Sometimes, when watching a reality show, the viewer may feel like a peeping tom. Especially when the show they are watching delves into the lives of the rich and famous.
The Girls Next Door (2005-2010) was one of these shows, airing on the E! network.
The focus of the show was the late Playboy Magazine founder/editor Hugh Hefner and his decades younger blonde girlfriends. For most of the series, the girlfriends were Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson. The show basically followed their lives as they lived in Playboy mansion and shared their mutual boyfriend.
While there is something to be said about the camaraderie between the women, the show didn’t sit right with me. I don’t know if it was the fact that they all shared him or that Hugh Hefner was old enough their father and/or grandfather. Either way, it was not the way I wanted to spend my precious television watching time.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner passed away yesterday. He was 91.
I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about the man.
There is no doubt that he is one of the reasons that we are no longer living within the same social and moral constrictions that existed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was a progressive who believed in free speech and civil rights. Depending one’s position, one could also argue that Mr. Hefner helped to empower women to move beyond the traditional confines of marriage and children. His organization employed many women, including his own daughter, who ran Playboy for a number of years.
But….he also published a magazine that was known for pinups of nude or nearly nude women. He dated multiple women at the same time, some of whom were young enough to be his daughters or granddaughters. I’ve heard that the magazine also features articles by some of the best writers, but honestly, when we think of Playboy, most people conjure up the image of women being photographed in their birthday suit. The main goal of feminism is for women to be seen and respected as full-fledged human beings, not as individual body parts and not as a convenient sex partner when one has the urge.
To be honest, I’m kind of straddling the fence on this topic. I will let the ladies of The View weigh in on the topic.
What do you think about Hugh Hefner? Was he the icon of a progressive ideal or just another man portraying women as mere sexual partners without brains or ambitions? Leave your comments below, I’m curious to know what you think.