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Living In The Playboy Mansion Gave Holly Madison 'Body Dysmorphia'?!

Living In The Playboy Mansion Gave Holly Madison 'Body Dysmorphia'?!

As it turns out, Holly Madison was not nearly as happy as she appeared to be while living in the Playboy Mansion — no matter how many wide smiles she flashed on camera.

The 43-year-old former Playboy star has been reflecting on what it was like to live as one of Hugh Hefner‘s girlfriends at the iconic estate in the Holmby Hills section of El Lay. And with Holly living there from 2001 all the way through 2008, there’s no doubt a LOT to reflect on.

Related: Holly & Bridget Marquardt Talk Hugh’s Strangest Habit In Emotional Convo With His Son!

Speaking to People about it this week, Madison — who was just 21 years old when she moved in — opened up about an issue we never expected from her. She believes that the pressures of living in the Playboy Mansion triggered severe body dysmorphia within her. Thinking back to Hugh’s very specific beauty standards at the time, Holly said:

“I would definitely say that living in the mansion created a body dysmorphia for me because I was always kind of wondering what’s wrong with me. [Hefner] had a way of making me feel like I wasn’t pretty enough, and I would look around to everybody else and constantly be wondering, what’s so different about them and why are they so much better?”

Of course, body dysmorphia is far more than just “I don’t like the way I look today.” Per Johns Hopkins University, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health disorder in which worries about one’s body “interfere with your ability to function normally” to the point of “extreme measures” being taken, like “repeated cosmetic surgical procedures to correct the perceived flaw.” It’s a serious condition!

For Holly, who has been very open in the past about getting both a nose job and a boob job, that feeling hit home while living at Hef’s place:

“It was constantly like, what can I do? What can I do? What can I change? How can I look better?”

She explained:

“When I look at what the typical Playboy bunny looks like with the blonde hair and big boobs, I always wanted to look like that. That was just something I would see and it would resonate with me, and it wasn’t to impress any certain person. I just wanted to look like that, and that’s what attracted me to the Playboy brand in the first place.”

Wow. So shocking to hear coming from Holly. If anything, she’s always appeared to us to be that archetypal Playmate. And even she felt this way…

Even though Holly admits she went under the knife to have plastic surgery done “for myself” at first, living at the mansion quickly pushed upon her a very negative view of her body — no matter how much she had done. Holly said:

“I could be looking like a plastic surgery nightmare right now! Because it was just constantly me wondering, what’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?”

Leaving the mansion in 2008 was also extremely difficult for her. Fleeing to go into “survival” mode while feeling “traumatized” by seven demanding years of living with Hef left Holly a shell of herself:

“I was just in this fight or flight state for about four months, just trying to get my feet off the ground because I knew I had to. It was like, build a career for yourself right now before people forget you were on a show. So I did that, and then I was just working my ass off for three years straight.”

She even knows the exact moment she figured out just how unhappy she’d been:

“I remember I was looking through this Girls Next Door coffee table book that we put out when the show was still on because I was looking for a certain outfit I wore for a throwback photo on Instagram, and I was looking at pictures of myself and I was like, ‘holy s**t, I’m fake smiling in all these pictures.’ Nobody else would be able to tell that. They’d just be like, ‘Oh, you’re smiling.’ But I know myself, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, I was so miserable.’ I remembered how miserable I was every day, and then that just all came crashing down.”


Thankfully, it now seems like Holly has gotten past those issues. The former playmate — who shares children Rainbow Aurora, 10, and Forest Leonardo, 7 with her ex-husband Pasquale Rotella — chose to end the interview on a high note:

“I feel like I’m on the other side of it. It definitely took me a couple years to kind of get deprogrammed and get out of the Playboy fog and realize what that relationship was really all about and quit trying to glorify it or justify it to other people. I’m kind of hyper independent now, but I’ve been in a relationship for four years on and off. I’m happy.”

That’s quite a hopeful ending, for sure.

Thoughts, Perezcious readers??

[Image via MEGA/WENN]

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Nov 17, 2023 16:32pm PDT