Our older readers might remember a time when Crystal Hefner was one of the the biggest names in reality television.
The former wife of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was one of the stars of The Girls Next Door, a show that focused on Hef’s polygamous life with three blonde brides.
Even in the less-PC era in which it debuted, the show was a source of controversy, and to say it hasn’t aged well would be putting it very mildly.
So it should come as no surprise that Hef’s wives have been highly critical when discussing their experiences during filming.
Just last month, Holly Madison spoke out and revealed that Hefner pushed drugs on women and forced them to have sex against their will.
Now, another wife of Hugh’s, Crystal Hefner — who appeared on the show for one season — is detailing her efforts to rid of herself of the toxicity she absorbed during her time living in the Playboy Mansion.
In a recent Instagram post, Crystal revealed that she had "removed everything fake from my body and deleted all my old photos."
"I am more authentic, vulnerable and feel that I belong more to myself. I am mine," Hefner wrote, acccording to People magazine.
She noted that she "was living for other people before, to make others happy, suffering internally in the process."
Hefner added that her followers won’t be seeing any more graphic content on her social media accounts, and while that move initially resulted in a drop in numbers, her engagement stats are recovering nicely.
"Over five years, my account has shifted from not always safe for work posts to my REAL safe for work life. The real me," Crystal explained.
"Certain photos grow followings fast. In short, sex sells.
"I don’t know whether I felt empowered by dressing scantily clad, showing cleavage, etc …or if I just felt it was expected of me or what … but now I can confidently and 100% proudly say, modesty is what empowers me these days," she continued.
"And because it feels so much better internally, it will probably be this way for the rest of my life."
Crystal says that her Instagram following "tanked hard" at first, and she "saw followers drop by the thousands every day."
She adds that "now it has shifted" and "most days the count is growing."
There’s also been a change in the nature of her following.
"Now my women followers are giving the men followers a run for their money," Crystal wrote.
"Now I truly feel I have an army of supporters that care and see an actual soul behind the lens. For that I thank you,"
She said that going forward, she plans to "make it my mission to try and help in all ways that I can while staying true to myself," adding:
"I hope all of you can stay true to yourself and to what feels right for you as well, because there’s a certain power you get from that you can’t find anywhere else. I love you."
This is not the first time that Crystal has spoken about unrealistic body standards and the harm they can do to women’s psyches.
In 2016 Hefner had her breast implants removed, explaining that she did so as a way of feeling more natural and distancing heself from her past.
In 2020, Crystal explained that she almost died from a cosmetic procedure that involved a "transfer of fat."
"Our culture is a trap and makes women feel terrible about themselves," she wrote at the time.
"Social media makes it worse. Advertisements make it worse. Physically fake people make it worse (I was one of them)," Hefner continued.
"How our culture defines beauty makes it impossible to keep up with. Women are overly sexualized. I know from the worst kind of experience."
Crystal says she bought into the lie that women should only be valued for their looks, and she’s still fightint to rid her psyche of that toxic message.
"For ten years my value was based on how good my physical body looked. I was rewarded and made a living based on my outer appearance," Crystal added.
"To this day I need to write reminders of why I’m worthy that have nothing to do with my physical appearance to convince myself that I’m enough."
We wish Crystal all the best in her journey toward self-actualization.
And we’d like to thank her for her courage in fighting this battle publicly.