Down the Rabbit Hole: Holly Madison
Stand in front of a mirror and look at the image closely that is staring back at you. Memorize it because before long it will change into someone that you will not recognize. Holly Madison had a dream to become a playboy bunny, playmate of the year and to join the flock of women living in the Playboy Mansion. Thinking this was her only option in life she made a rash decision that would impact her greatly and not always positive. Entering the world of Hugh Hefner means being able to take harsh criticism, dealing with backstabbing young and older women, living under his rules and losing sight of whom you really are. As you hear her story, listen to her words, cry and laugh along with her, meet the women that she encounters, and understand that friendships are fragile, personalities are unique and self-worth and self-esteem come at a high price. Hugh Hefner enjoyed as she describes having beautiful blonds on his arm. Seven to be exact at any one time would be considered his “girlfriends.” One would be chosen as his primary one and should have and some did and others did not receive extra perks. Holly vied for more than just this position and when she attained her values changed, her view of herself was no longer that of the girl in the mirror and eventually as Alice in Wonderland did, she fell down a huge rabbit hole until learning how to rise above.
Holly’s journey in the mansion shows many sides of her, dealing with various women, emotional upheavals and realizing that she was there for the sole entertainment of this man. Why would so many want his attention? Money, fame, control, power and the chance to be in his magazine and be a centerfold! Was it worth it to take the insults, the degradations and the underhandedness of not only Hefner but the other girls too? Meet Vicky who was truly divisive and cruel. Manipulative, smart and at times cunning thinking she was indispensible. Think again! Forming certain friendships helped her at times but others did not since most of the girls had their own agendas and some even had secret boyfriends that they saw off the mansion. But, Holly learned how to cope at times and other times just wanted to survive. Learning that her own weaknesses would not get her far, being chosen to star in the reality show Girls Next Door was an eye opener in many respects, Peepshow and the centerfolds, signing contracts against her better judgment and knowing that at any time she could be dismissed and asked to leave. After a while she became complacent and then was given a job as junior photographer and was allowed to make creative decisions regarding the magazine. She even created Playboy accessories; jewelry and swimsuits but what happens with her design should have changed it all. Added in she needed someone to talk with about herself and of course to regain her self-worth. If you look deep and hard at the image of this man you will realize that only things he needs within his mirror are girls to make him feel virile, vital, masculine and important.
Told in her own words you feel the raw emotions, her anger, frustrations and fears at not becoming the person she wanted to be and then finally realizing she just might be if she makes one important decision or change. Would you live a life that was no longer your own? Would you allow someone to create an image of you that mirrors that of others and who they want you to be? Why would so many be so star struck, money struck and concerned with all they could milk from this man? The parties were staged, the television series was centered around him and nothing really mattered except what focused on him, his magazine and the fact the so many young girls were fooled by what they thought was his generosity and kindness but in reality was just a man who wanted control over them. What happens when you voice your concerns or opinion? What happened when you differ with his favorites? What happened when the girls got along too well? Why was creating dissention his forte? Why didn’t he want the girls to get along? How did he think that if they were not fighting over him tooth and nail that he was not their main guy? At 89 he is still going strong but does he still have his harem of women? If you were Holly would you choose to enter this life and his world?
A relationship with Criss Angel and a departure from the mansion you won’t believe as Holly sees a set of papers that would change just anyone’s direction but hers. What would you do if you were left a huge bequest by Hefner in his will as long as you never left the mansion? Find out when you real this all telling, compelling and quite revealing book. Her relationship with him was filled with the same drama as that with Hefner as he was controlling, threw tantrums and in the end she finally ended it. But, needing a job she wound up on Dancing with the Stars, Peepshow and had to deal with Kendra, Brande and Tina once again. Jealously arose and tempers flared but this time she called Criss on his behavior and sent back his presents.
A new life and a new start. Lies, betrayals, self-doubts and one woman named Mary that was her friend all along. Her final choices, her friendships and the passing of one woman that kept her centered and together, Holly Madison finally finds her happiness when she least expects it. Mother, wife, self-assured and no longer needs to be rescued anymore. Her relationship with Hef is over. Her relationship with the girls you will have to read this for yourself. Just how far down will you go before you fall down that same Rabbit Hole or will you realize that the image you now see within the glass of that mirror is really who you are: JUST YOU!
Great telling book that teaches young women to think before making choices, decisions and understand that who you are is fine and not what someone wants to create or manufacture.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine