Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

‘Love, Pamela’: A Tribute To Healing, Feminine Bodies, And The Earth

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Activist. Writer. Mother. Model. Actress.

On January 23, 2023, Pamela Anderson released the well-received Netflix documentary Pamela, A Love Story. Through personal interviews, journal entries, and clips from self-documented home videos, Pamela details her successes, failures, and the story of a stolen tape that changed her life forever.

While watching the documentary, I was most struck by Pamela’s remarkable love of literature and connection with nature. After consuming the media’s caricature version of Pamela for years, I was almost surprised by her intelligence, humor, and perceptiveness (this, naturally, is a problem Pamela addresses in her novel).

Love, Pamela is a remarkable, thought-provoking read that I highly recommend. Filled with poetry, prose, and wit, Pamela’s novel covers so many areas of interest: growing up in Vancouver Island, Hollywood stardom, marriage, raising children, literature, nature, and Broadway. And, of course, Pamela leaves her readers with much to contemplate about how society treats women and female bodies. Without further ado, here are three areas of the novel that have influenced me the most.

1. Feeding the inner child

Pamela devotes much of the novel to describing her experiences growing up on Vancouver Island. Some details are difficult to read, like how Pamela protected her little brother from the unstableness of her parents’ relationship or the times her body was taken advantage of by people in an unfair position of power. However, her love of animals, nature, and learning shines the brightest. Pamela talks about her Grandpa, who convinced her that elves and fairies exist and that trees can talk to us and each other. She gushes about piano lessons, community acrobatics classes, and the time she spent outdoors — on the beach, in her mother’s garden, in the rain.

Later in life, after her children became adults, Pamela decided to return to Vancouver Island. In the poem below, she details the experience of reconnecting with her inner child and working through her emotions and memories. I admire Pamela’s bravery in being vulnerable with her audience and encourage everyone to further explore inner child work. I feel most grounded when I reflect on the person I used to be before society started influencing my perceptions. It’s not easy to be honest with yourself or think about uncomfortable memories, but it’s worth it.

2. bodies, shame, and privacy

Throughout the novel, Pamela reflects on how posing for Playboy — something that felt liberating after her traumatizing childhood experiences — influenced her relationships. No matter how hard she tried, the “image” of Pamela Anderson always outweighed the value of her true, inner self in the eyes of society. Everyone was much more interested in her breasts than any of her passions or goals in life.

After private home videos were stolen from her safe and spliced together to create a “sex tape,” Pamela’s invasive treatment by society escalated further. During her lawsuit, an important case for privacy rights during the rise of the Internet, Pamela endured horrific depositions in meeting rooms filled with naked pictures of herself. Pamela was blamed for the tape, told that she was asking for it, and dismissed as nothing more than a sex symbol. Someone to look at, but not someone to be taken seriously. And certainly not someone with the right to her own body. Because Pamela chose to shoot for Playboy, her body was considered public property.

In recent years, public figures have contemplated the double bind that traps women and fem-presenting people who choose to monetize their bodies. Are they real feminists? Are they contributing to existing problems? It’s exhausting. For many women, monetizing their bodies is a viable form of compensation — and it will continue to be, as long as we live in a capitalist, patriarchal society. However, these women are never treated as multi-faceted human beings deserving of respect. Their lives become automatically subscribed to the male gaze and a tangled web of respectability politics. The same people who ogled Pamela’s body were quick to blame her for choosing to put it on display.

While Love, Pamela doesn’t provide all the answers, it’s an important contribution to the current conversation about the simultaneous shaming and monetization of feminine bodies. If one thing is clear, we must dig deeper toward the root of the double bind instead of blaming or dismissing the women who become caught up in it.

3. activism

After Pamela’s life was turned upside down by the tape, she turned to her purest loves: animals and the environment. A proud vegan, she has devoted years to campaigning for PETA and Sea Shepherd, an ocean conservation organization. Pamela is passionate about protecting all of the Earth’s mini-ecosystems, the Green Party, and the cultural initiatives of Indigenous and First Nations people. She has also created her own foundation, the Pamela Anderson Foundation. The way that Pamela views the larger world is inspiring — she is emphatic that the poorest people of the world should not be suffering the greatest effects of climate change. She uses her voice to amplify others and create change, and it’s evident that all her decisions come from a place of love.

Another aspect of Pamela’s life I was struck by is her implementation of re-wilding — a form of ecological restoration to protect the natural environment. After moving back to Vancouver Island, she devoted her time to incorporating a sustainable water management system and solar energy into her property. Pamela also describes rain-catching ideas and the five thousand square feet garden that she lovingly planted herself.


I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the wonderful facets that make up Pamela Anderson — and she, too, has so much more to explore. I’m inspired by her spirituality, connection with the outdoors, and all the literature she’s consumed and contemplated (even as an English major, I feel poorly read in comparison). I see so much of myself in Pamela, as I suspect many women do. The inner essence of Pamela is so much more interesting than the exterior, and it’s time the world finally gave her attention and respect. I suspect, however, that she will continue making a difference regardless.

Chloé Hummel was the 2023-2024 President and Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus UConn, after previously serving as Vice President and Contributing Writer. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in May 2024 with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is also a certified yoga instructor.