In September, Pamela Anderson went viral — and not for anything scandalous. The 56-year-old dared to attend Paris Fashion Week events without a stitch of makeup on her famous face. Fellow celebs cheered her on, with A-listers Scarlett Johansson praising the former Playboy centerfold for sending a “powerful message” to women and Jamie Lee Curtis saying she was “floored by this act of courage and rebellion.” Pam’s message was simple. “I was dressing in these beautiful clothes, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to compete with the clothes,’” she said at the time. “I am just being me.”
It’s a whole new vibe for Pam, previously known for her bombshell looks and infamous sex tape with ex-husband Tommy Lee. She’s ready to shed that identity like she’s shed her fake eyelashes. Last January, Pam offered fans an intimate look into her life with her Netflix documentary, Pamela, A Love Story, and her memoir, Love, Pamela.
And now, she’s branching out again with her new vegan beauty line, Sonsie, introducing it on Instagram on January 22. A source exclusively tells Life & Style the star is enjoying showing the world a radically different side of herself. “She’s so much more than that Baywatch babe stereotype,” says the source. “She feels like she’s finally getting the respect she deserves.”
It’s been a long time coming. Sexualized from a young age — a babysitter molested her as a child—Pam leaned in to what she felt others expected of her. In her book, she recounts being abused by multiple boyfriends as a teen and admitted that she posed for Playboy in an effort to reclaim her sexuality. Yet she continued to be objectified. The photos, she wrote, “gave some people the impetus, sadly, to treat me without respect.” (She claimed actor Tim Allen flashed her on the set of Home Improvement, where she played the ditzy Tool Time girl, an allegation he has denied.)
Her love life often made headlines, never more than when a personal tape of her and Tommy was stolen from their home and sold as porn. While Tommy was deemed a sex god, Pamela became the butt of jokes. She has said she blocked out that painful period, but the 2022 release of Hulu’s dramatization of the era, Pam & Tommy, reopened the wound.
“It was already hurtful enough the first time,” she complained. “It’s like one of those things where you’re going, ‘Really? People are still capitalizing off that thing?’” While the tape generated more than $100 million in profits, Pam and Tommy had to sue for an undisclosed portion. They split in 1998 after he assaulted her while she was holding their infant son Dylan, now 26 (she and the Mötley Crüe drummer also share Brandon, 27).
She took the 2019 death of her longtime makeup artist Alexis Vogel as a sign to shed her vixen look. “Getting dolled up was part of her image for so long, but it wasn’t really her, and she was happy to ditch it,” says the source. “Pamela has learned to embrace her natural beauty and she feels like the real Pamela is shining through.”
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She’s scaled back her lifestyle as well, returning to Vancouver Island in her native Canada. “It saved her life,” says the source. “It felt so good to get away from Hollywood. She loves being close to nature.” She’s also content being single — for now. “Despite her five failed marriages, Pam’s a hopeless romantic,” says the source. (She divorced local handyman Dan Hayhurst after two years in 2022.) “If someone comes along, she’s all for it. But she’s all about living in the moment.”