The headline sang its way straight to my heart: "Why Women Love 'Girls Next Door'." Frankly, every woman I know (except for my fellow Jezebels) loves the highly addictive E! reality show The Girls Next Door, all about the life of Hugh Hefner and his three live-in girlfriends. I have had hours and hours worth of discussions, with friends and strangers alike, all female, on whether Holly will ever marry Hef, what age Bridget really is and what's up with all her masters degrees, and the enigma that is the sexuality of Kendra. In fact, 70% of the show's viewers are women: Says an E! talking head, who happens to be female:
They are normal girls living this fantasy lifestyle. They're good friends dating the same guy, and maybe the viewers are thinking, 'That won't ever be me,' but they like to look into it as if it was them as sort of an ultimate fantasy.
Recently, I tried to convince a male who found himself searching my DVR log to give the show a try. "They are girls!," I whined. "And they are, like, always naked! At the Playboy Mansion! What part of this don't you want to watch?" I selected one of my favorite episodes, where lead girlfriend Holly convinces Hef that the girls should design and execute their own individual photo shoots for their second appearance in Playboy, rather than be photographed together in straight-forward settings. Within three minutes flat, my male friend had lost interest. He might've even been nodding off, if I'm not mistaken. Who knows, I was glued to the TV.
You see, as expressed by Daphne Merkin in her piece on the subject in the June 2007 issue of Elle, these are the girls we all could be. They are the anti-fantasy. Behind the fake boobs and the fake tans and the fake hair and, in Holly's case, the fake nose, these are girls that are (sorry Us Weekly) just like us. They're feisty. And have something to say. Could this be why men aren't interested?
Why Women Love 'Girls Next Door' [NYP]
Related: I Dream Of Holly (And Bridget, And Kendra) [Elle]