Sex kitten to activist: Pam Anderson
Is it time we stopped mocking Pamela Anderson?
A novelist, a prolific writer, a down-to-earth mother who gives relatable, achievable, beauty tips like, "Drink lots of wine. Don't worry about things."
She's also an anti-fur campaigner, designer, and Sea Shepherd board member. With all this under her belt, and decades since her Playboy and Baywatch days, is it time to take stock of who Pamela Anderson has become, and ask: is it still relevant to publicly mock her like it's the nineties?
While she is still a knockout, the mum of two has moved on from being known for her breasts and body, and openly says she regrets having a boob job.
Anderson underwent her first breast augmentation in 1999 a decision that helped launch her career as a modern day pin-up girl. She said of the surgery, "It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time and I'm very happy with my decision." She had a second augmentation in 2016, opting for a smaller cup size.
While it might seem seamy to document the star's procedures, it's worth noting that the bulk of her early career centred on her cup size. She was first discovered in 1989 when as a fresh faced beauty she featured on a jumbo screen at a sporting match wearing a beer T-shirt.
Her first Playboy cover was in October that same year. She went on to shoot a total of14 covers for the magazine, the last of which she did at age 48.
ANDERSON SAYS SHE USED SEXUALITY TO DEAL WITH CHILDHOOD RAPE
Anderson, who is a prolific and beguiling writer, recently wrote that her Playboy years were surreal to her. "It was a disconcerting experience for a shy, small town girl from Vancouver Island - a quiet, studious, girl who loved her Mum and Dad, but who had also had to deal with no small amount of trauma."
While Anderson has grown and taken steps away from her Playboy years, she is reflective on her blog about the path her unusual career led her down.
Anderson was a victim of child sex abuse, in multiple incidents that occurring between the ages of six and 12 years old.
Giving an impassioned speech at age 46, Anderson spoke of being molested from the ages of six to 10 by her female babysitter while her parents were out.
"Despite loving parents, I was molested from age 6 to 10 by my female babysitter," she said.
Anderson also told of her first "heterosexual" sexual experience, which was a rape when she was 12. Her rapist was 25 years old.
"I went to a friend's boyfriend's house and when she was busy the boyfriend's older brother decided he would teach me backgammon which led in to a back massage, which led in to rape. My first heterosexual experience.
"He was 25 years old, I was 12."
Anderson spoke of a harrowing third experience in high school with her then boyfriend.
"My first boyfriend in grade nine decided it would be funny to gang rape me with six of his friends. Needless to say I had a hard time trusting humans and I just wanted off this earth."
Anderson has said that despite what she endured, she found her modelling career and work with Playboy helped liberate her.
"I was painfully shy as a child. As a young girl, Playboy empowered me. It really saved my life," she said earlier this year.
"It's sometimes assumed that I should want to renounce those years as decadent or foolish," she wrote. "This is not the case. In hindsight I am very proud of the independent, unorthodox path I took: a path that allowed me to develop on my own terms."
GROWING OUT OF HER ROCK STAR BOYFRIEND DAYS
In 1995 Anderson met Tommy Lee and married him four days later. Lee, the drummer from eighties hair metal band Mötley Crüe, was incredibly famous in his own right, and Anderson was getting her break as a movie star at the time.
The two would end up having an iconic and infamous relationship that included a stolen and leaked sex tape, which Anderson tried to have suppressed and ultimately abandoned because she felt the stress of the legal battle was affecting her pregnancy. Anderson maintains she has still not seen the tape.
"We had a wild and crazy beginnings that was too much for both of us," she said. The pair divorced in 1998. In 2001 Anderson discovered she had contracted hepatitis C from sharing a tattoo needle with Lee.
At the time of her diagnosis Anderson described her prognosis as incurable, but in 2015 she said her doctor had described her as being cured of the disease.
"It's exciting because now I get 20 years back on my life," she toldPeople at the time.
PLAYMATE TO NOVELIST
Anderson has written two novels, Star and Star Struck, with plot lines like along the lines of: "Beautiful uninhibited aspiring model slash cosmetologist embarks on erotic voyage with rock star," paraphrased from this Amazon listing, where the customer reviews are mostly favourable.
She has said the second novel, focused on the protagonist's struggling marriage to a volatile rock star, was partially inspired by her marriage to Tommy Lee. The books appear to be erotic in genre.
Anderson said in a recent interview that she is writing a book called The Sensual Revolution about "desensitisation", a by-product of social media saturation and an inability to sort truth from fiction.
She said Julian Assange has taught her "as much information as possible is good, and you have to weed through it because some is wrong and some is right. But the truth is the truth."
RELATIONSHIP WITH JULIAN ASSANGE?
Anderson and Assange have avoided confirming whether they're in a relationship. Assange's continued asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy puts him in a somewhat delicate position. Ecuador is an observant Catholic nation and an affair within the embassy would likely be unpopular.
Anderson has, however, gone so far as to confirm Assange is her "favourite person" and has called the relationship a "romantic struggle".
"He is a hero," she said, early in their relationship. "One day everyone will realise …. Everyone in the world has benefited because of WikiLeaks - he has sacrificed so much - to simply share the truth."
ANDERSON'S LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH ACTIVISM
Celebrity activism can come across as something done to appease guilt after amassing great wealth and fame, or getting behind charitable causes can appear similarly; a box ticking activity to balance funds and assure tax write offs.
But Anderson's life as an activist is all encompassing. She is not just involved in romancing whistleblowing hacker journalists, but has aligned herself with a number of other causes.
Anderson is a longtime supporter of PETA, having starred in numerous anti-fur campaigns for the animal rights group. She is a vegan and says of her involvement with the organisation: "I'm doing it for animals and people who are vulnerable and can't speak for themselves. It was never my intention to get any credit for any of it, and people are just noticing."
Anderson is also on the Board of Directors at Australian company Sea Shepherd, which campaigns and attacks Japanese Whaling ships in protected waters.
ANDERSON CALLS SCOMO 'SMUTTY'
Anderson was recently in the news for stoushing with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, after he made comments regarding Anderson that she labelled "lewd" and "smutty".
"You trivialised and laughed about the suffering of an Australian and his family," she wrote on her website. "You followed it with smutty, unnecessary comments about a woman voicing her political opinion."
Morrison reportedly laughed at Anderson over the request. In an ABC interview, he went on to respond, "I've had plenty of mates who have asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson."