PRINT February 2010


Michele O’Marah

ACCORDING TO HER WEBSITE, Pamela Anderson is “the millennium’s most recognizable icon.” The claim may seem a bit premature, but there’s no doubt that in her twenty-year career, Anderson has proved a remarkably durable cross-platform pop-cultural presence—the “most downloaded star,” per Guinness World Records. This ubiquity surely stems not only from her more obvious attributes but also from the fact that, paving the way for the antics of Paris and Britney, she was among the first mass-media celebrities to thoroughly blur the line between scripted performance and the performance of celebrity itself. Aside from her iconic turn on Baywatch, for the most part her appearances as fictional characters—miscellaneous roles in B movies and as a “Tool Time girl,” a bodyguard, a bookstore clerk, and an animated stripper in various TV series—have been thoroughly eclipsed by appearances “as herself”

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