Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anna Nicole’s Exploitive Message FROM And TO Men

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.


paddler said...

I'm gald you posted this. Its so sad sometimes that young girls search for love that was never given at home and find it in twisted relationships.
My own daughter is very much loved in our home by both of us and still seems to search for something that she feels she needs in drugs and skipping school.

Anonymous said...

Your synopsis of Anna Nicole's life was very good. It is truly a sad example that is playing out way too many times in our country. The true heroes in our land are the mom's and dad's that stick it out through the tough times and make a family work and keep it together. We are losing this as a country and this critically important "basic fiber" that has been the foundation of our country is crumbling. The kids are the ones that suffer the most, of course, and we are seeing it in the life of Anna Nicole and many others. We need more people to embrace marriage and parenting as the truly important roles in life.

Jeff B. said...

I agree wholeheartedly that the traditional family unit and morale values are on the decline in the U.S., and it is having a major impact on our society. I do however disagree with some of the opinions made in the Anna Nicole posting as to the reasons why.

In the second paragraph it mentions the “dark message that Anna Nicole received from and gave to men throughout her life”. If we stop and think for a moment, are we really sure it was men who gave her this message?

The posting on Anna mentions her parents divorced at a very young age. From what is written in the posting (I am assuming it is correct) it appears Anna’s mother was married at least four times. Based on this one could conclude Anna did not learn that marriages are disposable and love is meaningless from a man. She learned it from a woman, her own mother. Additionally, although I do not know how each of Anna’s mother’s marriages ended, I do know that statistically over 70% of divorces in the U.S. are initiated by women. With our current no-fault divorce laws in almost every U.S. state, there is a strong possibility these men did not walk out of Anna’s life, but rather they were booted out the door.

Although I do believe Anna has as much responsibility for her unplanned pregnancy as the child’s father, I admire that she work hard as a young single parent to support her child by working at near minimum wage at a local restaurant. However, as the article reads, from that point forward her life took a wrong turn. She became an “exotic dancer”, posed in pornographic photos, and got into an intimate relationship with a man old enough to be her grandfather, presumably for no other reason that money. She did not do these things because evil men led her astray. She did these things because she made a decision in her heart and mind to do them. It would have been no different a process had she chosen to shoot the clerk dead at the local 7-11 convenience store and empty the cash register.

While I agree Anna may have been foolish to enter into a relationship with Howard K. Stern (it is still unproven he did anything illegal or wrong), my position is that again this was her decision. I find it difficult to believe that a woman as physically beautiful as Anna could not find a kind, loving man if she wanted to. The men she had in her life were there because she sought them out.

So why am I writing these things you might be wondering? Is it because I hate women? The answer is no. I have a wife and a daughter I love very much. I write this post because part of how I raise my daughter to be a good person is by teaching her that SHE is responsible for making morale decisions in her life and being a good person. This is regardless of any man she does or does not have in her life.

Men do need to take responsibility for their actions; however, they should avoid needlessly accepting the blame for other’s wrong doings. While Anna may have received many serious emotional wounds in her life, I believe many of these were self-inflicted. It is my intention as a parent to teach my daughter how to avoid such self-destructive behavior.

Matt said...

I agree with Jeff.

I saw the cover story of a major magazine publication the other day talking about Britney Spears “heartbreak over the failure of her marriage”.


This is a person who text messaged her spouse telling him the marriage is over and they are getting a divorce, and then went skating in the park with her friends. She has been leaving her child in the care of others so she can go out partying, drinking, and doing drugs at night, and she is supposed to be a victim? If she is the victim of anything, she is the victim of a society that teaches she is not responsible for her actions due to the fact she is a woman.

When talking about the decline of the traditional family values (divorce, out of wedlock births, etc.), it is almost politically incorrect to insinuate its anything other than a man’s fault. Men who do so often come under heavy fire and criticism. It is our responsibility as Christian men however to find the courage to stand up for what is right. Part of raising our sons and daughters is teaching them such behavior is not acceptable, and male or female one day they will have to stand before God and take responsibility for their actions.

Anonymous said...

Paddle thanks for your honest story... Sometimes people choose bad things even when they have a lot already.