Skip to main content

Pamela Anderson is iconic, but not for the reasons you think

by Isabel Weeks Hankins

Trigger Warning: Sensitive topics of a sexual nature 

Pamela Anderson is the woman who seamlessly defined the 1990s. The curly blonde updo and sensually smokey cat eye made her the it-girl of the decade, and many mimic the iconic look on social media to this day. 

But the world behind the beauty, glamour and wealth of the Baywatch star isn’t a life of serenity or bliss. Ultimately, it’s of strength and speaking out.  

Ⓒ Netflix 

Molested by her babysitter as a young child and raped by a 25-year-old when she was 12 and again at 14, Anderson always wanted to take back the power of her sexuality. She achieved this with countless covers for Playboy, her 11-season stint on Baywatch and the 1996 film, Barb Wire

However, in 1997, the little control she had on the reigns of her own life were stolen along with the release of the infamous sex tape. Plummeting both Anderson and her then-husband, Tommy Lee, into the eye of the publicly scandalous storm. 

Anderson was laid out for the world to see. It was the ultimate violation and the definition of a breach of privacy. Whilst Lee was redefined as the Rock star he was, being praised for the size of his penis, Anderson was again a spectacle. 

By some, Anderson was even berated for showing her body in such a sexual way, despite the couple being married. 

Ⓒ Netflix

When confronted with such a situation I imagine many of us, including myself, would climb for the hills and chuck our phones in the bin, ceasing contact with the outside world. But not Anderson.  She continued to work in the public eye. Smiling in front of the paparazzi as if the life and the career-altering moment had never happened. 

Twenty five years after the original publication of the tape, Hulu’s eight-part series, Pam and Tommy, was released meaning Anderson was forced to relive that unfair and horrific part of her life. 

Sebastian Stan confirmed, in an interview with Variety, he had spoken with Tommy Lee and was praised by him for his portrayal of the Mötley Crüe drummer. Anderson, on the other hand, did not want the story to be retold nor was her consent given to produce the show. 

Was the person who was truly violated in that private and intimate 54-minute video forgotten? Somehow the show, which was themed around the idea of consent and exploitation, managed to ignore the wishes of the person who really mattered: Anderson. 

But now Anderson is taking back control by giving herself a voice in the new Netflix documentary, Pamela: a love story. 

Ⓒ Netflix

In March 2022, Anderson announced the documentary with a post of a handwritten note on Netflix letterhead. Towards the bottom of the note, it said: “not a victim, but a survivor”, encapsulating the path the feature-length documentary would take. 

In the trailer for the documentary produced by her son, Brandon Thomas Lee, it is clear Anderson is not seeking pity. More admirably, she is deservedly using her voice to speak out about her experiences on her own terms, something all women should be able to do freely in this day and age. 

Hopefully, the Netflix documentary inspires a sense of change in the way people view Anderson. Countless times she has shown that resilience is her most desirable attribute, rather than the multitude of other things she is known for. 

In light of everything Anderson has been through, she has proven everyone wrong. She is not just the blonde bombshell in a red swimsuit. She is a woman. She is a survivor. And her voice is finally being heard. 

Most Popular

Fashion For a Cause: Brands That Stand with Palestine and the history of fashion as a form of Activism

by Oana-Maria Moldovan For over two months, there has been an ongoing genocide war in Gaza. To simplify a long and horrific issue, the situation that started, on a larger scale, around one hundred years ago, and has only become amplified since October 7th 2023. Taking place around the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Israel–Lebanon border, the armed conflict is between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups.  The problem is about “stolen” land. Said land is seen as an important holy part of both religions involved. But really, how holy can we consider a land to be, if people kill other people for it? It’s important to remember that this genocide is about three things: forced occupation, zionism, and religion. It’s also important to remember what ethnic erasure is. This terrible expresion, also known as cultural or ethnic assimilation, refers to the process by which the distinct cultural or ethnic identity of a particular group is gradually diminished or erased, often due to ext

‘Make Tattooing Safe Again’: Sheffield Based Tattoo Artist Exposed for Indecent Behaviour

 by Emily Fletcher TW: SA, Animal Abuse, Transphobia Photo Credit: @ meiko_akiz uki Recently, an  Instagram account  has been created to provide a  ‘space to safely give a voice to those who want to speak out about the behaviour of one, Sheffield based tattoo artist’. A  total of 40+ posts have been made by the above social media account regarding  one of Sheffield's most popular tattoo artists .  Thankfully, all posts are prefaced with a Content Warning prior to sharing screenshots of the messages that have been sent anonymously to the page. The majority of Content Warnings refer to sexual behaviour, abuse, and sexual assault. It is clear that there is a reoccurring theme within each submission, as many clients appear to have had the same experiences with the tattoo artist. Women, mostly, are being made to feel uncomfortable while being tattooed. One of the most vulnerable positions anyone can be in, tattoo artists should make their clients feel comfortable and safe during the pro

Now What? The Aftermath of the 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl'

by Susan Moore Here is a bit about me: I am an open, excitable, creative AFAB who is also moderately attractive. I have a unique sense of personal style and a personality that on the surface can only be described as “bubbly” and “quirky”. For this reason, dating is a nightmare. To be sure, I do not have a hard time finding dates or potential suitors. The problems arise when said dates spend some time with me and decide that I am a rare specimen, and the connection they feel with me is “unlike anything they have felt before”. Then, things go one of two ways.  Either a) they decide I am too high maintenance and no longer palatable, or  b) they choose to never look further than the surface and are content to date the idea of me rather than the real me. There is something rather interesting, perhaps funny, about my situation. It is in no way unique. I have met so many people who constantly dealt with the same problem. Even funnier still, is the fact that there is a trope that simultaneousl