So far, 2016 has been a year of unexpected events.
In the last two months alone, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Nigel Farage grew a moustache and, in the most shocking revelation of all, it was announced that Mary Berry would leave The Great British Bake Off.
It felt as if nothing more could surprise us. But then we were treated to the sight of former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson reinventingherself as a political agitator.
The pneumatic 49-year-old spoke at the
this week about the damage pornography was doing to a new generation of sexual partners, saying it promoted violence against women and was "demeaning and hurtful".
She also said she was "completely offended" by Presidential candidate Donald Trump's recently leaked admission about groping women; her comments were later reported on television news bulletins.
As if that weren't enough political headline-grabbing for one week, Anderson then visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been claiming political asylum for over four years.
She swept in with her usual glamorous aplomb, sporting cat's-eye sunglasses and erect nipples, carrying a copy of Vivienne Westwood's diaries under one arm and Pret a Manger vegan sandwiches in the other.
A few days earlier, Anderson had been photographed posing winsomely next to a red pillar box, sending a hand-addressed letter to Theresa May at 10 Downing Street in order to protest against animal circus acts.
"With all due respect, Brexit is complicated," Anderson wrote, displaying an admirable grasp on current affairs, "but kissing circus animal acts goodbye is easy as pie."
It's all a far cry from the fictional Malibu beach where Anderson first ran slo-mo across the sand in her red swimsuit as C.J. Parker, the world's most attractive lifeguard.
It's a confusing time for feminism. We live in an era when Kim Kardashian can post a nude selfie and claim to feel empowered by her own self-objectification, and a former Miss Great Britain can be stripped of her title for having sex on a TV show, even though the whole premise of Miss Great Britain is surely to be sexy in a bikini.
Still, even in this bewildering context, many of us were surprised to see an actress who has posed for the cover of Playboy a record 14 times campaigning against the porn industry.
But Anderson believes her experience makes her uniquely equipped to comment on the issue. She told the
that for years, men treated her "like a porn star", an experience which led to her being "slapped, called a whore and spat on - it's sick, it's hurtful, it's demeaning and it's terrible, terrible sex."
She has called for a "sensual revolution" and the resurrection of romance, while at the same time acknowledging her past: "I know I should probably disqualify myself from the conversation."
Baywatch made Anderson a household name in the 90s and she rapidly became every unimaginative teenage boy's favourite pin-up.
She was the quintessential blonde: a beautiful, buoyant Marilyn Monroe repackaged for modern times. She went on to cement her celebrity with a series of
spreads, more than one marriage to a rock star and a sex-tape in the days when such things were still recorded on VHS.
She hung out with Hugh Hefner, appeared on Australian Big Brother and auctioned off her red swimsuit for charity.
Can this Pamela Anderson really be the same barricade-stormer who thinks nothing of visiting a discredited political exile and dashing off a letter to the Prime Minister? Who turned up at the Assemblee Nationale in Paris in January to support a ban on force-feeding ducks and geese for foie gras?
In fact, seasoned Anderson-watchers will know that her political awareness is the fruition of a much longer seeding process.
It dates back some 20 years, to when she found herself on a long Baywatch promotional tour and wrote a letter on mauve stationery to the animal rights group, PETA.
"I'm in a TV show called
and the press is obsessed with my personal life," the letter went. "I'd really like to divert some of the attention to things more important than my boobs or my boyfriends. Can we join forces?"
Anderson became one of the organisation's most vocal spokespeople. Her interest in animal rights stemmed from childhood when, aged 12, she convinced her father to give up hunting after discovering a deer's carcass in the house. But it also went far deeper - Anderson was raped as a child and says she turned to animals for comfort because "they were my only real friends until I had children."
By 2003, she was appearing nude in
's highly influential
campaign. She also campaigned for AIDS charities and spoke out against sexual violence.
Her personal life did not run smoothly. Her first marriage, to rocker Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, resulted in her contracting Hepatitis C from a shared tattoo needle.
In 2006, her second marriage to the singer Kid Rock ended after four months and she found herself a single mother of two boys, with debts running to over a million dollars.
She stopped drinking and started doing pilates. She gave up e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and her mobile phone. She worked hard to pay off her debts.
By 2014, Anderson was a new woman. She rid herself of her flowing blonde locks and emerged with a new pixie cut, which seemed to symbolise a conscious break with her past.
That same year, she launched the
, a non-profit that campaigns for environmental and animal rights.
Comparisons have been made with Brigitte Bardot - another sexpot turned animal rights activist and indeed, the two have worked together on several occasions.
But, as the past few days have shown, Anderson has always been her own woman. She might have taken a circuitous route from Baywatch babe to Prime Ministerial correspondent, but as she said herself in a 2009 interview: "People always tell me, 'Reinvent yourself, re-this, re-whatever.' I haven't reinvented myself. It's an honest evolution. I've always been authentic. Except for the boobs."