Katie Fenton, Online Reporter
Playboy magazine recently announced its pages would no longer contain photographs of nude women.
Some readers believe it’s the end of an era. Established in 1953, Playboy gave sex-crazed Americans an opportunity to enjoy their taboo erotica in peace. A man could come home from his stressful day at work, enjoy a nice meal prepared by the Mrs. and then get caught up on Marilyn Monroe’s new spread.
Then there’s a group of people who believe Playboy is growing up. Removing nude photographs from the magazine might be in good taste. Instead of objectifying women, Playboy’s pages could be dedicated to the fine literature its readers know and love.
Maybe Playboy is making a critical business decision. At its peak, Playboy’s circulation reached 5.6 million copies. Now there are about 800,000 in circulation.
Unfortunately for the magazine industry, no one actually wants to read a physical magazine. Consumers want accessible content at an affordable price. Why pay $19.95 for a one-year subscription when there are single issues available for as little as $1?
Better yet, why pay for a magazine subscription at all when there’s the Internet?
“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free,” Scott Flanders, Playboy’s chief executive, told The New York Times. “And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”
That’s the problem with Playboy. It’s not a sex magazine. In fact, it’s actually classified as a men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine.
Except readers don’t pick up a copy of Playboy for its features on lifestyle.
People read Playboy to get off, but the Internet is taking over with a growing pornography industry. There’s no point in featuring pictures of naked women in an outdated magazine when a quick Google search can produce personalized results.
Yet Playboy’s decision could turn out to be a huge success. With a heavier emphasis on stories and appropriate photographs, Playboy could turn into the next Men’s Health or GQ.
Plus, there’s a noticeable stigma surrounding Playboy. Reading the dirty magazine in public will absolutely attract unwanted attention. Even admitting to reading Playboy is sometimes frowned upon. Without nude pictures, a mainstream Playboy could gain popularity again.
It’s unlikely Playboy will ever reach that status. The magazine exists in a society that’s obsessed with having more of everything. We crave bigger phones, faster cars, slimmer waists and supersized fast food meals. Playboy’s teasing nature just wasn’t enough.
Instead, horny teenagers and middle-aged men began to turn to the Internet for their strange fetishes.
The executives at Playboy simply made a business decision. It’s not the end of the world, nor is it the beginning of something better.
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