College News

Back to College News

Robyn Goodman Comments on the Television Show “Baywatch” and Its Impact on Body Image in the 90s

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Advertising Associate Professor and Department Chair Robyn Goodman was interviewed for “Baywatch: Sex Sells,” an episode of Vice TV’s documentary series “The Dark Side of the ‘90s.” The episode focused on the TV show as a one of the first pre-Internet influencers on body image and sexuality.

Robin Goodman

The show had been criticized for its restrictive eating demands on the actresses to keep them thin. “You know the problem with being so restrictive, you’re creating a problematic relationship with food,” Goodman said. “Restrictive eating is related to disordered eating and then to eating disorders. And so, when you have an unrealistic, unattainable ideal out there and that is what you’re being told you need to achieve, well, you’re going to feel bad about yourself.”

Goodman was asked about “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson’s stardom and impact on body ideals. “There were lots of aspects to her life that people found fascinating and they found her glamorous and were very intrigued by her and her life. In some ways, I would consider her the 90s version of the Kardashians.”

Commenting on Anderson’s breast augmentation, Goodman explained that “from the early ‘90s into the 2000s, the rate of breast augmentation went up about 500%. The most popular age category were 19-35 year olds. So ‘Baywatch’ helped normalize plastic surgery. The actresses on that show were very open about their own experiences. Prior to that it was really taboo.”

“When Pamela Anderson got her implants removed, that was all over the media, and in some ways, it was kind of like the end of the ‘Baywatch’ era. What’s interesting is around the time that she had her implants removed, there were also increases in other women going and having those implants removed.  I’m not saying that she caused it. I’m just saying that it just so happened.”

Posted: March 1, 2022
Category: College News
Tagged as: