Mine Won’t Be The Girls Next Door

As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, we are big fans of TLC’s reality show “What Not To Wear.” It’s a program that we look forward to watching on Friday nights. And sometimes after “What Not To Wear” when we’re too tired to get off the couch and the cats are melted onto our laps, we flip through the channels for a little while longer. Occasionally we land on E! Network’s show “The Girls Next Door.”

“The Girls Next Door” is the reality show that chronicles the life of Hugh Hefner and his live-in girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. We’ve nicknamed the show “The Mummy’s Curse” given Hef’s current state of decay.

I know what you’re thinking. What’s a conscientious, church-going mom like me doing watching a petrified pornographer and his barely-clothed and barely-legal girl friends? Or even worse, why would I let my teenage daughter watch?

“The Girls Next Door” is not a show that I seek out but I believe it is instructive. Just as “What Not To Wear” teaches women how to dress appropriately and fashionably by first showing them what they are doing wrong, “The Girls Next Door” works well as a cautionary tale to young women; it is a vivid demonstration of the dangers of living your life solely for vanity and hedonism. As I’ve told my daughter, perhaps a more fitting title for the show is “What Not To Be.”

The girls, Holly, Bridget, and Kendra, personify the character traits that I don’t want my daughters to emulate. Though they are purportedly beautiful women ““ after all, they’re Playboy models ““ it only takes a few minutes of hearing them talk to see that nice facial features and big boobs don’t necessarily make someone attractive. In fact, the unselfconscious vulgarity that seems to fill most of their conversations turns them ugly very fast.

However, I think that the most striking aspect of the show is that the girls’ lives at the Playboy Mansion are so absolutely devoid of anything worthwhile. They don’t work, go to school, or have any obvious skills. The Playboy staff attends to their every whim. And from what we can see, the only currency that the girls use in exchange for their room and board is sex (or at least the intimation of sex) with 82-year-old Hefner. Isn’t that called prostitution?

Apparently, the primary thought that occupies the girls’ somewhat limited brainpower is when they will have the next opportunity to take their clothes off ““ be it in front of the camera, or a Playboy sponsored event or party.

Oh wait, it doesn’t even have to be scheduled nudity; a rest stop on a Girls Next Door road trip was the only excuse Kendra needed to pull her jeans down and do an impromptu mooning of a passing train. This charming antic gave her something to talk about for the remainder of the show.

Partying, which is a euphemism for getting drunk, is also a major pursuit for the girls. Bridget planned a major celebration for her sister’s 21st birthday culminating in doing shots at the Madonna Inn. We got to see her sister barely conscious, stumbling through the parking lot at the end of the evening. Doesn’t that look like fun.

Hef’s girlfriends are treated completely like objects. Their role is to be arm candy for him at Playboy events. When he invites them to into the Mansion, it is because he thinks they are at the peak of their attractiveness. There’s no such thing as growing up, just growing older, so before long, they’ll be booted out and replaced by a younger or sexier version of themselves. It doesn’t matter that Hefner and his crypt-keepers look like they’re eating applesauce and wearing Depends.

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