It’s time to talk about 50 year old Canadian American actress, model, and activist Pamela Anderson*.
Pamela is best known for her portrayal of CJ in Baywatch, after becoming famous for being Playmate of the Month for Playboy magazine in February 1990. She has appeared on more Playboy covers than any other model, which I think is pretty cool. She’s even written a couple of books, and has done numerous reality TV appearences, including in the UK, such as season 8 Dancing on Ice in 2013 where she was sadly eliminated on the first week. She also appeared as a houseguest in 2011 on the 12th series of Big Brother, where she entered the house on launch night to host a party. I would love to see Pamela appear as a full-time housemate on the Celebrity series of Big Brother here in the UK, so she could show what a kind-hearted person she is.
It’s also clear that she does not take herself too seriously. In 2006 mockumentary film Borat, (Or, the extended title, Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan), Pamela is the ‘victim’ of an attempted kidnapping by eponymous character Borat Sagdiyev. Since the majority of the film’s content is Sacha Baron Cohen presenting his character of Borat as a real person and interacting with unsuspecting Americans, there was much speculation as to whether Pamela was actually in on this pretend attempted-kidnapping. Of course, she was in on it. She put the rumours to rest and confirmed this by posting about it on her website: “Of course Sasha and I planned this years ago. And it turned out perfect – I’m so happy for him.” I just love that Pamela is happy to break from stereotypes of vanity and just have fun.
My absolute favourite thing about Pamela Anderson, though, is her animal activism. Pamela received the first Linda McCartney Memorial Award for animal rights protectors way back in 1999 for her campaigning against fur. She is an outspoken vegan, and has done several anti-fur campaigns since this including work with fashion brand Stella McCartney (owned by the daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney) and PETA. She has also campaigned against chicken meat (specifically KFC), whale meat, dog neglect, seal hunting, foie gras and many more animal rights issues. She also has a relatively small make up collection available in the US, which is fully vegan and cruelty free.
Pamela has even met with French MPs regarding foie gras, a delicacy of the nation considered to be extremely cruel to geese and ducks in its extraction. She delivered a speech at a French press conference in promotion of better welfare laws for the animals utilised. Of course, due to ignorance and unfair stereotypes, Pamela is often dismissed for being “superficial” (MP Jean-Michel Clément), or a “bimbo” (privately owned French radio network Europe1), but her willingness to defend the rights of animals without voices, and to spend so much of her time doing so, is surely one of the least superficial acts of all.
She has also spoken out for those living with AIDs and HIV, she is pro-legalisation of cannabis, and she has openly referred to Julian Assange as a hero. Pamela’s not-for-profit charity, the Pamela Anderson Foundation “supports organizations and individuals that stand on the front lines in the protection of human, animal, and environmental rights” (taken from her website) and has received several awards for its work, as it encourages us to “question everything”. It doesn’t seem to me that she is lacking in depth. At all.
*This series is inspired by Bim Adewunmi’s series ‘The Crush: Why I Love…’ for the Guardian.