Sharing her Passion

with Playboy Africa November 2022 cover star Felicia Burghardt / @Miss_Felicia_xoxo

Photography by Ollie Vento / @ollyvento

MUA Juliana / @mymakeupmiami

PR: LA Media Group / @la.mediagroup

Hair Designer Artist: Tiffany Adolphi

Such an absolute honour to have you on Playboy! Talk to us about your career and what made you get into the industry?  Well thank you! It is an absolute honor to be featuring in your magazine! This is just the ultimate dream come true!   As a little girl I idolized the cover girls, the “it girls” of the late 90s-early 2000’s. My mom and I would work out to Cindy Crawford ‘s exercise videos. Tyra Banks from top model, Hedi Klum, Gisele Budchen. I was so inspired by them. Dazzling, Classy, charming, Elegant they were everything I envisioned grown-up version of me would be.  Now when it comes to playboy, I shouldn’t be telling the world this… hahaha. I’ve only told a few people. (Sorry family). But as a young girl, my best friend at the time, Andrea and I were, going to guess playing Barbie’s or something. Out of the house ran….we’ll just call him “Johnny” (I’m still not going to be snitch after all these years). “Johnny” was so excited to show us what he just found in our uncle’s stash! Running out with a handful of magazines, we curiously met up with him behind a tree to see what he had. We each grabbed one. Flipping through the pages.. these girls too were Just so alluring! But not just that… as these gorgeous models posing in their lingerie, underwear, or whatever they were wearing… something Grabbed my attention. What stuck with me, was the Notion that these beautiful women we’re just so “comfortable in their own skin”. They were just free to “be themselves” running around nearly naked and weren’t embarrassed or shy. Just living freely in the body god gave them. And looking so beautiful and carefree while expressing themselves. I think aside from the obvious sexy side of playboy, (That was something I couldn’t comprehend back then) It really was and still is a type of female empowerment. I think that is, at least for me, the bigger picture when it comes to playboy. There are so many “nude Women magazines” what you could call “pornographic magazines” playboy isn’t that. It’s a whole different league. Playboy captures the essence of these models in a classy and unique way. They even take the time to get to know the girls personally. I could have never guessed in my life I’d be this fortunate to be part of something so great.  So as the years went by, young teenager Felicia used to get teased quite a bit for my body type. In 5th-6th grade I was just a little string bean. Tall and skinny. My pants were either falling off me or floods. and for the first time in my life .. but them. I hit a growth spurt! I was taller than most of the kids in my class. My prayers were answered! I was so confident that I was going to just keep getting taller from there and become a supermodel one day. (Keep in mind here I was only 5 foot two) But to little me, my dreams were coming true.  I joined a company at the time called Mannequin. I did runway, and it was the most incredible experience. But then to my surprise, I didn’t continue to grow. As I knew it back then, models had to be 6 foot tall.. My little 5’2 model dreams were over.  Here and there throughout my life a photographer, or aspiring designer would spot me. I was hired to do small jobs modelling for them. But in my heart, I never considered myself a real model. I just figured I caught a few lucky breaks here and there and made some decent money doing a fun side job. Then one night, Well I was waitressing at a bar, I met this wild crazy fun girl, while she was dancing on top of a van in the parking lot. Her name is Jennifer Stevenson. Definitely one of a kind. I went to breakfast a after work with her and some friends. There she told me she owned a modeling company and she hosts group shoots all the time. She said I should come to her next event, but Unfortunately, I had to work. We became friends and she would always beg me to come. Inside, I just lacked the confidence.. who would hire me? I’d obviously stand out and be much shorter than everyone else? but one day something just clicked inside and I thought why not?  Why am I holding myself back like this? If you’re doing some thing that you love to do anyways, what could be the worst thing to happen? A fun photo session with some friends? Why was I limiting myself because of such a silly thing? If I could tell myself what I know now I would have quit doubting myself a long time ago!  The world of modeling really has changed for the better. There is so much more body positivity in the industry now. After doing my first group shoot the paid bookings just started rolling in. I couldn’t believe it! Things took off faster than I could have ever imagined.  Throughout my time I’ve taken a little time off here and there to do the mom thing. But it is something I’ve just always been naturally drawn to and just pulls me right back in. I’m actually almost crying happy tears right now doing this interview. I just thank God every day, life really can be amazing when you push past those self-doubts. It just makes me think, I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

What is your favourite thing to do? This is a good question because there’s so much that I like to do. I love being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. In Michigan, where I live there are four seasons and everything changes. We’re kinda lucky here. we have the best of all the climates. Summer is the best of course! My favorite days are the 90–100-degree days. When you just spend all day swimming, laying out, or partying, at the beach. Maybe even hit up the water park. And then you have that beautiful crisp sun kissed tan skin. Slip on a sundress and finish up the night with some tacos and margaritas.. that to me is just a perfect day.  Next, comes fall. If you’ve never seen a Michigan fall you should. Breath taking! Just like in the movies, all the leaves change colors. Everywhere you look it’s like a painting of red orange and yellow. Fall is great for camping, all the best festivals start to pop up, and of course, bonfires.  Winter can be beautiful.. at first. Me personally, I like to save all of my planned indoor activities for winter. but when I do go out the best thing to do is to go sledding and then warm up to the fireplace with a nice cup of hot cocoa. And then in the spring everything is fresh and new again. Trees start budding. Theres flowers everywhere! I love planting flowers and gardens and watching things grow. 

What does it mean for you to be seen as a strong, intelligent, ambitious woman? As far as how others see me..   I’m a strong believer that people are going to view in the light they want to see you. Therefore, I only care to some degree what others think of me. You can always put your best foot forward but it’s up to you to choose what they want to see.  You have to be confident enough to know who you really are. I think I know myself as a person.  The ones that get me, get me. To be authentic.  Unafraid to be yourself in a world full of people who are just all trying to “fit in”. Let go of that and be you that’s the real key.  You have to take the time alone sometimes and meditate. While I’m trying to keep this interview pretty positive, I want to go onto too many details here, but in my life, I have overcome SO obstacles. So many things. Situations were meant to tear me down. And instead, they made me so much stronger. I truly do consider myself a strong independent woman. And the thing I can look back on and smile about it’s just the knowledge I have now. When I see girls going through a lot of the same struggles I went through or encountering the same situations. The fact that I can help them, and I can be an example to them that it really does get a whole lot better.  

What would you say makes you stand out in the industry? That’s an interesting question, I’ll always remember this quote: (I feel terrible but I cannot remember the author) it’s on a sticky note on my mirror “If you’re going to set high goals for yourself, you have to consider the lifestyle it’s going to take to achieve those goals. You can’t commit to the destination if you’re not committed to the process required to get you there”.   We are all pretty unique if you think about it.  Wouldn’t you say? There are millions of “beautiful faces” in this industry. That being said, if you don’t have anything but a pretty face and a nice body to offer you wouldn’t get very far. If I had to pinpoint something that sets me apart, I’d possibly start with my strong work ethic. I really do pour my heart and soul and will go the extra mile for the things That I am passionate about. I put every bit of me into making the final result amazing. But at the same time that’s kind of what passion is. If I didn’t love what I do, if I were strictly for a paycheck, if I felt felt Blehh just indifferent. If I were to just come to work, posing a few outfits, like it’s a school picture or something and go home. The results you would be the same thing you can see on a mannequin. What would be the point?  These days you can just photoshop an outfit on a stock image of a model for free. What would be the difference? You wouldn’t see that spark inside of the model behind the art. The difference between just standing there smiling in front of the camera and putting your soul into it. Bringing to life the photographer’s vision. As a model you take on that connection to the artist’s vision and bring that vision to life. I’ve crossed paths with some amazing people help who have helped me to learn this. Also having the ability to see myself objectively helps a lot. At the same time this is important. You have to be extremely self-aware in this field. You can’t improve on anything if you just always see yourself as perfect and you’re not willing to do the work and learn. Things are always changing. Staying on top of things is also so important.  I couldn’t even sleep the night before this playboy shoot because I was just so excited!  The adrenaline in my body it wouldn’t let me. I’m so enthusiastic about each upcoming project, so I always try to add my little artistic flair or a bit of my personality into whatever I can. Sometimes that little extra effort that little bit of creativity. … that’s the boost that makes the “vision come to life. When you can collaborate with your team to just make some amazing art together! 

What puts the biggest smile on your face?  Besides being featured in Playboy you mean? Wow, just can’t stop smiling here lately. I have so much to be thankful for and my friends and family in my life are pretty funny they’re always making me laugh. I love to laugh. God has been amazing to me. My life is filled with great people. I could hardly ask for more. When I feel like most of my dreams have come true. And just sharing that positivity sometimes when you can just turn someone’s day around.. I like that. Making other people smile too. 

What are some of your biggest passions? There are so many things that I’m interested in and involved in, I could just go on and on all day with this one. My first love would be art, photography and just anything creative. Having the ability to utilize my creativity it just lights a fire in my soul! I also love to cook. I guess you could call cooking my love language.  I love cooking for everyone. As for myself and my family I mostly like to make healthy meals. lately I’ve been really liking the challenge of making any type of recipe keto friendly. I could probably make just about anything if I put my mind to it. And if I can’t, I will sit there all day until I get it just perfect. Of course, my kids’ friends and family don’t always want to eat my keto stuff, so I also make just about anything sugary and sweet for them too. Another huge passion I have had lately, is Reiki healing. It’s something I felt very drawn to for a while but with the only classes I knew of being all the way in California I thought it was going to have to be something I would wait till later in life to do. but then this summer A woman who just moved from Colorado who has been a Reiki master longer than I’ve been alive, Opened up a school in Lapeer. She’s an angel. I worked with her winter through summer and got certified. The benefits are truly miraculous! If you don’t know, what reiki healing is you should definitely research it. I have had it done on me and it’s just so powerful!  The thing that really drew me in and made me want to learn more about this as my teacher, Barb Patrucha, showed me this video. it was a college study on the effects of Reiki. A Reiki master taught the students and they all literally shrunk a tumor! They documented the entire thing! You can literally see the tumor shrinking! This led me to just want to learn more and more about these types of things. And I am now a naturopathic student. The things I have learned so far are just so fascinating! When I’m not doing anything else I am taking online classes and reading. I love being able to help people and I find this so fascinating!  I have even started working with a naturopathic healer. She is also one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. She’s just so full of knowledge and she’s taught me so much and even such a short time that I’ve been working there. I’m very inspired and so lucky. 

3 ultimate deal breakers when it comes to men? My ultimate deal breakers would have to be number one and most important narcissist! After going to therapy and learning what a narcissist even as that kind of behavior just grosses me out and makes me want to run! Second would be men who like to play games and can’t just be real with you. Not interested in that. I feel like that covers all the important things but if I had to say a third, I would say maybe when you’re on a date, and the guy is just chewing with his mouth open. Food falling out. Eww. That might be a weird one but that’s just a no for me. 

What are some of the things that attract you to a man? I like this question a LOT more! I have met some amazing men in my life with wonderful qualities. I felt like I was coming off as a man hater there for a minute and that’s far from the case. The thing that would draw my attention and first would be a man that is just comfortable in his own skin. Who just feels 100% for you to be his unique authentic self. Those little bits of “uniqueness” that just set people apart. The “quirks”. I want to see those. I want to see what makes YOU, you! This is what is going to set you apart in my eyes and make you stand out. So many people in this world are just trying to be like everybody else. I guess it’s only human nature. But it’s boring. They see others and just want to copy them they forget how great “they are”. I love when someone hasn’t lost them self-pretending to be someone that they are not. If you’re an artist, a singer, dancer if you really love.. who knows.. maybe even space or astrology Whatever it is, let that thing about you shine! It’s what makes you special that intrigues me. I like interesting people. Another important thing is a man that is funny and can make me laugh. Laughing and having fun are what life is about. When you can be playful and adventurous together! When you can be “best friends” being with them is so easy. It’s like a sleepover everyday with your best friend. I wouldn’t settle down with anyone unless I had “that” kind of spark. Also, a must, is a good conversationalist the type of guy that can just sit there and connect all day and not even notice the time slipping by.  When you can just talk about nothing or everything. Just to relate to one another no matter how different or alike you are. Another thing I look for is his sweet side. Men like to hide this at first. They don’t think we like this, but we do. A caring side. A compassionate side. A generous and helpful side. In a man I like for them not to be afraid to be in touch with this piece of themselves. I look for clues as to where he is with this when I meet him. On a date, I’ll always peep how they treat the waiter or waitress. How he talks about other people in his life.  How does he feel about his mom or his grandma? That’s usually a good indicator of how he will treat you.  He’s also going to also have to have a manly side! This will come in handy trust me! He has to know how to fix things, build things, maybe have some muscles to protect me from whatever danger is out there. I want to always feel safe with him, so he can’t be aggressive towards me. I also like a man that can teach me. Who sees me as a separate person, but the same time an equal partner. A man who takes the time to show me how to do the things he is passionate about. That really means something. It makes gives the impression that they he really cares. I like a man that I can learn from, instead of putting me down for not knowing this or that. He takes the time to be on my level and teach me what he knows. Now as far as looks. I don’t even think I have a type. I find so many physical qualities attractive also.  I can’t really say I have a type it’s just kind of whoever I have a connection with. 

