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Why Pamela Anderson Is a Forever Icon Highsnobiety

Icon. People often throw around the word on social media when a celebrity pulls off a particularly adventurous look or pumps gas wearing something wildly luxe. Merriam-Webster, however, defines an icon as "a person or thing widely admired especially for having great influence or significance in a particular sphere." 

Highsnobiety’s Spring 2024 Issue is lucky enough to feature a living breathing icon: thee Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson, an icon? Um…yeah! How could we forget Anderson’s big blonde tresses bouncing around the Baywatch beach? Or the literal face of today’s "no makeup" trend?

Legendary looks aside, Anderson is equally iconic for reclaiming her narrative, as she did with her recent memoir and Netflix documentary. 

So again, yeah, Anderson is an icon true to the definition. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof. 

Pamela Anderson Forever Icon
Highsnobiety

Anderson’s Activism 

The A in Anderson stands for activist. Not really, but she actually is a well-documented advocate who isn’t afraid to put her money where her mouth is. 

Anderson has been, among other things, an ally for AIDS awareness, cannabis legalization, and environmental issues. 

And, as a vegetarian-turned-vegan, Anderson is big on animal rights. She’s created more than a few headline-worthy PETA ads. 

Pamela Anderson Forever Icon
Getty Images

Anderson’s Eternal Pop Cultural Relevance

As a former Playboy Playmate of the Year and Baywatch’s beloved CJ Parker (who returned with a dazzling cameo in 2017’s Baywatch remake), Pamela Anderson has remained one of pop culture’s biggest and most beautiful faces for decades. 

Anderson has evolved over the years, like when she went Broadway in 2022’s Chicago, where she received critical acclaim for her performance as Roxie Hart. 

And in the fashion world, all eyes fell on the actress-model during Paris Fashion Week in September 2023 when she attended Vivienne Westwood and The Row’s presentations in stylish, makeup-free, and instantly-viral ensembles. 

Anderson since starred in Proenza Schouler and Aritzia campaigns and is a regular coverer-of-magazines, including her stunning Highsnobiety cover (of course). 

Pamela Anderson Forever Icon
Getty Images

The big screen couldn’t resist Anderson’s allure, either. When Anderson was on-screen for only a few moments in the live-action Scooby Doo or a full 90-plus minutes in Barb Wire, we felt her impact and presence. These films’ Pam moments emphasize her fun, campy side, a lovable cornerstone of her infectious charm. 

As much as fans appreciate her knowingly silly cameos, Anderson gets real, too. She’s a relatively open book (literally, in the case of her memoir) about childhood traumas and whirlwind romances. 

In Anderson’s Netflix documentary, Pamela, a Love Story, the actress tells her story in her own words. The doc’s raw authenticity earned it a spot on Netflix’s Top 10 most-watched list and helped it achieve a flawless 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Pamela Anderson Forever Icon
Highsnobiety

 Anderson’s Epochal Beauty 

Anderson’s platinum blonde hair is as hard to miss today as it was in the ‘90s, when her unmistakable curls were either piled into a messy bun or running wild and free. 

Anderson’s blonde ‘do only partially informed the ‘90’s bombshell package, of which she was the blueprint. Anderson’s other key beauty hacks of the era included thin brows, neutral-stained lips, and smoky eyes — makeup applications that continue to trend across TikTok. 

But Anderson has since done a full 180 with her beauty, going from multi-step glam to a process that’s simple and very au naturel. These days, Anderson is all about makeup-free looks, which garners as much buzz as her previous full-face beats. In her Highsnobiety Magazine cover story, Anderson calls her recent "no-makeup" face a "healing experience."

Pamela Anderson Forever Icon
Getty Images

Anderson’s Style 

Though the ‘70s are slowly creeping back in, the late-‘90s and early-2000s are still alive and well in fashion, giving Pamela Anderson a moodboard resurgence.  

Anderson quite literally had Y2K style down a T with her tight-fitting baby tees, Vivienne Westwood corsets, and micro-mini skirts. And we can’t leave out that fuzzy hat ‘fit, the groundwork for looks worn by Rihanna and Bella Hadid. 

As Anderson’s gotten older, her style and tastes have shifted to more relaxed menswear styles like breezy suits and workwear pieces. "I like wearing my ex-boyfriend’s Carhartt," Anderson said in her Highsnobiety Magazine cover story. "He was a construction worker." She gets it. 

Pamela Anderson Forever Icon
Highsnobiety

Anderson Is Mother (In More Ways Than One)

Anderson is often and appropriately dubbed "mother" by the internet, but she’s also an actual mother. 

Anderson is a boy-mom to two sons, Brandon Thomas and Dylan Jagger Lee, whom she shares with former partner Tommy Lee. 

Brandon and Dylan play vital roles not only in her Netflix doc but Anderson’s life. In her memoir, Love, Pamela: A Memoir of Prose, Poetry, and Truth, Anderson calls her sons "true miracles" that "saved [her] life."

"The question of what it is like to grow up as Pamela Anderson’s son fascinated me as a storyteller," Ryan White, director of Pamela, a Love Story, said in an interview. "It turns out she’s a damn good mother."

Visit Highsnobiety to view this part of the article.

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