Response to 'Should My Kid Read Playboy Magazine'?
The article from The Orange County Register is written by Marla Jo Fisher, who had recently found that her 13-year-old son and his friends were looking at internet porn. And with that, she was considering to buy him a subscription to Playboy. At first, I thought, why not? I mean, I was interested at that age. I loved classy, beautiful women. But as I thought about it more and read the article. I don't think it's a great idea, but not for the reasons that you might think. Looking at Playboy as a 'replacement' for internet porn isn't the answer. Playboy has a history. Playboy is a brand. Playboy is a culture.
I became a teenager at about the same time when the internet blew up and just started to change our lives. When the internet entered our home, when I was about 13, I immediately went to the Playboy website, which had just about launched that very same year. I went to the website, not because there were naked girls, well, that was part of the reason, but it was Playboy. Everyone knew that Playboy was the classy magazine, and with all that we can see on the internet these days, it still is classy.
As I have said before in this blog, in my early teenage years, I was curious about Playboy. I heard of my friends taking out the magazine from the library and looking through them. In my late teens, I became a fan. I found the Playboy Mailing List when I was 15, and years later, the Playboy message boards. There I could chat with other Playboy fans as well as Playboy models to discuss everything Playboy. And then, into my twenties, I became a connoisseur. It all led me to create my own blog dedicated to Playboy. As a teen, I didn't only find the beautiful centerfolds, but learned about Playboy's history and how Hugh Hefner started the revolutionary magazine. I also found the Playboy Philosophy. Mr. Hefner and his philosophy, in some way, inspired me to go take the creative path in my life and become a graphic designer. They inspired me to hopefully create my own magazine one day.
In the 1990s, Playboy had tried to take steps to try to keep up with their 'frat-boy' counterparts, like Maxim and FHM, but soon realized that was not what they were all about. Recently, the magazine is trying to keep up with the fast rise of the internet and impending doom of the print industry. Like Marla's son and his friends have found, porn is right at your fingertips. Playboy does have Playboy TV and bought Spice TV, the porn pay-per-view channel. So Playboy has dipped its hand into porn, but to me, Playboy magazine, itself, is not porn. Having met and gotten to know a few Playboy models, it is still about that Girl Next Door today than it was in its golden years of the 1960s and 70s.
Playboy impacted me in a way that I wanted to change the world and shape it in the way that I see fit. I wanted to create a culture and a way of life. So in a way, Playboy magazine, as Reverend Roy Larson said in the Playboy Philosophy, "is a sort of bible which defines his values, shapes his personality..." For me, to replace internet porn with Playboy magazine is a bit sacrilegious. But honestly, Playboy isn't what it once was in its glory days. But it is still around and trying to catch the attention of that horny teenager. That teenager becomes a fan of Playboy, and when he grows up, he'll still be a fan. Maybe even a connoisseur.