Playgirl’s Gone, But We’d Never Really Lusted Over Its Pages Anyway

In case you haven’t heard, Playgirl magazine folded. It was announced earlier this week that the brand would live online but with more photos and videos and less actual editorial content. Basically, the visual aspect of the magazine, the pornier stuff, rather than any articles. Personally, I never went to the store and bought the magazine, and I wonder how many women are upset about its closing, or even care.

Magazines in general are having trouble these days, because they have to compete with both other magazines and the online world for advertisers. Even magazines we thought were really great have closed in the last couple years (RIP Jane), so it’s not surprising that another magazine would go, especially one that has had a hard time figuring out where it fits into the marketplace over the last couple years, as former Playgirl editor (and Frisky contributor!) Colleen Kane writes was the case. The thing is that we read magazines because they are the paper equivalent of who we want to be. Read Nylon? You want to be wearing labels before your friends are. Wired? You’d like to be a tech geek but don’t actually program anything. So, what would a person who reads Playgirl want to be? That’s unclear. Did readers just want to look at naked male models, laying it all out there? Playgirl’s original tagline was, “The Magazine for Women,” then “Entertainment for Women,” but women need a lot more than hairless, naked men. The magazine was never something I aspired to, and I think it was that way for a lot of women. But Colleen writes that it wasn’t always that way. In the beginning, naked men weren’t the focus of the magazine, and that’s when it did the best it ever did. The magazine shifted towards a more gay look, and clever ways of depicting the male form became replaced by close-ups. Instead of being provocative, the nudity became too obvious.

Over the years, too, celebrities stopped wanting to pose for Playgirl, even semi-nude. Maybe knowing that the images would make the rounds and live forever online made even B- and C-list stars think twice before agreeing. Basically, just blame the internet on Playgirl being gone. [Radar Online]