Strong, Intelligent, Ambitious

with Playboy Africa October 2022 cover star Riley Mae / @riley._mae

Photography by Arin Phillips / @arinpphoto

We’re happy to have you feature on Playboy! Can you give us a bit of a background on your career as a model and where it all started? I’ve always wanted to model but it took a long time to be seen, I’m so thankful for Anthony Watson, the owner of the Strip Codes for taking me under his wing and getting me some amazing opportunities this past year.

Having a full schedule must make it difficult for you to get much alone time, talk to us about the top 3 must-dos to ensure you fit in some well-deserved down time? Baths, baths, and more baths! There’s something about the hot water on my skin that just recharges me after a long day. I wish I could take one right now! 

What does it mean for you to be seen as a strong, intelligent, ambitious woman? As a role model for the young women in my life, there’s few things more important to me. I need them to know that they can be beautiful and empowered in anything they choose to do. 

What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about what you do? So many people see a beautiful model and think that she has no depth, or that it’s easy to look like this. I’m lucky and had two years of training in beauty to help me achieve my look. But I had to work hard every day, and I still work hard to achieve my dreams. 

What does freedom of self-expression mean to you? It’s the ability to be seen the way I want to be seen. I love the ability to find power within myself and to share that with the world.

We absolutely love your Instagram, your content is very dynamic, inspirational, and downright sexy, could you perhaps tell us what your personal experience as an influencer has been like? I guess I don’t see myself as an influencer. I post the things I enjoy, and I share the beautiful work of the creators I work with. I’m just happy that people enjoy my content. 

3 things that you can’t go a day without. My friends, the club, and a good glass of something bubbly! Preferably all together! 

What about those crazy DMs you must receive, care to share a few funny stories regarding those? Oh gosh… I think I’ve tried to block most of these out of my mind! My favorite has to be the poor man that was being downright creepy and kept asking to pick me up, so I sent him directions to the local asylum! 

Now we’re sure you experience a lot of male attention on and offline, any advice you would like to give to men out there who are hoping to catch your eye the right way? It’s really not hard. Just be kind and genuine and accept if it’s a no. Consent is so important for me and all women. Just respect our boundaries and be kind. 

What is the absolute worst thing a man can do to completely put you off? Please do not lick me! There’s just something about saliva that just turns me off. 

That said, what advice would you have to give to all women out there when it comes to love and relationships? Do what makes YOU happy, whether they like it or not. The right partner will love you for you. Always love yourself and find your happiness first. Everything else will fall into place. 

Thank you so much for sitting down with us and letting us get to know you! Any last words for our readers out there? Thank you so much for this opportunity, and for sharing in my art! Never give up on your dreams.