Holly Madison may have risen to fame as a Playboy Bunny (and star of Hugh Hefner's mansion-set reality series, The Girls Next Door), but she's encouraging 2-year-old daughter Rainbow to follow a different path.
As part of Yahoo Parenting's #NoShameParenting week, Madison opened up about what she hopes Rainbow learns from her own past and the stories she's revealed in her book, Down the Rabbit Hole.
"I wanted my side of the story out there," she said. "I never had a voice. It was always shaped by the TV show or by Playboy or Hef himself. But I want my daughter to know why I made the decisions I did. Since writing the book, I’ve had a lot of practice defending myself and the choices I made, and I think that has been good practice for discussing those decisions with her."
The 35-year-old says that Hef is "absolutely not" involved in her daughter's life, and that she would "not be OK" with her daughter pursuing a career as a Playboy Bunny.
"When she is an adult, she will be able to do what she wants, but from Day One I've tried to raise her to know she has value, her body parts have value, and she doesn’t have to do something cheap or tawdry to get attention," Madison says. "If she wanted to do — and God forbid she did — I would tell her my whole experience with it and I'd be honest that it wasn’t what I thought it would be."
Today, Madison admits that posing nude has had a long-reaching effect on the way she's treated.
"While you are doing it, it might seem fine, but years later, you don't necessarily want those pics out there, and they don’t go away," she admits. "Plus, one thing I've learned is that if people know you’ve posed nude for anything, they want to take your choices away in different contexts. So, because you've done it before, they assume you'll pose nude for anything, anytime, anywhere. ... But a woman's body is her own, a man's is his own, and when we feel okay being naked is different for everybody. Some might feel okay in a locker room but not in public, or in Playboy but not a different publication. It's a choice and everyone is entitled to the choice. I feel like once you’ve posed nude, suddenly people assume your body is always fair game."
"I don't really care about his response," she said. "I wanted to share my story to inspire other women who might be in a bad relationship to get out, or not be branded by bad decisions they've made, and take charge of their lives and move on. ... I'm definitely not rewriting history. I'm finally telling the truth of my experience. For so many years, I tried so hard to be a good girlfriend, and I cared about him and always had his back."