Playboy Magazine Just Got Ubered
Playboy magazine has been ubered. Who would have ever thought the day would come when America’s most popular pornographic publication since 1953 would stop selling nudity? I remember growing up going to visit my great grandfather in his barbershop. Our family was proud because he owned the most successful barbershop in town. The only problem was, when I went to visit him in the shop, I was always told to cover my eyes the entire time. Quite naturally, as any six-year-old would do, one day I decided to peek anyway, lifting my hand from over my eyes. I stood stunned looking at nude centerfold models in all sorts of positions taped from floor to ceiling on every wall like wallpaper. Everywhere I turned my head, I saw a nude woman. My mouth dropped as my aunt yanked me by the arm, pulling me out of the barbershop as fast as she could. She warned me not to look. I was speechless and I also realized, at that very moment, why my great grandfather had the hottest barbershop in town. He thanked Miss August and the pioneer to the sexual revolution Hugh Hefner for his prosperity. Generations of young boys around America were turned into men flipping through the pages of Playboy. When Hefner recently announced the magazine needed to change its winning formula, I could hear my great grandfather turning over in his grave. The nation is in shock.
As founder and editor-in-chief, Hefner sat in a meeting with his magazine executives on Tuesday, possibly surrounded by his Playboy mansion bunnies, and laid out the current state of the market and his vision. Due to the fact that the Internet and social media has provided easy access to porn to the public for free, magazine sales went from a reported 5.6 million in the 1970s to a sad 800,000 in 2014. Hefner, 89, explained to his staff, in order to keep his legacy alive, he needs to change with the times. Instead of gathering a round table of computer geniuses to come up with an innovative way to merge Playboy with the interactive world on some higher level no one has thought of yet, Hefner has decided to focus simply on the articles. Believing that the magazine was not only known for its beautiful nude women, but it also provided amazing articles. With all due respect, when Marilyn Monroe graced the cover of Playboy, many find it hard to believe that men were also interested in the automotive article on mufflers.
Larry Flynt, founder of the popular girlie magazine Hustler, reported to CNN that he believes Hefner has lost his mind. Flynt stated he will always respect Hefner for being a pioneer in the porn industry and an artist, but he will not be remembered for his business savvy. Though Hefner successfully sustained Playboy for over 60 years, the future to his legacy is uncertain. Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders assures readers that the magazine will feature beautiful women, but clothed in a more intimate setting with an “Instagram feel” to the photos. Reportedly, there will still be a Playmate of the month with PG-13 style photos.
If my great grandfather were still alive today running his barbershop, I am for certain a wallpaper of informative articles would not have the same draw or impact on his profit margin as would a kazillion photos of nude women taped to the walls. There would definitely be a decline in his loyal customers. My great grandfather was pretty savvy though. He probably would have evolved with the times and had video vixens playing non-stop on a big screen or possibly beautiful women offering neck massages and beer to his customers while they wait for a shave and haircut. At the end of the day in any industry, sex plays a role. Whether subliminal or raw in the consumer’s face, sex will always sell. Maybe Hefner has forgotten that?