In the past, supposedly enlightened men claimed that they bought Playboy magazine for the articles. And for a long time, it could be a truthish claim – Playboy did run good articles and paid top writers good money for them. And sometimes that claim could even be true. The only time I’ve ever purchased a copy of Playboy was because my wife (then fiancé) asked me to buy her the one with the Bette Davis cover story.
But everyone knew the real reason guys bought Playboy – photos of naked ladies.
But now Playboy is aiming to make an honest man out of all of us – as of March 2016, the magazine will no longer feature fully nude photos of women, following the lead of the publication’s web site from August a year ago.
This is not, apparently, because Playboy is newly respectful of women; rather, the magazine is trying to fit in better with the PG-13ish world of social media.
Meanwhile, back in “lad magazine” land, Maxim magazine has been undergoing its own remake by going to a larger format, higher quality paper stock, and trying to find a place in the market as a luxury magazine. Maxim, like the other so-called lad magazines, has been targeted at young men and featured a diet of scantily clad ladies, beer, and gadgets. If we were categorizing it today, you would say it was targeted at the “bros.” The September issue of Maxim was the first to feature a male cover model – the endlessly cool British actor Idris Elba. (Who really should be the next James Bond. Really!)