There has been a lot of media about Hugh Hefner for many years now. As the founder of Playboy, he has gone on to be more synonymous for the wide range of young women who lived in his LA mansion.
I’m not sure what the media thought was interesting about that. As a father of two young daughters, I would be horrified to think that they might be shacking up with a guy who at best should be dating a 60 year-old woman.
In light of his passing, I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy. Hugh Hefner has gone now. His life here is finished. He is the Playboy who turned a love of movies, sex and women into a global empire. That’s success right there, right? I mean creating a global empire is no mean feat. And it’s the naughties (ie. this century). Who cares how you do it – as long as you just do it…
How did we come to think that getting around in your pyjamas and robe all day, flanked by multiple women, was okay?
In 1953, a time when states could legally ban contraceptives, when the word ‘pregnant’ was not allowed on ‘I Love Lucy,’ Hefner published the first issue of Playboy, featuring naked photos of Marilyn Monroe.
For decades he was the pipe-smoking, silk-pajama-wearing center of a constant party with celebrities and Playboy models. By his own account, Hefner had sex with more than a thousand women, including many pictured in his magazine.
He tearfully noted in a 1992 New York Times interview: ‘I’ve spent so much of my life looking for love in all the wrong places.’
Hefner had stated that in his home growing up there “was absolutely no hugging or kissing.” And in an interview with Vanity Fair, he said this unaffectionate home created a “need to feel loved,” which became “the key to my life.”
His legacy really is making the objectification of women a mainstream thing in society. He opened the door to pornography, and as we all know, from a humble magazine, we now have rampant porn issues online.
My goal here is not to judge Hugh Hefner, but to rather ask you what legacy you think you will leave. You don’t have to be high profile to leave one. Everyone does. Most people leave a legacy for their family. Some have a high profile and their life impacts nations but most don’t – and don’t need to.
Look within the four walls of your home. What teachings, instructions and life skills are you instilling in your own children? When you’re not around to correct them, or if they’re older, to sit down and have coffee with them and help them navigate life, what will you have left them with to be able to do it all on their own?
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” That’s the legacy I am trying to leave
Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons