No Nudes Needed

Posted: October 15, 2015 in Culture, Economics, Idle Nonsense, Media

I’m a few days late, having only learned of it today, but can’t help but to take note of Playboy‘s new policy regarding nudes in its flagship publication:

As part of a redesign that will be unveiled next March, the print edition of Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses. But they will no longer be fully nude.

Its executives admit that Playboy has been overtaken by the changes it pioneered. “That battle has been fought and won,” said Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

The irony of this development is rich, though I have no Schadenfreude about it. The arguments in the linked article are undeniably true, a quintessential example of the democratization of production having brought the power, if not the cachet, of publication within the reach of anyone with a functioning Internet connection. Thus, the business model that made print publication profitable in the first place is largely gone now.

Considering Playboy‘s significant brand, I can’t help but wonder what’s to become of the venerable Playmate of the Month. Will Playboy‘s online division continue to crown new weekly, monthly, yearly winners of the genetic sweepstakes — albeit often aided by bosom-stuffing plastic surgeons? If that hallowed beauty award is no longer conferred, it’s doubtful any upstart will be able to establish itself as a replacement. Oh, how the times be a-changin’.

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