The January/February 2016 edition of Playboy magazine will be the final issue in a 60+ year tradition of nude centerfolds — and sex icon Pamela Anderson has been given the coveted cover spot.
As Reuters noted, Playboy has been the nude medium for many celebrity beauties over the years; from Madonna to Cindy Crawford, from reality TV star Kim Kardashian to pro wrestling superstar Chyna. But the former Baywatch star is the one receiving the honor of baring it all one last time for the “men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine.” The selection should come as no surprise, considering that Pamela Anderson is one of the most popular models and sex symbols of all time.
After Anderson’s photo shoot becomes available in magazine form on December 11, nudity in Playboy will be a thing of the past. The twelve-page spread will be accompanied by James Franco interviewing Pamela.
When Playboy announced that it would no longer be publishing nudity in their magazine, it was a disappointment to many, but not a surprise. In the official statement given by Hugh Hefner and the publication, they admitted that the over-abundance of free porn available to consumers on the internet really made it difficult for Playboy to be a profitable enterprise as a magazine being sold based on nudity.
“As you may have heard, Playboy is going to be non-nude starting with the March 2016 issue… This means the models, celebrities and, yes, Playmates will not be naked for the first time since our founder Hugh Hefner laid out the first issue in 1953…
“The question everyone will likely be asking is, ‘Why?’… The short answer is: times change. When Hef created Playboy, he set out to champion personal freedom and sexual liberty… Nudity played a role in the conversation about our sexual liberties, and over 62 years the country made great strides politically and culturally…
“The Bunny transcends nudity. Tens of millions of readers come to our non-nude website and app every month for, yes, photos of beautiful women, but also for articles and videos from our humor, sex and culture, style, nightlife, entertainment and video game sections. We are, and always have been, ‘entertainment for men’ – with award-winning journalism and fiction to boot. Playboy is a cultural arbiter of beauty, taste, opinion, humor and style.”
The old adage that some buy it “just for the articles” will soon be a much more believable statement. With a renewed emphasis on journalism interesting to men — sprinkled with racy-but-not-technically-nude photos of unbelievably gorgeous women — Playboy will now be competing with the likes of GQ and Maxim as opposed to Penthouse and Hustler.
If you think Pamela Anderson seems like a natural selection for the grande finale, that’s probably because this will be the fifteenth time she’s graced the cover of Playboy. As the Boston Herald noted, It will be the thirteenth Playboy cover Pamela Anderson has done since 1989, more than anyone else. As far as nude centerfolds in Playboy go, it’s a record that will never be broken.
From one generation’s sex symbol to another, Marilyn Monroe and Pamela Anderson will be Playboy‘s nudity bookends, being the first and last nude covergirls, respectively. Anderson, who received encouragement from her 19- and 17-year-old sons, will be 48 years old for the final Playboy centerfold with nudity.
[Image credit Justin Kramer / Getty Images]