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Growing Bolder: Hef is No Longer Smashing Stereotypes -- He's Become One

12/28/2010 02:50 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Poor Hugh Hefner. His self worth seems totally wrapped around the imaginary affection of 24-year-old blondes looking for a higher media profile. At 84, Hef is no longer smashing stereotypes, he's become one and he's perpetuating others. A sugar daddy, dirty old man, gold digger. Does he think we look at him in his bathrobe and slippers with three teenage blondes on his arm and envy him? Or does he know we now pity him? Sorry, but Hef's image has jumped the shark. He's gone from being cool to being a fool and there is no turning back.

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Hef has confirmed his engagement to Miss December 2009, 24-year-old Crystal Harris. Crystal swears, "I don't notice his age," but she does notice his $43 million bank account, Playboy Mansion and media empire. If Hef were a normal 84-year-old who somehow, against all odds, fell in love with his 24-year-old soulmate, maybe I would cut him some slack. But he's not. He's a serial sugar daddy who seems to have his identity wrapped around being attractive to women young enough to be his great-great-granddaughters. It's creepy and it's sad.

Hugh Hefner proudly admits he's been attracted to the same women for the past 60 years -- as long as they're 24-year-old blondes with big boobs and a desire to pose nude. He just keeps switching them out. Or they keep switching themselves out as soon as they get their own reality TV show or the cover of Playboy or a quarterback in the NFL.

At Growing Bolder, we've learned that hanging out with younger people is a great way to stay young yourself. There is power in most intergenerational relationships. But Hef's relationships have gone from laudable to laughable. He's become a cartoon character. He's not battling ageism, knocking down barriers or opening any doors. He's a sad man surrounded by shallow women. He's a reality TV show that's no longer interesting to watch.

We're building a business based upon smashing the stereotypes of aging. We like to say it's never too late to achieve your dreams. Except maybe if your dream is a 24-year-old blonde. Has Hef not looked around and seen the amazingly beautiful, interesting, passionate 80-, 70-, 60-, 50-year-old women today? Somehow, he thinks he's more vibrant than they are. He's not. He's become that which he seems to fear above all else -- impotent. His image has gone flaccid.

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