Playboy : The Cultural Impact Of Playboy

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A mid-October surprise greeted print media with the announcement that Playboy magazine would no longer feature nude women. CEO Scott Flanders noted “"You 're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it 's just passé at this juncture.” The magazine will continue to picture women in provocative poses; the running joke that men read Playboy “for the articles” will now carry more credence as the magazine attempts to compete with the likes of Vice. Playboy is struggling. Distribution is down from a high of 5.6 million to 800,000 copies today. Despite the decline of America’s foremost men’s magazine, the cultural impact of Playboy is extensive. Best known for nude pictorials, Playboy created an idealization of straight masculinity, through consumerism, that hoped to change American views on feminism, monogamy and romance. Let’s examine how.
The forerunner to Playboy was Esquire. Launched in 1933, Esquire made stylish consumption its forte. Ironically, in the midst of the Great Depression, its circulation jumped to more than 728,000 in 1938. Esquire’s novelty was created by pulling together fragments of male consumerist culture. Osgerby quotes Esquire’s first editor Arnold Gingrich’s recollection that he attempted to “deodorize the lavender whiff coming from the mere presence of fashion pages.” To accomplish the balance Gingrich sought, Esquire regularly covered sports, boxing and baseball in particular and focused on masculine pursuits like

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