Playboy has been an iconic men’s magazine since Hugh Heffner first published it in 1953. That first publication featured now-iconic pictures of Marilyn Monroe.
— Playboy (@Playboy) December 1, 2015
The first genuine centerfold was of Marian Stafford in March of 1956, and Playboy went on to become one of the most popular men’s magazines in the world. But last month, USA Today reported that Playboy announced they will no longer feature fully nude photos of women as of the March 2016 issue. Playboy made the announcement on their website.
“As you may have heard, Playboy is going to be non-nude starting with the March 2016 issue, which actually comes out in the month of February, because that’s how magazines roll. 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.”
USA Today reports that Pamela Anderson is gracing the cover of the February 2016 issue of Playboy, the last issue before the big change. Apparently, she heard about the change in the magazine from her son and was stunned at first.
“I was like, ‘What? Are you serious?’ But then I thought that’s probably a good thing. It’s hard to compete with the Internet. And the girl next door doesn’t exist anymore. She’s taking selfies down her shirt, like, you know, there’s no mystery over there anymore. It doesn’t have that same charm and innocence that it used to.”
Apparently, Anderson’s sons were both excited for her to do the cover. When she told her older son, Brandon, about being asked, he said she had to do it.
“I said, ‘Hef just called, he wants me to do the last cover of Playboy,’ and he goes, ‘Mom you’ve got to do it. We’re older, we’re not embarrassed anymore of you. You know, we think you’re great.’”
Here is Anderson’s cover shot, displayed on Twitter for the world to see.
But Anderson was not given the privileged and coveted centerfold in the last nude issue of Playboy. That honor went to Kristy Garrett, who People reports is absolutely thrilled.
“Playboy has a classic American story, and I want to be a part of it. The lifestyle here, where you’re free to express yourself, is my type of life. I am proud of the woman I am and have always dreamed of being talked about because of that.”
The New York Daily News reports that Garrett believes she is now a part of history and that it will change her life.
“I was so proud to do Playboy. This is history. It’s probably going to change my life.”
Able to speak six languages fluently and having modelled all over the world, editorial director for Playboy Jason Buhrmester believes Garrett was the perfect choice for the final centerfold.
“I think she really represents where the Playmate evolved to over the past 60 years. She’s international, she’s a model — but she still looks approachable.”
Buhrmester’s reaction was much like that of Anderson.
“My first reaction was, ‘That’s crazy.’ But it’s common sense. Sixty-two years ago, Hef set out to really push the boundaries of sexual freedom into the mainstream. Now we’re in an era where nudity is more ubiquitous than it ever was.”
Playboy is definitely reaching the end of an era with the abolishment of nude centerfolds. But perhaps they are launching a new era in which it becomes a more work-friendly publication, much like their website, which they changed in 2015 to remove the nudity. According to USA Today, this change lowered the median age of their viewers from 47 to 30, so the new magazine will target the lower age demographic.
[Composite image containing photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images, 360b/Shutterstock]