Anna Nicole’s Exploitive Message FROM And TO Men
This past week, amidst the commercial hype leading up to Valentine’s Day, the media was abuzz with the news of the sudden death of 39-year-old former Playboy’s “Playmate Of The Year” and celebrity Anna Nicole Smith. In the upcoming weeks and months we can be sure that the tabloids will be filled with stories about her lovers, her drug abuse, her son’s suspicious death, the ongoing court battle over half of her late billionaire husband’s estate, the multiple paternity claims upon her young daughter and the strange relationship with her attorney and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern.
One angle that may not be focused upon amidst this media frenzy is the dark message that Anna Nicole received from and gave to men throughout her life. Anna Nicole was born as Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston, Texas to a mother who was married once before marrying Anna Nicole’s father, Donald Eugene Hogan. Hogan soon left Anna Nicole and her mother. In fact her mother married two other men during Anna Nicole’s childhood. Her mother basically raised Anna Nicole by herself with the help of her sister, Elaine.
Anna Nicole’s own relationships with men followed the same predictable pattern of short term commitments and one night flings. When she was 17, she met and married a 16-year-old co-worker at Jim’s Krispy Chicken in Mexia, Texas named Billy Wayne Smith. Smith left Anna Nicole after she became the mother to their son, Daniel Wayne Smith.
Anna Nicole, now a single mother, struggled to support herself and her young son by working at Walmart and Red Lobster for minimum wage. She then turned to exotic dancing, working at Gigi’s, a prestigious Houston strip club. At about this time, two men who were old enough to be her grandfather, entered her life.
One was an 80-something year old billionaire named J. Howard Marshall, who frequented the club and showered Anna Nicole with gifts. The other “grandpa” was Playboy’s owner Hugh Hefner, who gave her the big break she was seeking, putting her in his Playboy magazine and naming her Playboy’s Playmate Of The Year for 1993. Both of these men most probably saw Anna Nicole not as a human being, but as the fulfillment of their adolescent sexual fantasies.
But by now Anna Nicole had learned her lessons well in the game of sexploitation. She was able to parlay the fame she acquired as Playmate of The Year into careers in acting and modeling . Also, her marriage to Marshall, made her potentially a very wealthy woman when he died at 89-years-old, only 13 months later. Her right to half of his estate is still being disputed in the courts.
Then Howard K. Stern, her attorney, boyfriend, and possible father of her daughter, entered her life . He would be one more man who would use her for his own purposes and she would foolishly cling to this dangerous and deceptive man for her own protection. Their strange relationship will be the hot topic for the tabloids in the weeks and months to come.
Anna Nicole’s life stands as a tragedy of being exploited by men and exploiting men in return. What a different life she could have had if as a child she had experienced what it felt like to be really loved by a man. She could have had the opportunity to experince the difference between a love that uses and leaves and a love that serves and stays.
Yes, if that had been the case, we would probably never have heard of the now world famous Anna Nicole Smith (a.k.a. Vickie Lynn Hogan). However, one very important thing could possibly have happened. One Texas woman would have known the simple joy of being truly loved and cared for for whom she was, leaving a lasting legacy of sincere love for own family and others.