In promoting her new memoir “Love, Pamela” and the accompanying Netflix doc, “Pamela, a Love Story,” it would have been easy for Pamela Anderson to cast herself in Hollywood’s most coveted role: victim.
How refreshing it is, then, that the Gen X bombshell has the fortitude to reject the poor-me trope.
“I’m not a victim, and I’m not the damsel in distress,” Anderson told Variety.
Not that Anderson hasn’t endured plenty of harassment and humiliation. There are tales of sexual assault, abusive boyfriends and the allegation that her “Home Improvement” co-star Tim Allen took “tool time” a tad too literally.
And then, of course, there’s the theft of her sex tape, which had long been treated as a titillating pop-culture touchstone instead of a gross invasion of privacy.
But she has resisted the lure of pretending to be a casualty of Hollywood, dabbing away a tear as she talks to Oprah.
Someone like Meghan Markle could deftly spin two hours of Anderson’s life into a year’s worth of “Archetype” whinecasts.
But not Pam.
Instead of reopening her wounds for pity points, Anderson is showing off her scars as a testament to her willpower and stable sense of self. Remember when resilience was something to be celebrated?
“I’ve made my choices in my life. Some obviously were made for me, but I’ve always been able to find myself again. And it’s created a strong person and a strong parent,” she said.
The “Baywatch” babe also bravely wades into thorny territory.
In a 2018 interview with 60 Minutes Australia, she shared an unpopular view by calling the #MeToo movement “a bit too much for me.” She added: “I think this feminism can go too far. I’m a feminist, but I think that this third wave of feminism is a bore. I think it paralyzes men.”
In her latest media round, she doubled down by issuing a rebuke of the inherently flawed motto: “Believe all women.”
She writes about being molested by a female babysitter and how she came home one day to find a French teenage girl in her trademark red bathing suit crouching in a room inside her Malibu home. The teen had a letter that read, “I’m not a lesbian, but I dream of you.” Anderson called the police and the young intruder slit her wrists in her home.
While responding to the incident, the police noted with relief that it wasn’t a man.
“I was like, ‘How does that make it less dangerous? Women can still murder people.’ It’s kind of been an interesting, reoccurring theme with me and women. My babysitter was female, and people would never assume that she was molesting me. It shouldn’t make a difference. Everyone’s capable of horrible things,” she said.
She also has the onions to express a verboten opinion that she enjoyed the Playboy mansion. “It was just complete freedom,” she said, cheekily writing about the time she caught Jack Nicholson having a threesome in the bathroom there.
And she doesn’t blame anyone for not being properly compensated for “Baywatch” — even though she certainly deserved more.
“I just didn’t have the representation back then. Or the know-how. You don’t realize when you’re doing a TV show that it’s going to be that popular, so you kind of sign your life away,” she said. Lesson learned.
Despite the betrayals and her many trials, which continue to this day as she sees her sex-tape story play out once again without her consent on “Pam and Tommy,” she has an endearing optimism.
She exudes a sense of humor — about others and herself. And, most importantly, she shows grit, an increasingly undervalued trait.
Cast as a bimbo, Anderson is anything but. She’s a deep, heterodox thinker. She has agency, and she’s not afraid to use it.
“No one can take me away from me. I’m always going to be okay,” she said. In our coddled age, is there a better motto?