In September of 1998 the Canadian Red Cross got out of the blood business. This was no the heels of a tainted blood scandal that shook the country from coast to coast. At the time this seemed to me to be like McDonald’s getting out of the hamburger business, W.B. Mason dropping pens and paper, Starbucks calling it quits on coffee. I later learned that the Red Cross has an extensive ‘menu’ of services it provides aside from blood donations.
In a similar vein, Playboy Inc. recently announced the news that starting next March, there will no longer be any nudity in the monthly magazine. While Playboy’s photos were always more erotic than hardcore pornographic, they have decided to concede the visual titillation market to the army of Internet porn providers. I don’t imagine this will quell the many accusations of Playboy’s objectification women. They will still present photos of women, just not naked women.
I will admit I have not read/looked at Playboy for many years. It’s because of my significantly better half. Not that she would be annoyed, but she cuts my hair, and the only place I ever read Playboy was at the barbershop. It was tradition.
Like the Red Cross, Playboy has an array of other features that readers may, or may not, find interesting. Interviews, fiction, humor and reviews are all to be found, but will anyone be looking? I think that an industry giant that built its brand on pictures of nude women, from Marilyn Monroe to the present day, is taking a huge gamble by nixing the nudies. If you’re in the hamburger business you sell the best hamburgers you can. If you’re in the business of erotic photos of women, shelving them in exchange for photos of clad women and other content is questionable. There was a time when someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce New Coke. That did not end well, will Playboy’s decision fare better?
I wonder if Taylor Swift offers to pose nude in June will a reversal of sorts be made? Will no nudes be good news? Can’t wait to see Miss March!