Playboy (1953- ) is an American magazine that calls itself “entertainment for men”. It has good articles and is a perfectly respectable magazine except for one thing, the thing that it is most known for: it has pictures of naked women.
Hugh Hefner started Playboy in December 1953 with Marilyn Monroe on the cover. More than 50 years later he was still the head of the magazine.
Some of the most famous writers and women have been in its pages. Nabokov, Atwood and Ian Fleming have written for Playboy. Naomi Campbell, Anna Nicole Smith and Kim Kardashian have modelled naked for it.
The pictures of naked women are tasteful and do not show as much as some other magazines. The women are also much prettier, sometimes even beautiful.
Each year Playboy picks one of its models as the Playmate of the Year (PMOY).
Playboy has affected American society in at least two ways:
- It has helped to loosen its morals.
- It has helped to make big breasts and yellow hair a part of white America’s idea of female beauty.
Hefner liked women with huge breasts and long yellow hair, something that is common now but which you did not see much of before Playboy. The magazine has changed men’s taste in women, at least white men in North America.
The women in Playboy have become thinner over the years. In the 1960s they had nice hourglass figures. No more. But that change seems to be driven more by Vogue than Playboy.
From the neck up the women in Playboy are always pretty but rarely beautiful. It seems to be the eyes: they do not look like women who are particularly deep or have much mystery about them.
Playboy conceives of beauty as looking perfect on the outside, like a work of art or a wood fence. It is not seen as something that comes from within.
When I was a boy, back in the days before Google, most of what I knew about a woman’s body came from the few copies of Playboy that secretly chanced my way.
Black women in Playboy:
- 1965: Jennifer Jackson, the first black centrefold
- 1990: Renee Tenison, the first black Playmate of the Year
Tenison is a token: Hefner thought it was time for a black Playmate of the Year. Apparently it will time again in 2020. This makes Playboy whiter than the state of Maine.
To be honest, the partly-clothed black women in King magazine are much better than the few naked ones in Playboy. The black women in Playboy are meant for the eyes of white men, not black men.
Overseas: You see Playboy in other countries, mainly Western ones. Each country comes out with its own Playboy, suiting the women to the country’s tastes and customs.
In Indonesia, for example, the women are fully clothed. Despite that some Muslims still wanted to shut the magazine down. Playboy fled the island of Java (Muslim) for Bali (Hindu).
– Abagond, 2008.
Update (2015): Playboy in the US will soon stop printing pictures of naked women. Internet porn has made that kind of pointless. There will still be pictures of sexy women.
- My adventures in porn
- white beauty: a brief history
- race and beauty
- King magazine
- models (the US edition unless otherwise noted)
- models asked to appear in Playboy who refused:
- politically correct beauty