Skip to comments.Nudes, Pop and Naked Truth
Posted on 02/16/2018 4:25:31 AM PST by Kaslin
Playboy magazine, now a relic in the legacy of its founder, Hugh Hefner, was not so long ago the sex educator of the young men of America. So pervasive was its influence that a running joke at the time was "a generation of men, having learned about the female body from Playboy's famous centerfolds, were astonished on their wedding nights to discover that their wives don't come with staples in their navels."
Pop nudity was a rationed commodity when Hefner's magazine made marketing sex almost legitimate, and made him a rich hedonist in silk pajamas and a dark-green velvet jacket surrounded by ladies dressed like bunnies with long ears and fluffy tails. The magazine was thought a little bit naughty.
Pop nudity now runs close to pop porn, easily accessible to anybody who wants to look. And sometimes women call the shots, arranging poses from behind the camera as well as in front of it. This is supposed to be the latest thing in female empowerment. The seductive bodies of gorgeous models are said to have the same militant heft and power as that of Wonder Woman, dispatching evil with a flick of a well-sculptured wrist.
The latest entry of arrogantly virtuous feminist pretense is a clutch of women posed naked down to their nether regions in a spread in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (it gets its own capital letters). This may look like the familiar soft-core objectification of female beauty, with women undressed for the smirks and grins of lascivious men, but that's only because we don't understand the latest definition of empowerment.
In the words between the pictures, a feature titled "In Her Own Words" offers up photos of women with words on their naked bodies, as if written by a felt-tip pen. This is truth spoken to power, or at least the power of the editors. The issue was posed for by women, directed by women and photographed by women. One model is dressed only in "truth" written in all capitals down her seductive side from bosom to buttock. The word is her power (or at least her allure). In this latest skirmish of the war between the sexes, women bare more than arms.
Looking at these nude models feels a lot like skinny-dipping, evoking more nostalgia than power, but the editor in charge, one MJ Day (malelike initials only) calls it "a real opportunity" for the models "to be who they are." It was conceived before Harvey Weinstein exploded on the scene, but she told Vanity Fair that there's a naked connection to the #MeToo movement.
"It's about allowing women to exist in the world without being harassed or judged regardless of how they like to present themselves," she said. "That's an underlying thread that exists throughout the Swimsuit Issue. You have Harvard graduates, you have billion-dollar moguls, you have philanthropists, you have teachers, you have mothers, you have a full range of women represented ... and not one of them failed because they wore a bikini." We can be sure she's right about that.
Palaver like this passes for power rhetoric these days because many women want to relate whatever they say to the #MeToo movement, eager to join a protected species. But it sure sounds like satire. Consider the fetching Robyn Lawley, a model without line, wrinkle or hair on her body, a signboard of perfect flesh, arrayed horizontally like Gulliver before the Lilliputians and bearing the message "nurturer," "mother," "human." She says she wants to appeal to women with stretch marks, rolls and even cellulite. "We become so obsessed with our exterior message; we give no thoughts to what's in our heads," she says.
Such confused attempts at conversation about women in culture proliferate in public discussions. Brave women have successfully called out piggish men who abused them, both verbally and physically, but distinctions are blurred for men as well as women. Paulina Porizkova, a model who wears TRUTH (all capitals again) on her naked body, observes that in the flesh business, "you almost get offended if you did not get harassed." Such an unharassed woman might ask, "What is wrong with me?"
The confusion almost makes a body long for Grandma Grundy, the pious dowager of Victorian England who covered piano legs lest they inflame the libidos of passing men. It's silly, of course, but no sillier than the editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue shilling for nudity as emancipating and empowering women in the #MeToo culture.
Liberation means many things to many women, but showing nude women in a sports magazine is hardly one of them. Better to watch the Olympics and look at those incredible women who aim for the gold.
It's been so long since that joke contained even a modicum of truth that it's long since been irrelevant.
Pre-marital sex isn't even blinked at anymore.
>>Palaver like this passes for power rhetoric these days because many women want to relate whatever they say to the #MeToo movement, eager to join a protected species.
It is wrong for women to believe that they are the only sex that has even been molested or harassed or intimidated or exploited or...
I’ve never liked Playboy. In my earlier days there was Playboy (and some Playboy wannabes) and a bunch of girly magazines for sale. I chose the girly magazines.
I am sure most of us bought the magazine for the articles and the Gahan Wilson cartoons. S/
Is this week the week women are prudes or whores? It’s hard to keep up?
When I was in HS, I caught my bball coach in the drugstore looking at a Playboy. He turned red and said “”oops”, then walked away.
Can someone explain the article to me. I read it two times and have no clue what the author is trying to say. Was it, women are empowered even though they wear bikinis?
Well that and the Vargas drawings and the 20 Questions interviews.
I can’t remember if “Dirty Duck” appeared in Playboy too or if it was just in Nat Lampoon, Gahan Wilson was in NatLamp and Fantasy & Science Fiction too.
My parents used to drive up to Elliot Lake, Ontario and fly from there in a float plane to Upper Bark Lake every fall for two weeks of fishing, by the time we were 9-11 yrs old they’d take us brats along too.
The year round care taker/guide was a French-Canadian Meti named Maurice to whom the parents would bring the previous year’s worth of Playboys along with whiskey and cigarettes.
We boys managed to thoroughly examine every issue....
Which comes back around to Nat Lampoon and another strip, Timberland Tales which featured a young Indian boy, Maurice...
...surrounded by ladies dressed like bunnies....
Those tramps are not ladies.
True. And very sad.
Suzzane Fields is generally a conservative writer. I don’t know what the point was nor do I care. On this subject my eyes started glazing over after the first few sentences.I think she was just writing a stream of consciousness.
I still have my club key card! I was in the club once. I ended up marrying a centerfold, but she was a co worker at my office. :)
Ah, fond memories of back in the day of the flying fist of Alexander Portnoy.
Still like the ULD Cartoon of teenage boy, walking up from behind his Grandpa, asking as Grandpa is reading the paper, When did you first see a totally nude woman?
His grandpa’s response, is he’s raised his Left hand holding up his wedding ring finger.
That’s a cartoon and statement on morally and society that I’ve not seen for a long time!
“Better to watch the Olympics and look at those incredible women who aim for the gold.”
Especially the ones in tight spandex raceware, and the figure skaters.
Wait. Am I empowering those women or denigrating them? This article confused me.
Funny thing about your screen name, I had a relationship at one time with a buxom redhead who had been a Bunny at the Chicago Playboy club. Her nickname was Big Red. If you had called her a tramp in my presence, there’d have been a ruckus.
Tramps? I dated a bunny. She was no tramp. The bunnies worked damned hard at a professional level.
I don’t mind the wife watching figure skating on the 80”- at all.
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