Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i'm a barbie girl, in a barbie world

I am an E! addict, I love to spend the day keeping up with the Kardashians and Chelsea Handler on the network. My former favorite show was The Girls Next Door. When it was on the air, I loved watching the three very different girls - Holly, Bridget, and Kendra - navigating their lives in the Playboy Mansion. Always amusing to me was the conflict between Hef's (then) main squeeze Holly and his former paramour Barbi Benton. Holly seemed threatened every time she was in the presence of Barbi, which I think Barbi relished and expected. She knew that she was a part of the Playboy dynasty during a very crucial period for the magazine and the Hefner brand.
Barbi was the girlfriend of Hugh Hefner during the early 1970s, when Playboy was the ultimate embodiment of the swingin' sophisticated bachelor. It was during this time that Hefner had expanded the Playboy brand to clubs, merchandise, and essentially a whole lifestyle. He hosted the Playboy After Dark program and hobnobbed with celebrities like Ringo Starr and Roman Polanski. Barbi was only 20 years old when she met the 44-year-old magazine owner. When Barbi declined a date with Hefner because she had never been out with someone over 25, Hefner infamously replied, "Neither have I."
Though never a Playmate, Barbi appeared on several covers and in pictorials throughout her years with Hef. After their breakup, they remained good friends, cementing her role as a Playboy princess through and through.
Barbi is obviously quite pretty, with Jane Birkin bangs and her charmingly sweet smile. Her style evokes the innocence of the late 60s and early 70s that is seen with Britt Ekland, Birkin, and others.