. In COOLTURA
When I lived in New York City I spent a tremendous amount of money bleaching my hair into a perfect buttery blonde. My colorist was expensive because she regularly burned the scalps of Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow. I paid extra for her skills but mostly for her gossip. I know stuff about these stars that nobody should! (I’ll spill for a few free martinis, tho-DM me). One day, she was lecturing me on not waiting long enough between appointments. “You remind me of the Playboy Bunnies,” she said. Years ago, she was a colorist for the Playboy Mansion’s
captives girlfriends. The blondes weren’t allowed to show their roots, not even a bit—so every week or two she’d touch-up their locks with a Q-Tip.
There we were, two smart ladies, discussing a petting-zoo-dollhouse-nightmare for girls, owned and operated by an old, creepy, abusive, possessive and manipulative misogynist—but that wasn’t the point of our conversation, nor did we bring that up. There was no need to! It’s normal stuff!
In school I hated history the most. (No offense, math! You made my life hell and I’ll never forget you). The only women in our textbooks were concubines, abused wives or mothers of noteworthy men. As kids, boys get to read about [male] politicians, warriors, inventors and explorers, while us girls can only “relate” to sex slaves, victims of incest and rape, or at best, bored Queens of some
impotent important King. After school, I’d go home and watch TV, hoping to escape reality (and jerk it to my fave MTV VJs), only to see Hugh Hefner and his bunnies.
I remember finding copies of Playboy Magazine as a kid and distinctly feeling that I’d LOST by being born as myself. Being a woman, I realized, is embarrassing. Hugh’s sticky fingers reached far past his pages, however, affecting the way women are portrayed in the media for decades. The kind of stuff that fucks a girl up for life (yes, feeling compelled to over-pluck our eyebrows as teens only to regret it for years counts). As if his influence on “aesthetics” weren’t enough, in the 90s and 00s (at which point even E! should have known better) Hugh and his bunnies made plenty cameos in music videos, films and TV, until finally we were #blessed with 5 years of the “The Girls Next Door” series.
Of course, Hugh wasn’t the only shitty thing happening to women but he did tremendously shape the way female sexuality is sold and how women themselves are looked down on. When people say that Playboy revolutionized desire or did great things for journalism, they only mean that objectifying women sexually went from being “sleazy” to “sophisticated.” Using renowned journalists and photographers in Playboy only made looking at women as play-things acceptable for “intellectuals” to do. “The notion that Playboy turns women into sex objects is ridiculous.” Hugh has said. “Women are sex objects.” Still, on TV today, I heard a journalist say that Hugh was an “emancipator of women.” My bad for not watching CARTOON NETWORK for once! #neveragain
Men who do horrible things are often considered “iconic” regardless, simply because they also make movies or donate money to some left-wing organization.
**DEEP THOUGHTS ALERT**
Let’s be honest—*puffs cigar* *adjusts tie*—if the “bad things” a man does are directed towards women —*pushes student’s head towards crotch, in exchange for an A*—are they really that bad?? LOLS. I understand why men side with other garbage men because why wouldn’t they? The patriarchy has ~apparently~ served them well!
But what about us?
Now that Hugh’s dead, the women who should be celebrating his demise are defending and praising his life. Why are girls I’m friends with on social media (I’ve already un-friended all Trump supporters) posting positive bullshit about him? I haven’t seen so many broken heart emojis since that one kid left One Direction, whatever that is.
The worst are the ones saying he “liberated” women sexually. Being naked in a magazine isn’t the same thing as being “liberated” –I know from experience. (Sorry mom!) He didn’t liberate the women in his centerfolds any more than a pimp liberates his hookers! BTW: I have nothing against sex work or pornography in general and I believe that there is nothing more punk rock than being a slutty girl. I’m just not crazy about the fact that the only ones who get praised in the sex media/work community are the men in charge of women’s “sexuality” (aka the way they want women to be sexual, purely for them).
Hell, I’ve gotta tell y’all that I got into a fight in my whatsapp group chat with two of my BFFS about this! (Other girls wrote me randomly on Instagram, saying the same thing happened to them with their girlfriends—without knowing my situation. Are my BFFS secretly in other group chats I’m not invited to? I’ll investigate in my next article). All I said was that I hate Hugh and they flooded me with messages trying to prove how influential he was. As if I insulted their own boyfriend. Why?