What is the most daring thing you have ever done? Oh It’s hard to narrow this down but the first thing that comes to mind… as the time I dove down what looked like a bottomless pit in Chichen Itza, Mexico. If you know me you would know, my worst fear is heights! I’m actually a really big baby. Hahaha.  But I will push myself out of my comfort zone and do things that terrify me.  This however I didn’t even realize What I had signed up for. I had no idea what a cenote was, at the time. I was just living my life happily enjoying all the different types of tequila they had to offer in Mexico. Signing up for all these different offers of adventures cane my way. At first the only thing I wanted to do was swim with the dolphins.  But to be fair here my Spanish is not very good, I was a bit intoxicated, in the pictures they were showing me were magnificent!  Especially The pyramids of Chichen Itza. That was all I thought I was doing. But I can say somehow, I think this happened for a reason and I’m really glad that I did.  So there I was in Mexico enjoying my giant Hydro flask full of tequila and pineapple juice. Going for what I thought was a beautiful hike up a mountain after visiting the pyramids. (You’ve got to check them out if you’ve never been 10/10 experience) so We did this little ceremony. From what I understand it’s something of a “protection ceremony”. I couldn’t fully comprehend all that was happening. I can say though, the ceremony was kind of a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing, indescribable really. Then we walked a little bit farther and headed to the end of our hike. Everyone started to line up for something. When I tell you my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach! Remember when I said heights were my worst fear… well this was it! Do you ever feel like you’re just going to pass out? But then you don’t.. but oh do you wish you just would so you don’t have to be in that situation? My heart pounded. My hands were covered in sweat. I could barely even watch these little kids propelling themselves down into the cenote like it was nothing for them. The instructor looked at me and laughed. He pulled me closer to the edge and snapped me in. I was of course… the last one standing. From his point of view, it probably was pretty funny.  I’m sure he sees little kids do this all the time and here I was. A whole grown woman standing there in front of him. about to pee my pants in fear.  “There’s only one way down, either you jump, or I push you” he said as he laughed. Thinking back, I’m still not sure whether I was brave enough to jump or did he push me? Either way I cried about halfway down as I propelled myself down with the slimy rope and gloves that were way too big. My whole body shook and I felt like I couldn’t do this anymore! As I stopped, I opened my eyes and looked around. I could see what I couldn’t see before, from the top. I open my eyes to the most breathtaking sight. I. That moment somehow I had overcome my fear. It was replaced by just an awe of my surroundings. I’m not sure what came over me but it was one of the coolest feelings I’ve ever felt.  I continued propelling myself to the bottom. The water was surprisingly kind of cold but felt so refreshing. It was sad to be a “very blessed body of water”.  I swam around in this cave. I did feel blessed to have this type of experience to be in this place where I could be swimming in this cave. And a little guilty.. like maybe I’m invading somewhere that I shouldn’t be?  But I’d have to say that was an all-around bewildering experience! It has forever changed me.  When they say the best things are in the other side of fear, it’s true. 

What is the best way to approach you as an admirer? Oh that’s easy. Believe it or not I’m actually a super friendly person.  Just walk up and say hi. It’s as simple as that. I genuinely get along with pretty much anybody, you know, as long as you’re being respectful. We could even end up becoming friends you never know. Don’t be afraid to talk to me.  

Where can our readers catch up with you and stay updated with your work? If you like me so far, I’d love you to stay connected. Come with me on all my little adventures. And also, I like to get to know fans and followers as well, so like I said previously, don’t be afraid to hit me up.  You could follow me on Tik Tok , . Add me on Facebook by just searching my name. Or Add me on Instagram @Miss_Felicia_xoxo. We can even be friends on Snapchat Feefee.lovesu . I do have an OF because of censorship the silly censorship laws. But I’d love for any of the readers here to get a special promotion. just DM me the password Playboy444 saying you’ve read my article here and I’ll give you all a little thank you for getting to know me.  

We are so happy to have gotten to know you a little bit! Any last words out there for our readers? Mostly I just want to say thank you, thank you for this incredible opportunity! I am so overwhelmingly obliged.  To each and every one of you taking the time to get to know me as a person and not just a picture it means so much to me. I appreciate all of you. I hope you all stay blessed.