Pamela Anderson is truly one of a kind: a pin-up with huge implants who somehow managed to cross over from the pages of Playboy to the American mainstream. There are others like her — most notably Carmen Electra and Jenny McCarthy — but while her contemporaries have been languishing on the D-list for years now (McCarthy has literally been reduced to an autism awareness activist), Pam has managed to remain a household name for the better of two decades.
In many ways, she embodies the modern American dream (even though she’s Canadian). She went from rags to riches — obscurity to notoriety — on nothing more than a pretty face and a fantastic pair of boobs. Many have taken to calling her the Marilyn Monroe of her time (someone even made a video about it). It’s an easy comparison to make, except for one glaring difference between the two: Marilyn died when she was 36. At the age of 41, Pam is still alive and well.
As she’s grown in age, her sexy image has been unraveling. While it would be unreasonable to expect any woman to maintain bombshell status into her forties, and yes, her public life has always been reliably tumultuous, over the past year or so it’s been going the way of ‘train-wreck‘ more often than not. This deterioration is occurring much to the chagrin of males around the world, but is being embraced by a very unlikely group of people — artists.
During a recent interview for The Times of London, Pam made the statement “Yesterday, I was considered soft porn, but today I am art.” It’s an interesting statement for the former Baywatch beauty to make. Over the last year or so, Pam has become the subject of some of the most high profile artists of our time. Richard Prince, David LaChapelle, Terry Richardson, Jeff Koons and, most recently, Vivienne Westwood, have all made Pam their muse.
This new artistic obsession would be easy to understand if Pam were at the peak of her beauty, but at the age of 41, why is Pam only now catching the eye of the creative community? Sure, she’s an icon, but the fascination goes deeper than that. She is also a relic. An historical artifact of the early ’90s, the first woman to proudly display her implants on network television, and someone who kept her sex life directly in the public eye more than anyone before her. She has been chewed up and spit out by America over and over again, and unlike Marilyn, Anna Nicole, and so many others before her, she’s still kicking. Even though her skin now sags a bit and her face is showing its age, her breasts are as awesome as ever before.
Because of all this, as weird as it may be to admit, Pamela Anderson is living, breathing art.