“He was a hero for journalism and sex lib!”…Maybe a “hero” for sexist men. “He impacted pop culture so much!” Yeah, he impacted it in the worst way possible! But let’s imagine for a second that Hugh really did something great for art—does my friend actually care about “journalism” so much that she’s willing to forgive this man’s behavior for the sake of it? Nope! We’re just USED to defending men for no reason and we’ll find any excuse necessary. We’re good at this. It’s a woman’s job, after all.
This article isn’t about me proving to you that Hugh Hefner was a piece of shit. You should already know that, and if you don’t, you can read plenty of other pieces about it. Here are some links on him involved with: QUAALUDES & DATE RAPE , BILL COSBY, ABUSE, THE FUCKED UP MANSION, RANDOM WOMAN-HATING STUFF.
My article is about something else: WHY DO WOMEN SUPPORT THEIR OPPRESSORS?
Much like Lil Kim’s question in her infamous (best???) song featuring Sisqo, “How Many Licks Does It Take?” the world may never know the answer. But I have a few theories.
1) IT’S SKILL.
Women are so used to defending our own shitty boyfriends, fathers, brothers, guy-friends, predators, etc. that defending a shitty famous man they have no relation to comes as easy as starving for a few days to fit into a Bunny costume for Halloween.
2) IT’S NATURE.
The fact that we fall in love with our own oppressors is what keeps us from gaining true equality. Oppressed races or religious groups obviously try to fight against/destroy whatever race or religious group is oppressing them. But women are kept down by the people who (in the case of heterosexuals) they FALL IN LOVE WITH. It’s really hard to rebel against the person you daydream about while wearing a honey face mask and drinking whiskey alone at home, wondering if the whiskey would taste better with a little bit of the face mask in it.
3) IT’S FAME.
Sure, we’re in the days of Petra Collins and…[insert name of some young successful artist girl]. But women have never been recognized as artists, photographers or writers in their own right and even today it’s a problem. So we’re just thrilled to have an “opportunity” from some sleazy painter or photographer to call us their MUSE!!! Even in music, like, WHY do you think groupies exist? Sure, some girls genuinely want to fuck rockstars or rappers, duh. But the original groupies in the 60s, 70s & 80s did it because because FUCKING A ROCK STAR IS THE CLOSEST THEY COULD GET TO BECOMING A ROCK STAR. (And scoring the best drugs obv).
This has only changed very very recently and only in a few places in the world–mostly it’s still true anywhere else: women who want some attention beyond being recognized as a good wife or mother have few outlets. There is nothing wrong with posing nude but often nude models are taken advantage of (again, I know from experience). It’s hard to talk shit about someone who you feel gave you a “chance at fame” even if that fame includes being mistreated and humiliated! Fun fact: Hugh bought Marilyn Monroe’s nudes against her will and actually almost ruined her career in the moment he published them. (Now he’s buried next to her, representing for the rest of eternity the guy who refuses to “take a hint”).
4) IT’S MASOCHISTIC.
Why are we so desperate to please people who hurt and disempower us? Because the whole world hates us so we may as well hate ourselves. Like, early 2000’s fashion is making a comeback. Am I genuinely excited to wear low-rise jeans? No. But I just went out in a pair of vintage Juicy Couture ones yesterday. So who’s really in control of my so-called “free will”??? I’d love to find out!!!
5) IT’S NICE!
Because women are nice to everyone! I’ve gotten myself in horror-film situations just to avoid not being nice to guys. I’m only now getting over this because I’m lucky enough to have a dog who loves me enough to let me finally love myself—but for basically most of my life I’d choose being a “chill girl” who is “cool with anything” and “nice to everyone” rather than saying what I feel or think because who gives a fuck what I feel or think? I’m much more likely to be “powerful” if I just allign myself with someone who is taken seriously (aka a shitty skater dude lol).
Ummmm there are probably more reasons but it’s getting late and nobody will care about this topic tomorrow (or ever really) so I’m gonna go out for 1-10 drinks and review everyone’s nostalgic pictures of Hugh on Instagram and Facebook. “Rest in Pussy, Hugh!” one post reads. What’s Hugh Hefner doing in heaven? Fucking hundreds of slutty angels who died from routine liposuction? Getting high with God? Looking down on all of us and judging our bodies? Nope! If heaven existed, that piece of shit sure as HELL (lol) wouldn’t be there.
PS: Sexism aside, Playboy Magazine is some cheesy basic suck ass crap ☺