Hugh Hefner is the major male character throughout the show. Hugh Hefner is the owner of the Playboy mansion and creator of the Playboy magazine. Hefner, at the age of 80 has three different girlfriends that all live with him in his home. In this episode the three girls struggle to find birthday presents for him because they feel he already has everything. Hugh Hefner illustrates male dominance as a concept of masculinity. Hefner appears to act more like a fatherly figure around the girls, while the girls appear to be more childlike during their conversations with him. Hugh Hefner is also significantly older than the three girlfriends and possesses control of the money he provides for the girls as well.
Hugh Hefner’s display of the concept of masculinity may be closely related to the article “Real Men Don’t Cry…And Other ‘Uncool’ Myths” by Phil W. Petrie. In this article Petrie describes the inability for men to express their feelings and the need for men to be in control of their emotions. It also discusses the ideas of control when Petrie believes that men should be in control of women. “Wasn’t that what she really wanted from me as head of the household- control? Wasn’t Freud correct when he proclaimed that our anatomy was our destiny (that is our genitals determine our behavior)?” (Petrie, 222) Hugh Hefner seems almost emotionless in this episode of the “Girls Next Door.” He seems to be in control of his three girlfriends in terms of his age, power, and money.
“The Girls Next Door” is a reality show that exhibits many different concepts of both femininity and masculinity. When these concepts are presented on television and through the media they may send messages to young viewers about how they should act or what they should look like. The girls featured on the show demonstrate many of the same qualities of remaining thin, dieting, and being over sexualized while the men of the show present characteristics of control and power. Overall, the show seems to poke fun of these concepts while also making them some of the main focuses of the program.