Crystal Hefner is feeling good about hanging up her bunny ears and putting an end to her Playboy playmate life. Instead, the blonde bombshell is embracing a new chapter of “modesty.”
The widow of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner recently opened up to her Instagram followers about removing “everything fake” from her body, choosing to delete all risqué photos from her account and the journey of watching her followers grow despite the drastic shift in her image.
“After the last handful of years staying true to myself on social media, I feel that all the people here with me at this point actually care and are invested in my life in a positive way and for that I thank you,” wrote Hefner, alongside a black-and-white photo and a couple data reports showing an increase of engagement on Instagram.
“Over five years, my account has shifted from not always safe for work posts to my REAL safe for work life. The real me,” she continued. “I was living for other people before, to make others happy, suffering internally in the process."
“As most of you know, I grew my following during my Playboy years,” she 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, and because it feels so much better internally, it will probably be this way for the rest of my life.”
Hefner, who revealed that she nearly died undergoing a fat transfer in October 2020, went on to say that she’s “removed everything fake from my body and deleted all my old photos,” adding, “I am more authentic, vulnerable and feel that I belong more to myself. I am mine.”
“As I made this transition, I always thought will my account survive? as I saw followers drop by the thousands every day,” she said, explaining that “I was in the red. Every day. I was watching the girls that had similar pages keep posting the same scantily clad stuff and growing exponentially while I tanked hard. But now it has shifted. Now it’s in the green. Most days the count is growing. Now my women followers are giving the men followers a run for their money. 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 concluded by thanking her new followers, adding that from here on out, “I will make it my mission to try and help in all ways that I can while staying true to myself. 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.”
The inspirational post brought a string of encouraging comments from folks across the world, many of whom are rooting for Hefner’s growth.
“It’s been so inspiring watching you grow as a person and be who you feel most happy and comfortable being!” one woman wrote. “You are one of the most authentic people I have had the privilege of knowing and speaking to! Grateful and happy for you!”
“You are so much more beautiful living your authentic and natural self,” another follower added. “I find you more fascinating than ever and love seeing your transformation and growth over the years. You’re an inspiration to women that are having a hard time finding themselves and who might be in a situation you were in years ago. REAL is sexy. So happy to see you glowing and surrounded by so much love.”
“Love this! I see myself in you so much,” a comment read. “Thanks for being a role model for girls and women!”
Hefner began dating the late Playboy mogul in 2009, becoming the magazine’s Playmate of the Month in December of that year.
The couple got married three years later and remained so until his death at the age of 91 in 2017. According to a rep for the Playboy Enterprises, he died peacefully in his sleep from natural causes at his home.
Hefner commemorated her late husband on the third anniversary of his passing by sharing a reflective post on Instagram: “Thank you for always being my greatest ally, teaching me the definition of kindness, and making me feel extremely important and adored for ten years,” she wrote at the time. “I will be forever grateful.”
Hefner revealed to E!’s Daily Pop in September that in the years since Hugh’s passing, she’s been “traveling and figuring out my life," explaining, “It makes it hard dating now, because Hugh Hefner treated me so well and was so respectful and so kind to me. I’m trying to match that now."
However, she's seemed to have found Hugh's match in actor Ryan Malaty, whom she's currently dating after breaking up with Nathan Levi last year.
“Happy New Year. Time to take down these Christmas decorations, boo,” she captioned a photo over the weekend with the Are You The One? alum using the hashtag #couple.