Raw by Pamela Anderson & Emma Dunlavey

I think we’ve all been captivated by the Hulu show, “Pam & Tommy” that aired this year – myself included. Having been a fan of Playboy as well as Pamela herself, I got sucked into the details of her story.

Something that bothers me is that a huge part of her story is the fact that her photos, her body, and essentially her privacy were declared public property by a judge. She did not have any control into extremely intimate aspects of her life, essentially because she had chosen to model naked at one point in time. They used her image of sexuality against her in an absolutely disgusting and unfair way. But what bothers me is – how is what Hulu did any different?

Pamela Anderson was not involved in the “Pam & Tommy” series, though she was asked to comment prior and during the filming – as was Tommy. While Tommy was ready to be involved and still continues to see any press as good press, sources close to Pamela said she would not be involved at all, and would not even be watching.

This might be because of how Hulu obtained the rights to produce this series. From my understanding, they bought the rights to a Rolling Stone article that detailed how the tape was stolen. By claiming the series was created based on this article, they could bypass Pamela completely. Sounds very similar to how Penthouse was able to publish her pictures without any consent from her whatsoever.

The saving grace, I’m hoping, is that Pam is currently rumored to be in production with Netflix on a documentary. Assuming this is true, this will hopefully provide the platform that Pamela needs to speak her story in her own words, on her own terms. Pamela is undoubtably fascinating and beautiful, which is why I ended up with a copy of Raw – created by Pamela herself along with friend and confidant Emma Dunlavey.

This coffee table book is a collection of unsaturated photographs of Pamela shown along side her thoughts and poetry. While a lot of the book shows some genuine and insightful sides of Pamela, I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is her completely “raw”. A lot of her words, I believe, are still tailored to the image in which she wants to portray – specifically around sexual roles and ideologies. While I do think Pamela is a very sexually free and liberated individual, I also think she knows her audience and is an intelligent businesswoman. I admire her, I respect her, and I appreciated this unique insight into her during this time of her life.

I look forward to more from Pamela Anderson, as she will never cease to captivate us.

Thanks for reading!

GuRu and Workin’ It! by RuPaul

img_9773When DragCon was canceled, my friend Rachel and I went into a full on depression. It’s literally our favorite weekend of the year, and both LA and NYC were totally out. We were crushed. It was supposed to be this weekend, so in a world without COVID I’d be in LA right now ready to meet the queens. But instead, I’ve just been laying in quarantine, reading RuPaul’s books, and wishing that things were different.

RuPaul is really an intriguing glamazon of a creature, and I’ve been obsessed for a while now. Some of Ru’s ideas/outlooks on life have really stuck with me – two quotes of his in particular. The first is, “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.” I love this idea that people get up everyday and whatever you choose to put on your body is your “drag.” I think about this sometimes when I’m getting ready, trying to decide what image of myself I want to project to the world. The other quote is, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” I think about this often, especially circling certain events in my life.

So RuPaul has written three books in total, although I only have books two and three in my possession. GuRu is his most recent publication, released in 2018, and Workin’ It! was released in 2010. His first book is called Lettin’ It All Hang Out, but I can’t seem to find a copy of this book that is available for less than like $50. I already made the mistake of spending $60 on RuPaul’s self-made movie entitled Starrbooty, and I’m just not sure that one really worked out for me. So I’m not quite ready to make the investment on his first book – especially since there was a lot of overlap between his second and third books.

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I’m not sure the entire timeline of Ru’s life, but Workin’ It! was definitely written sometime after season 2 of Drag Race, but before Raven was working as her makeup artist. The book is a list of many tips, tricks, routines, and rules to live by – everything from make-up tutorials to img_9775professional advice. Like I said, I love a lot of Ru’s philosophies, including the idea of “gender fuck”. People can get so hung up on putting gender into certain boxes, and this is the idea of saying “fuck that” and pulling the boxes away. Anybody can be glamorous, pronouns can be interchangeable, and your “between-me-down-there” has nothing to do with how you present yourself. Since Ru has seen and done it all, she’s ready to pass on her knowledge to the generations to come. Truthfully, I’m not sure I needed to know all the ins and outs about Ru’s colon cleaning adventures, but it was a good read otherwise.

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GuRu is probably my favorite of the two, and actually makes for a really lovely coffee table book. It’s not so much a novel, but more a collection of Ru’s thoughts, stories, quotes, and pictures. You could really flip to any page in the book and start reading, since most of the pages stand independent from one another. It’s sort of like the most glamorous self-help book you’ll ever read. It’s very very visually appealing, and reminded me of Kim’s Selfie Book with all the pictures – although there’s way more writing. I’d definitely keep this on my coffee table if I was hosting some elegant extravaganza.

You can find these two published works wherever fine books are sold… and good luck finding the first book, but please feel free to point me in the right direction.

Thanks for reading!