Columns / Discourse / February 5, 2009

Kendra Wilkinson is ruining America

Kendra Wilkinson is ruining America. That’s right, folks: Hef’s child-bride might just be the downfall of the Stars and Stripes.

Allow me explain. Firstly, for those of you who spend your time watching more sophisticated reality TV like Wife Swap, Dancing with the Stars, or The Littlest Groom, let me introduce you to Kendra Wilkinson: 23 years old, 5′ 4″, 120 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes, 34″, 24″, 32″… hut, hut, hike! Kendra is, or, as of quite recently, was, one of Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends on the hit show The Girls Next Door. On the show, Kendra is sort of like Playboy’s version of Sporty Spice: she fancies herself a tomboy and has a laugh comparable to a sputtering car engine.

Well, it seems that Mr. Hefner wasn’t much of a mechanic, said the brainless bombshell in a recent interview. The two parted ways when Miss Wilkinson became engaged to the much younger, much tanner Hank Baskett, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles — wide receiver indeed (Kendra’s a D cup). Before fading into obscurity, Kendra graciously emasculated the world’s most famous bon vivant. Hef, she quipped, was just not enough. She saw him once or twice a day in passing. They never sauntered in the glow of crimson filtered candle-light, they never skipped across a golden beach at dusk, they never did anything worth mentioning as unmentionable at all.

So Kendra did what any red-blooded American bimbo would do; she cheated on Hugh Hefner. Hugh Hefner, who paid for her room and board. Hugh Hefner, who whisked her off to Vegas and Paris. Hugh Hefner, who offered to walk her down the aisle at her wedding to another man.

Hef epitomizes charm. He built Playboy from the ground up and invented the swinger persona. Kendra just doesn’t seem to respect that (maybe she just doesn’t get it). Everyone pretty much figures that 82-year-old Hugh Hefner, riddled with any number of health problems which plague the elderly, isn’t what he used to be in the bedroom. Let’s just say he probably doesn’t wear the bathrobe for the same reasons he did thirty or forty years ago.

But did Kendra have to blow the whistle (isn’t Hank enough)? Did she have to destroy the delusion so thoroughly? Ricardo Montalban is dead, and the fantasy certainly is over. While I hesitate to dub Kendra an exemplary member of Generation X, she is a prime instance of a common problem.

You see, Barack Obama, our new president, has stressed and continues to stress this personal responsibility thing; the idea that the most important thing we can learn from our predecessors is the value of hard work, respect, and accountability. So let’s take Kendra Wilkinson: Hard work? Well, walking in heels is hard… Respect? We’ve already discussed her considerable lack thereof. Accountability? Certainly not.

We just don’t understand what put us here. We just want to wipe the slate clean, mock it, destroy it, swallow it and live off its afterglow; call it our own. In some ways this re-invention is good. Change in its purest form. But discretion is invaluable. There can be no re-invention without invention. Hef invented, and Kendra barfed all over whatever glitter was left on his fading dynasty.

So now Hef has three new girlfriends in his mansion and we have a new fella in our White House, but (and I know I sound like your grandpa here) we mustn’t forget what put us here. Don’t be a Kendra, kids.

Sarah Colangelo

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