When Kate Moss’s Playboy cover was released earlier this month, men and women alike were buzzing about the model, posed in a vintage Playboy bunny outfit, mouth agape, looking into the camera. The cover was relatively demure given more recent issues and seemed to signal a turning point for the softcore sex magazine. Despite an “Entertainment for Men” tagline, the 60-year-old publication appears to be making moves to rebrand and attract a broader audience, which involves embracing a more “naturalistic” portrayal of women, as editorial director Jimmy Jellinek recently told Slate.
But is this really a change that moves away from women as pure sex objects and towards a more inclusive view of sexuality? Or is it merely the same-old treatment of women, just a rerun from a different era.
Refinery29’s Lexi Nisita responds to the argument that feminists need to get over their ‘Playboy’ hangups and give the mag another chance, saying not so fast. She argues that instead of taking a modern and innovative approach to sexuality, the magazine is simply looking backwards—to the aesthetics of the 60s and 70s.
“But, rather than redefining what it means to be an interesting, worthwhile sex magazine that is appealing to men and women, they're buying into an old ideal of classiness, of boy's-club, armchair sexuality that may select a more rarified type of female beauty but still does nothing to push the boundaries of the medium and the genre,” writes Nisita.
While we don’t expect this debate to end anytime soon, we look forward to seeing what Playboy does in 2014. [Refinery29]