2014 is turning out to be the year of Pamela Anderson (and here you thought it was the year of the horse). She seems to be showing up all over the place in her birthday suit with her fake fur flying. First there was the naked PETA ad, then there were those nude photos she did for a French magazine.
Yes, she looks really fit and firm for a 46 year-old mother. Most 46 year olds don’t look like they have the body of their 25-year-old selves. I’m totally digging her new haircut and her “I can do anything” attitude. She is in the midst of reinvention at a ripe old age (old age by Hollywood standards, that is).
Still, there’s a part of me that feels more than a twinge of sadness when I see these photos or read her words. There’s a part of me that wants to shake her. I’m not upset that she looks like she’s in super shape while I still have 20 pounds of baby birthing weight hanging onto my middle-aged body. I wouldn’t say that I’m jealous of her; nobody forced my pregnant self to drink chocolate milkshakes as if they would bring all the boys to the yard. But there’s something about how good she looks that makes me feel badly about my body.
I don’t have the cash to hire a personal trainer to pump me up, or the face recognition to get those sorts of things for free. When I post pictures, they’re not usually done by my fancy photographer friends who know how to shade me in all the right places. And while I don’t think that super thin is all that sexy either, I can’t hide the fact that I’m exhausted and heavier than I was this time last year. I’m juggling work, school and a three-month-old baby, and I have no time for me. What really bums me out is the cottage cheese that has replaced what used to be muscle. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had cottage cheese, it’s just that it’s multiplied. And it’s not that Pamela Anderson doesn’t have any, but it’s that she doesn’t show any (okay, I have no idea if she has any, but I’m guessing she does, since most women do).
When it comes to public figures posing in magazines, airbrushing hides more of the fine lines and cheese curds, regardless of how much skin they reveal. So when some people see a picture of Pamela Anderson in all her naturally airbrushed perfection, they think like I do, and want to know how it can be humanly possible to look like that too. And while I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, and I’m all for diet and exercise, it’s hard to remember (or easy to forget) that what we see in magazines isn’t usually a true picture of a person.
Sure, I think it’s great that lots of bodies can be made to look as good as they want, be it through exercise or airbrushing, but I also think that these sorts of moments can put a lot of pressure on women to look and act a certain way, and if they don’t look and act that certain way, well, then a lot of women are certain to feel badly about the way they look.
It would be nice if magazines would be more honest with us and show women as they really are. I’m sure Pamela Anderson looks a lot like she does in her pictures, but nobody’s perfect (and yeah, everybody’s perfect for those super positive people out there) and it’s nice to see that too. Jamie Lee Curtis allowed us to see what she really looked like, and I wish more celebrities would be open and honest about their imperfections. Then, we could appreciate them in all their Hollywood glory, and we could continue to appreciate ourselves too.
How do you feel about the media hype around Pam Anderson?