It was a vintage store, and a stack of Playboys, and some shoes sitting on the top. It was only when I got home that I saw it could be interpreted as some sort of commentary. The boots on her face and body, almost obliterating her. Her eyes, a bit wide, peeping over the sole. In any case, I'm interested to see where Playboy Magazine goes in '18 with Cooper at the helm. I like what he's done already, and I think he has the ability to lead this brand into surviving--and thriving again.
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BBC Radio 5 Live had me on yesterday to talk about the social media controversy in the wake of the death of Hugh Hefner. On social media sites, feminists celebrated the demise of a man they asserted turned women into objects while others (like me) celebrated the life of a man who'd helped pioneer the sexual revolution and was a longtime champion of freedom of speech. The debate starts at the 1 hour 22 minute mark here.
I woke up in the middle of the night, checked my phone, and saw there was a text from the BBC. Was I available to talk about Hefner? There was only one possibility: Hef was dead. Not long ago, I received an invitation from his son Cooper to attend the annual Midsummer Night's Dream part at the Mansion. I couldn't attend, and in declining, I wondered if it was my last chance to visit the Mansion while Hef was alive. I've been there two or three times before -- for various events. I worked for Playboy TV for five years, and at one event at the Mansion, I met Hef. He was smaller than I expected. I think he was wearing either a pink or a lavender shirt. He was friendly, and I was gobsmacked to be meeting a legend in the flesh. Wandering the grounds of the Holmby Hills property was another experience altogether. Pink flamingoes picked across the lawn. Little monkeys danced around enclosures in the yard. The grotto was unreal. It was a kind of Shangri-La. Here's to presuming Hef now presides over some equally paradise-like dominion in the sky, surrounded by bunnies.
I wrote an homage on my Forbes blog:
"For years, I proudly wore the Playboy bunny on the front of my shirt, in the shape of a pendant I hung around my neck, on a baseball hat. Unlike the feminists who had attacked Hef for his portrayals of female sexuality, I found in his entrepreneurial spirit, his unabashed love of women, and his unrelenting curiosity about our sexual selves a role model that gave me someone to be."
I did a short interview tonight with BBC Radio 5 Live. I believe it will be archived here.
We discussed my recent post on my Forbes.com blog: "Playboy Is Naked Again and It Is Awesome."
Years ago, I visited a Playboy shoot. As I watched, a naked young woman lolled about on the bed, smooshing her boobs together with her arms and pointing her toes like a retro pinup from a bygone era. Today, Hef is 90, and the new Playboy is decidedly contemporary. The cover features March Playmate Elizabeth Elam looking natural, the cover headline reads "Naked Is Normal," and the Playboy Interview isn't with a modern-day Norman Mailer but Scarlett Johansson, the top-grossing actor of 2016, who pulled in $1.2 billion in global ticket sales. The other nude layouts throughout the magazine are somewhere between classy and, well, sweet. Gone is the greased up and surgically enhanced Playmate of yesteryear. This is the 21st century feminist next door.
Susan Braudy has the scoop:
Almost as soon as I arrived in Manhattan to seek my fortune, I backed into a knuckle-bruising battle with Playboy’s Hugh Hefner.
My new city-slick literary agent Lois Wallace had signed me because she liked my articles in a zippy new Yale monthly called The New Journal. So after Playboy editors approached Lois about a piece on something called the new feminism, she lipped a smoke ring into her telephone and asked me, “How’d you like to be the first woman to write for Playboy?”
The year was 1969. I thought Playboy defined cheesy, but I was too timid to say so. Furthermore, I was afraid to admit I’d never heard of any new feminists.
Lois, however sophisticated, was a shouter: “You’re in New York, dammit, not in some ivory tower.”
Jim Goode, Playboy’s articles editor, contacted me that afternoon. Speaking more slowly than I thought a human could, he explained that Playboy wanted an objective account of the entire spectrum of the brand new “women’s lib” movement. “These women have important things to say, and I want our readers to hear them,” he said. “Let yourself go. Write anything you like but don’t pass judgment. Be fair.”
He concluded, “Write in a tone that’s amused if the author is amused, but never snide.”
"These headshots, taken at the Former Playboy Bunny Reunion in Las Vegas, are the result of my interest in the women of Playboy and where they are now. The tight frame and non-retouched images allow space for one’s personal reflection on age and beauty. The body language suggests even more about who these women are: strong, beautiful, fragile, provocative, and everything in between. They are complex characters that are proud and empowered by their beauty and sexuality, at the same time stricken by the fleeting nature of it."
Fashion Copious has the first peek I've seen of the Kate Moss-covered January/February 2014 60th anniversary issue of Playboy.
Additional images posted to the Instagram account of photographers Mert and Marcus indicate there's an "Exclusive Marc Jacobs" edition that features a different photo of Moss, this one with more bottom.
Update: Here's a better shot of the cover and some of the pics inside.
Somebody thinks Playboy's December 2013 cover with a Playmate stuck in a chimney resembles Hustler's June 1978 cover with a girl stuck in a meat grinder.
"The 1978 cover of Hustler gained notoriety for depicting a woman like a piece of meat. The cover reads 'We will no longer hang women up like pieces of meat,' and the quote along with the depiction of a woman being made into meat was a direct response to criticism of pornography."
Here's your first sneak peek look at Kate Moss, who will cover Playboy's 60th anniversary January/February 2014 issue. The photographers are Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott.
I worked for Playboy, in their TV division, for five years and loved it. You know you're with a killer brand when you travel all over the world, and no matter where you are, people recognize the logo.
Moss will be 40 on January 16, 2014.