Businessman tattoos ‘girlfriends’ to ‘empower them’
PLAYBOY businessman Travers 'The Candyman' Beynon has hit back at his critics, insisting he 'empowers women to feel better about themselves' - including by being branded with his 'Free Choice' tattoos.
The Gold Coast tobacco tycoon came under fire on International Women's Day last weekend after posting a job ad for new live-in girlfriends at his 'Candy Shop Mansion' where he lives with his family and a bevy of beautiful women.
The ad stipulated that women must be, and stay, attractive, live with his other girlfriends, accompany the Candyman to social events and help out around the mansion.
Coast-based Palaszczuk Government MP and assistant Tourism Minister Meaghan Scanlon slammed the ad, saying it was 'outrageous that in the 21st Century, women should be purchased and treated as property'.
Mr Beynon told The Sunday Mail that feminists like Ms Scanlon were trying to tell other women how to live their lives.
"The last thing you want to do is tell a strong, independent woman what they should and shouldn't do because they just rebel," he said.
"Obviously, with my mansion life, the philosophy I live by is freedom of choice and freedom of expression."
Mr Beynon defended the practice of his girlfriends being tattooed with his Free Choice tobacco chain logo.
He said hundreds of people worldwide had gotten the tattoos after he offered them for free at a mansion party two years ago.
"I never ask anybody to get the tattoos - it's totally their choice," he said.
"I always ask the girls 'are you sure?'. They have to ask me twice because getting a tattoo is a big decision.
"Branding is what happens to a poor cow that gets whacked on the backside with a brand.
"The girls are getting tattooed because it's their choice. The philosophy of free choice, without the burden of what other people think, is what inspires them."
Mr Beynon said he did not control his wife and girlfriends' lives at the mansion, but enjoyed shopping with them.
"It's not like I tell them they have to wear this and wear that," he said.
"I spent 10 years in the fashion world and I do get a lot of enjoyment going with girls and helping them shop. I'm like their gay stylist but I'm not gay.
"My daughter (model Lucciana) doesn't go shopping without me because she believes I just know what looks good."
Mr Beynon said his 'passion' was to 'inspire women to make them look and feel better'.
"I'm not only a boyfriend but a mentor as well," he said.
"I build confidence in the women and teach them all about life, and the first step is make them look good. Girls want to look good.
"My wife (Taesha) explained it the other day: women put make-up on and dress nicely to look good for guys and others, but they get breast implants for themselves to feel better. I get that.
"I do whatever I can to help the girls and build their confidence and self-esteem, and the way they look goes hand-in-hand with that."
Mr Beynon said he loved women but also respected them.
"I'm a big supporter of strong independent women," he said.
"My mum and grandmother were both matriarchs and I've always been around strong women. Two of my daughters are very strong girls."