I waited to publish this article. I heard the news. I was casually on twitter not paying attention to the third party contract my professor was discussing when I find out that Playboy is no longer participating in nudity. The magazine for men is giving up it's pornographic past.
Shock. It hit me. What is Playboy without it's centerfold unfurled with bunny ears and her breasts out? The concept of boys reading Playboy for the articles throws me.
Playboy is archaic as a symbol of patriarchal society. However, without it we wouldn't have the nudes of all the famous women we do. Playboy has been quite successful in this endeavor. Marilyn Monroe, Farrah Fawcett, and Drew Barrymore. And, let's not forget Lindsay Lohan who said it was freeing “not to use a vaginal plug.”
I have a conflicted view of Playboy. Despite the obvious misgivings, they've done some upstanding things. They refused to publish the nudes of Vanessa Williams. Eventually, Penthouse went on to publish them forcing her to give back her crown.
Conversely, their Playgirl publication published the unsolicited nudes of Brad Pitt. The magazine sold out before it could be removed from stands.The 90's were the time to be alive. It was an intelligent business decision if not ethical.
The argument that Playboy is an intellectual pursuit is slim. Even, with it's political commentary, that does tend to run liberal. A point in it's favor is that Playboy has been printed in braille. The question is do they put erotic descriptions of the centerfold in place of the picture for the blind. Or is it truly just an intellectual pursuit like it's proponents claim.
It seems like an end to an era. A new generation of children will no longer be able to find sexually explicit magazines in their father's sock drawer. Could there ever be another House Bunny movie? Is the objectification of blonde shell bombs over? And, more importantly will we ever see another Kendra Wilkinson. A girl who's fame is based solely on her large breasts and perky personality and who's husband still cheated on her. Only magazine subscriptions will tell.