in Playboy's recent Ivy League spread. The three autographed more than 150 copies outside of Out-of-Town News between noon and 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Male students and workers, undeterred by the afternoon drizzle, waited for signatures, sometimes for more than fifteen minutes. At one point, the line extended past the edge of the newsstand.
First-years in line said they were surprised and excited to know that Harvard women had posed for Playboy.
"The girls who are in it are beautiful girls, and it's cool to say they're going to my school. I can pick them out when I'm walking around the campus and stuff," Aaron M. Davis '99 said. "Harvard is so much different than I thought it would be. It seems more interesting."
Davis said he did not think the magazine was exploitive. "Playboy is a classy porn magazine. Hustler is more of a dirty magazine," he said. "Playboy shows beauty in women's bodies."
Others waiting in line agreed.
"It's all in good fun," Jason C. Gelles '96 said. "Everyone has their own extracurricular activities."
Women onlookers, standing on the curb or around the fringes of the crowd, held different perspectives. Lillian C. Lew Hailer '99 said she was bemused--and saddened--at the irony of Playboy's Ivy League issue.
"I feel that [the models] should have the choice. At the same time, I think it's pathetic," Lew-Hailer said.
"The issue says that what's really important is how they look, not what they think," she added.
"I feel like they are capitalizing upon the Harvard name. It's their business, but I feel like they are kind of robbing the place of some of its reputation," said Irit Tau '97.
Nadia Boulos '96, who did not attend the autograph session but posed for the Ivy League issue fully clothed in a group shot, said yesterday that she had a different opinion.
"I think doing an Ivy issue is a great credit to the institution of Playboy," Boulos said.
"Personally, I felt that they were trying to show that even beautiful women can have some sort of intelligence," she added. "There were lots of quotes in the issue about what these people wanted to do. They mentioned your concentration. Basically, they said that these women were a force to be reckoned with."