Portrait of a Saginaw Sweetheart On the Road to Stardom

Posted In: Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 676   By: Robert E Martin

29th January, 2009     0

Apart from the inordinate amount of musical, sporting, and artistic talent that has percolated from the mid-Michigan area over the decades to bask in the shine of national attention, our area certainly knows no shortage when it comes to beautiful women, a notion that is readily evident when the spotlight falls upon model Markesa Yeager.

The novelist/philosopher Kahil Gibran once wrote that 'beauty is eternity gazing at itself', which serves as an apt summation for this green-eyed blonde, whom started attending modeling school with her twin sister at the age of 12, but who's career started skyrocketing about four months ago, when she was contacted by a photographer in Florida to do a photo shoot for TeaseUm's bathing suits.

As the alluring eyes of fate would have it, the impact of that Florida shoot soon led to a call from the Playboy Magazine and a trip to   California, where Markesa spent some time at the Playboy Mansion.  Since that journey things have exploded for the 23-year old daughter of Mark Yeager, owner of Yeager Asphalt, and led to book signings in New York with musician Gene Simmons – the driving force in the rock band Kiss – as well as movie offers from Rob Zombie for Halloween II.

"Although I live in Saginaw, I've been heading out to California every other week, as well as New York, Miami, and Las Vegas," explains Markesa. "It's funny because it seems like everybody in California knows each other and one opportunity keeps leading to another."

With two photo shoots for Playboy already in the can and a Playmate of the Month shoot scheduled for February 1st, was it difficult for Markesa to make the leap to nude modeling? "Not really," she laughs, "I just have a glass of wine first. But in all honesty, it's a very professional operation and the photographers do their best to make you feel comfortable. One of my shoots was at the Playboy mansion and the other at this house in Beverly Hills by the water."

For those that have watched the reality-TV show The Girls Next Door, which stars publisher Hugh Hefner and is shot inside the mansion, I ask Markesa about what her experiences at the mansion were like.

"Well, its way better than what you see on TV," she smiles. "I met Gene Simmons from Kiss at the Mansion and he took me to New York City. He's a very nice and smart guy and said that he had a signing to do and asked if I would like to take some of my calendars to sign next to him, so we went to Virgin Records and did a signing in New York, which is a great way to get your name out there."

  And what was her impression of the aging bassist Simmons with the mile-long tongue? "He's quite a character," reflects Markesa, "and nothing like I thought he would be. He's very smart and really sweet and down-to-earth and a very cool guy. He's nothing like his image and has never been on any drugs, which was a huge surprise to me. He told me that he's only been drunk three times in his life."

From the Playboy platform, Markesa has also secured a 9-page spread with the magazine American Curves and been invited back to the Playboy mansion twice. Thus far her impressions of life at the mansion are varied. "I attended their New Year's Eve party which consisted of a very classy and elegant crowd. Then I went to another party there hosted by former model & actress Jenny McCarthy, which was a charity event to raise money for autism, and a much different mix of people than that of the New Year's event."

According to Markesa, she stayed at the Playmate mansion across the street from Hefner's house, which was decorated in very vibrant colors and affords an opportunity to meet the other girls involved with the Playboy enterprise. "All his female guests stay there," explains Markesa, "but everybody eats dinner inside the mansion with Hef, who is very old but a really nice guy. He's 83 now and basically just sits around and watches all the girls and talks with them."

As for her future game plan, Markesa things that while she may eventually move, right now at this point in her life she's happy living in Saginaw, happy with her job, and glad to be with her family.

"I'm very close to my sister and my father," explains Markesa. "I'd like to see my sister get back into modeling and would love to do some 'twin' shoots with her again, but for the time being, I'm heading to Miami next week for a Playboy Special Edition shoot and then the week after that I go back to California for the playmate edition shoot."

Does Markesa harbor any aspirations beyond that of modeling?

"I've been asked to do a part in Halloween II with Rob Zombie," she explains, "so yeah, a lot of things are coming up. I've never acted but think I'd be good at it and I know in my heart that a lot of big things are sure to come in my career."

So what is the most challenging component about being a model at this current level of her career? "The main thing is to not be insecure with yourself. There are a lot of good-looking girls around and a lot of modeling is based on confidence. It can be very competitive and there are a lot of gorgeous people out there. Consequently, exercise and diet are also very important."

"I exercise four times a week at the gym for about an hour each session and in terms of diet, I eat a lot of chicken salad, vegetables and fruit.  As for alcohol, I've cut way back on that, but save Saturday for the night that I drink my cranberry and vodka," grins Markesa.

Finally, what does her family think about her newfound success and notoriety?

"My family is really supportive. I have a small, very close-knit family. My mother passed away two years ago, but if she were here she would probably be trying to pose for Playboy with me," laughs Markesa.

"As for my Dad, he says 'gross' and leaves it at that. He's a Dad and that's what they're supposed to say. My twin sister, Christina, who is my entire life is all about what I'm doing. She's so happy for me and really encourages me to keep moving. Her motto is 'life is too short not to' and as for my boyfriend, he's very proud of me, which has been a huge motivation for me to keep it up and reach for my goals."


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