As a woman, did it ever occur to you to attempt to pose naked for Playboy magazine? Well, if you did those days are over as Playboy is changing to a new format. There will be no more nude photos of women in provocative poses. Due to a study decline of readers that currently is at only 800,000 subscribers, Playboy is doing something Hugh Hefner never envisioned; they are putting clothes back on their models!
Word has it Hugh Hefner based his Playboy enterprise on the Gaslight Club in Chicago, where he would often go. My father was a member of this club on Huron that featured dimly lit rooms with scantily clothed cocktail waitresses. My father was also an avid collector of Playboy magazines, where he safely hid, or so he thought, in a cabinet in our garage. A precocious child, I managed to view the magazine when I was twelve. The images were larger than life and something that were meant to be private.
My father certainly never would want his daughter in Playboy rather he focused on me getting good grades, so I could go to college. I couldn’t help thinking at the time why anyone would pose for Playboy magazine thinking that perhaps these girls didn’t have other options. Yet, part of me admired the freedom they had to put it “all out there.”
When I was thirteen, the last year before entering high school, my Jr. High listed what each of us may become when we grew up. The year was 1970, a time when women were encouraged to have a career. My caption was “Playboy Bunny.” I was crushed. Having developed early, looking like a woman, instead a teenager with a D cup and long legs, I physically fit the description. Yet, I was devastated that I was looked at in this manner as a straight “A” student and a Montgomery Wards model.
Why would I ever want to pose naked for Playboy, the same magazine my father coveted? Posing for Playboy was something I would never do. This was a time when women were attempting to “break through the glass ceiling” while striving for recognition in the workplace. All I could think of was becoming successful using my brain, not my body. My path to success was to be become a successful woman in a man’s world of business. I sold commercial real estate.
Of course, in later years, Playmates like Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy would prove me wrong. These women used their sex appeal and Playboy as a stepping stone for their brand in a Marilyn Monroe manner. They were accepted as sex goddesses and still successful in business, something that I couldn’t phantom in the 70’s.
Did I make the right choice not to pose for Playboy or Penthouse who later came after me to pose? For me, yes, of course. Others who did it, like former Miss America Vanessa Williams, who posed for Penthouse prior to winning the crown, did just fine even after she gave up her crown. She is a talented actress and singer who went on to be very successful.
Yet, it appears that society now doesn’t care if a woman has her clothes on or not as long as she is “hot” to look at. Taking a cue from Maxim magazine, Playboy has discovered this and is following their lead. And, now I would love to be in the magazine. Of course, now I am too old.