Why I Hope My Daughter Grows Up to Become Kendra Wilkinson

I was lucky enough to snag a free copy of Kendra Wilkinson’s memoir, Sliding into Home. After two semesters of reading nothing but sociological studies and gay literary fiction, I needed a healthy dose of ghost written celebrity memoirs. Boy, did Kendra deliver! She brought the expected gossip—orgies, dirt on Holly, and episode after episode of drug use—and also the unexpected self-portrait of an honest, hard working individual—the type of individual that makes memoirs like Angela’s Ashes classics. (Not that this will be a classic. The second her fifteen minutes—or fifteen hours—finally fucking end this book is hitting the Strand discount box.)

In retrospect, I should have expected this portrait. After watching Kendra on television for seven years (yes, we have been watching Kendra and the other “girls next door” for seven fucking years), I should have known that Kendra doesn’t fool anyone. She is what she is. If you don’t like what she is, she’ll tell you to fuck yourself… actually, she’ll just laugh in your face, flash you, and then get into a fight with Hank.

There’s a long history of feminists criticizing and praising Hugh Hefner and the Playboy brand. Some say porn demeans women. Others believe Playboy’s classy and can lead to career opportunities. Some essayists write that Hugh’s a polygamist who really loves women. I’m sure you know the drill, and I have no desire to bore you with a gender studies interpretation of Sliding Into Home. First of all, it’s a celebrity memoir made to entertain. This is Kendra, not Bob Dylan. Secondly, Kendra lived by her own rules. Yes, she shared a boyfriend with two girls and was not allowed to have multiple partners. Yes, she flashed her booty. Yes, she’s not Hillary Clinton, and that’s my point.

She is nobody except Kendra Wilkinson. While this means she’s clumsy and that she apparently can’t grocery shop (Oh, the pilot episode of Kendra! How I love you!), it doesn’t mean she has no self-awareness. In fact, she has a complicated view of her identity. (I think I just started writing a gender studies interpretation of a celebrity memoir. Oh, well!) As she says multiple times, she enjoys to party but also sees the “Kendra Wilkinson” role is a job. She plays up her clumsiness for TV. When she started dating Hank, she carried on flashing audiences even though he asked her not to, because she knew her fans expected to see her titties. At times it looks like she got naked and dated “Hef” for the money, but she never put herself in situations that made her uncomfortable. She had multiple arguments with Hef about wearing the bunny suit. “I am not… a bunny,” she writes. She’s a sporty girl, not Holly. Yet at the start she still sleeps with the man for cash. But anyways, what’s more demeaning: minimum wage or fifteen grand to give a bj?

It’s unfair to judge a girl for getting down and dirty on a stage when she’s a party animal at heart. (Probably, a socially constructed party animal, but a party animal nonetheless.) The New York Times and parent organizations love to rip starlets to shred, but when did Kendra call herself a role model? She has virtues and rules; those rules just happen to be her rules instead of the morality police’s. Do I share her lifestyle? No, but does that doesn’t make Kendra or her memoir immoral. Kendra plays the Kendra role by her own rules, gaining her own fortune and independence, without selling out and wearing a bunny costume. She’s an independent woman who could care less what you think of her. Isn’t that what all teachers and parents want their student and children to grow up to be? TC mark


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  • Hussein Abdalla

    Wow. Not only is this piece well written, but it gave me a new perspective.

  • Something

    I think you meant “couldn't care less.”

    • Mr Shankly

      I think the writer could care less about using correct, comprehensible written English.

      • Mr Shankly

        Unless it was deliberate. In which case we both look like absolute melvins.

      • Guest

        The grammar of that last sentence was incorrect. You could either say:

        “I think the writer could care less about using correct, comprehensible, written English”

        “I think the writer could care less about using correct, comprehensibly written English.”

        The absence of a comma after the word “comprehensible” is wrong, and makes you appear as if you could care less about using correct, comprehensible, written English. Just a thought. I’m neither for nor against Kendra, or this article. I am, however, against hypocrisy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1712117106 Jocelyn 'Cherry Bomb' Duncan

    Interesting perspective. I for am guilty of condemning “starlets” but I just have to remember they do what I do. They're themselves. It may not be the choices I would make but that's the reason why it's not me.

  • lsl21
  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    This article should be titled “Why I'm Not Fit to be a Parent” by Mitchell Sunderland.

  • Blah


  • Lou

    Knock knock. 
    Who's there?
    Kendra wh-?

  • Lou

    P.S. If you're going to call Kendra an independent woman, it might be wise to not do it immediately after you talk about her giving 15000 dollar head.

  • PhermonousFan

    Nice try, Thought Catalog Affiliate Marketing employee.

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    I liked this :-)

  • London

    I think this is fabulous. As an independent woman AND as a stripper ;)

  • eferf57
  • http://tesslacoil.tumblr.com Tesslacoil

    Seriously? Looks like I need to read that now. Fuck yeah, man, I'm with you.

  • eatmeidon'tgivemynameoninterweb

    HAHA- just googled you after Tyson article you’re a great writer!! Well, your grammar sucks but I love what you say

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