By Amber Nicol
How’s a girl to feel about a man who died leaving behind a trail of pretty women dressed like bunnies and roughly $40 million? Well, I hate to say anything negative during the mourning period, but it’s also hard to feel bad for a guy like Hugh Hefner.
I know he’s popular, but he brings to mind everything icky about the modern media machine that manipulates people to make lots of money. At least we can say he followed his dreams.
He lived to be 91. He lavished himself in drugs, sex, beautiful women, money, celebrities and rock stars galore. I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing or just— a thing. I mean, who doesn’t daydream about hanging out with rockstars?
What straight guy doesn’t love playboy bunnies? Even my own boyfriend (I’m ashamed to admit) is begging me to go gentle on Ol’ Hefner.
“He’s an icon,” I keep hearing.
“You can’t say anything bad about him,” I am told.
So the guy died — and sure, he was super famous— so I guess the big question is, what do we as a society do now? Tally up his good merits on one hand? Civil rights activist: 15 points. Inspirer of following dreams: 10 points. Then weigh the subtotal out against his more licentious moments and petty crimes, deducting for negative behavior? Possible womanizer: subtract that 10 back out.
Shall we publicly shame him in feminist history for being a driving force in the modern day male agenda? Write him off as a drunk and silly old man? Glorify him in business magazines for making lots and lots of money? Erect a memorial in his honor?
I don’t know. That’s about the extent to which I’m willing to ponder it. Life goes on. Let’s focus on doing what we can to help out in our communities. Chase down our own wildest dreams. Focus on the positives. So what do we take away from this? What have we learned from Hefner?
First thing: Anything is possible. Well, that’s nice to hear.
Second thing: Women are pretty. We know. All of us are pretty, regardless of size, shape, skin color, fake hair, fake eyelashes, no eyelashes, no hair, body hair, gay, straight, bi, asexual — we’re all pretty. Bunny ears or not — but the bunny ears are pretty too.
Third thing: No, we don’t think it’s a good idea to promote women dressed as bunnies to younger generations of girls. Girls are way more than just pretty. We’re smart, funny — and we can move heavy stuff, go to work, and write too! In heels, wearing fishnets and bunny ears.
Fourth thing: Everyone knows that plenty of men read Playboy specifically for the well-crafted articles, and to be fair they have featured pieces by women like Margaret Atwood and interviews with famous ladies including: Ayn Rand, Yoko Ono and Bette Davis.
Seriously, have you read these articles? They’re hilarious. Direct quote from Playboy:
“Ayn Rand, an intense, angry young woman of 58, is among the most outspoken —and important — intellectual voices in America today.”
At the very least, he was open-minded.
Most importantly, let it be known that you can pretty much party your (you know what) off, have lots of sex and still live to be 91!
Well, cheers to that.
Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia