What has been one of the most popular men’s magazines of all time, Playboy declared that the magazine would not have nudity anymore. This decision comes in the light of the organization’s support towards feminism and women’s liberation. As a matter of fact, PlayBoy Hugh Hefner, founder and editor in-chief of Playboy magazine claims to have founded the magazine (in 1953) with the vision of emancipating women from all sorts of sexual control. Hugh Hefner has a Master’s degree in psychology and has also written a research paper on the irrelevance of certain laws of sexual control of the times.

The magazine has always been as much, if not more, about the content of ideas they discuss or content they share with their readers. Through his magazine, he went on to promote ideas that differentiated identity from sexuality. The issue themed around the idea that ‘Good girls can like sex too’ was one of their highest selling. The magazine also got prominent contemporary public figures like Jimmy Carter to come out of the closet and confess things like his lustful desire for another woman. In those times, Christian Puritan Society had a stronghold in Chicago and most of America. And like any other religion, the exercised so through control of sexuality. These statements were as highly unacceptable and offensive as homosexuality in India in our times.

Although American feminists like Susan Brownmiller are of the opinion that Playboy has never been the source of liberation for women. It was, in fact, commodification of women’s bodies and also promotion of a certain body type as ideal and most desirable.

This was perhaps the body type that Hefner preferred for himself.

playboy

Despite having done away with nudity, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders reassured his readers that the provocative content of the magazine would stay. Some reports suggest that the decision of taking down nudity was taken subsequent to the flooding of the Playboy website after they removed all their nude content. They feel that the decision might pump up their sales.

Such steps of radical action are taken with a profit motive in the name of social activism. These are often nothing more than a humdrum affair.

We must acknowledge, though, what Hugh Hefner did for the men of his times. He did break some silences and made talking about men’s sexuality outside of marriage acceptable. We must also acknowledge that he spoke up against many of the sexual taboos for everyone. He also made a case for Swing and Jazz music in his young days, when it was not acceptable by society.

Hugh Hefner made flamboyance a choice of life one could have. His thoughts did resonate with a large number of men/people in the world, perhaps that is why he went on to sell as many as 8000000 copies a month. Today, such decisions hardly make any difference to the real issues that the gendered problem faces.

How about starting up a women’s entertainment magazine called Playgirl Mr. Hefner? Like the 2015 Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers said, “Feminism and women’s liberation was go
od for the brand”. Wouldn’t it be even better to invest in a brand solely dedicated to women? We are the larger consumer body, after all.