Oliver Lee Bateman muses on the love of his teenage life – Baywatch’s Yasmeen Bleeth – and the great time he would’ve shown her on a date with his fourteen year-old self.
This post is from a series of posts in which our bloggers answer the question: Who Was Your Teen Dream Date?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was obsessed with the thought of Yasmeen Bleeth. Not the character she played on Baywatch, not the person she was in real life—just the thought of her. I followed her ups and downs in the tabloids—my father had an insatiable thirst for celebrity gossip, and so our house was always well-stocked with back issues of National Enquirer and Globe—and scavenged for .jpegs of her on the Netscape Navigator web browser. What did I know about Yasmeen Bleeth in those days? I knew she had a weight problem; I knew the Baywatch producers had to make special suit to accommodate her overflowing figure; I knew she refused to appear in Playboy; I knew one of her parents was Jewish. I knew all of this, and yet I did not know her.
Had my 14 year-old self gone on a date with Yasmeen Bleeth, what would we have talked about? “Yasmeen, are you interested in pro wrestling? Like with Big Van Vader and Dusty Rhodes and whatnot?” I might have asked her. I doubt she’d have anything to say in reply, but I’d continue in this direction anyway. “I’m really into a cool play-by-e-mail game—we call it e-wrestling—and I, uh, manage or ‘handle’ a character named Eddy Jacks. He’s a 400 pound man with a beard.” Maybe she’d smile at me while listening patiently; maybe she’d ask me if I wanted her autograph in as patronizing a tone of voice as she could manage.
Writing from the vantage point of 2012, it’s difficult for me to reconstruct why I was fascinated with her. For reasons too complicated and also too banal to warrant discussion here, I didn’t have so much as a one-on-one conversation with a girl during high school. I suppose I was one of those horndog teens who winds up humping an apple pie; I suppose I found her measurements more appealing than those of Internet “it girl”Cindy Margolis. Our hypothetical first date would have gone poorly, but please don’t hold that against her: I was a total loser, after all.
 Which wouldn’t be all that patronizing, come to think. Notwithstanding her late-career revival on Nash Bridges and star turn in Baseketball, she wasn’t a very good actress.
Who was your Teen Dream Girl?
For more Teen Dream Dates, read Todd Mauldin’s Win A Date With Molly Rinwald - and submit your own, too!