What Event Marked The End of Playboy and Glamour Nudity

I wrote a post earlier this week about how Playboy ending its use of nudity would affect the next generation.  Apparently, this happened a year ago and since then, I’ve heard and found that Playboy will reinitiate using nude pictures in their magazines.  This was confirmed in an article by the Washington Post posted February of this year.  In the article, Cooper Hefner, Hugh Hefner’s son, said that the magazine’s portrayal of nudity was dated.  The article by Washington Post says this is due to the effects of porn being a click away for people.  However, this got me thinking if the growing popularity of porn really was the event in which people turned away from the type of nude glamour photography that Playboy offered.  

In my own little world, the last big celebrity issue that people raved about, where people were seething with horny anticipation, was an issue back in July 2006 when Vida Guerra, a model featured in magazines like FHM and music videos like Frankie J’s Obsession, decided to pose nude.  Just throwing it out there, I found out that Guerra is also a vegetarian which is pretty cool.  This is the last I remember of rampant talk circling around who Playboy’s next spread was going to be on.  There was some buzz on Tara Reid doing Playboy, which she did in 2010, but it was nothing like Guerra in 2006.  Then there was the three blonde models (Holly, Kendra, and Bridget) that looked as if they became the center of Playboy magazine along with the reality television show that was dedicated to them.  In an article by Complex that lists a number of celebrities that posed nude for Playboy, I found that Kim Kardashian posed back in 2007.  This is strange, because I don’t remember hearing any buzz about it, not like there was buzz when Vida Guerra posed.  However, I do remember hearing about Kim’s nude pictorial in the magazine, Paper; although I’m unsure whether or not it received its buzz because of the use of photoshop.  Although I’m sure there were celebrities that posed for Playboy after Vida Guerra, a whole eleven years ago, I hadn’t heard much widespread anticipation for any other issue of Playboy after that.  

This got me thinking about what really was it that sparked the decline of Playboy’s perspective on nude photography, or why the son of Hugh Hefner says the magazine is now dated.  I’m wondering if it really is just the rise of pornography and its easy accessibility all across the internet.  I feel like that’s too easy to define.  The rise of porn and its effects on Playboy should be seen as an external factor.  It sounds like those people who complain because they can’t deal with outside factors, they can’t compete or innovate.  In my previous article, I mention how Playboy’s overall personality was the perspective from a top shelf liquor, high society.  But, then Playboy began to attach itself to reality television shows, which moves it away from what used to be its own steadfast values and enters it into a role in which it simply chases after what other people believe is popular.  There have to be other factors than just the simple reasoning that Playboy can’t compete with the current easy accessibility of porn.  Here are possible factors:

The rise of social media

  • How it determined what people should share and not share.

The rise of reality television

  • How it ended up being the main genre that drove viewership on cable television.

The way nudity was being portrayed in movies.  

  • How movies like American Pie initiated this pivot towards their own perspective on nude women.  

The way art portrayed nudity

  • And how it was much more faster to share tasteful artsy nudes on social media.  

The rise of Instagram and Snapchat and Youtube

  • I’m not sure which one it was, but I remember Playboy began featuring sections of their magazine dedicated to women who got their fame from the Internet.

The most obvious and detrimental phase of Playboy was its use of adult industry porn models like Sasha Grey, hammering in the idea that Playboy no longer controls the reigns of what is beauty and how men should view the nude female body, but how Playboy became a follower of upcoming trends.  

I haven’t looked at much of the recent Playboy magazines.  However, it is very obvious that the prestige and overall perspective of the photos used in Playboy have changed dramatically.  The photos that they currently use today aspire to the type of photos one would find in popular food blogs like Local Milk Blog and The First Mess.  This is the new way that Playboy is depicting women?  The same way popular food bloggers are taking pictures of their oatmeal cookies, kale shakes, and three layer cakes?  With the overuse of dramatic filters and sepia effects.  Maybe Playboy is passing through a much needed phase of identity confusion the same way young men of our generation are going through this lack of direction and need to redefine male masculinity.  Maybe this will all pass and Playboy and the men who view the magazine will be able to grasp what they really want and not what society tells them that they should want.  Maybe sexuality and the current complicated state where everyone is trying to redefine it, won’t be so confusing.

There’s a pineapple on my kitchen counter right now.  It’s a good looking pineapple.  I might want to take a picture of it.  But, honestly, I would still rather be looking at a naked woman.

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