Playboy version 2011 is relaunching in South Africa in April. It is not the first time Hugh Hefner’s long-lived magazine has graced shelves in this country. It was closed down back in 1996, but is about to re-emerge, 15 years after it was shut down, as a player on the local scene in what is a pretty scary time for magazines. Peter Piegl, editor of Playboy 2.0, talks about the magazine….that’s not just about the girls.
Many things have changed since the nineties. Old regimes have fallen and the price has been paid with the blood of the innocent and the actions of the selfless.
As a result, our society is slowly knitting together, forming the scar tissue that will see the wounds of the past become a badge of honour. The fruits of our bitter history have brought us to the point where individuals may now enjoy an unprecedented level of freedom. It therefore stuns me when the topic of nudity is brought screaming into the light and held self-righteously aloft as a point of contention, given what we’ve all been through to get here. Surely there are far more important matters to address than the viewing – by adults exercising their right of choice and freedom of association – of a consenting model’s naked form?
Consider that during the Renaissance – a far more puritanical time than our own – the subject of most of the prevailing works of art were nudes (male and female). In our own “enlightened” time, we’ve regressed and pronounced the viewing of such content as deplorable and immoral. To further illustrate the ludicrous nature of this topic, I personally saw an episode of Doctor 90210 where the subject was a female-to-male operation. The patient was about to have her breast tissue removed. Throughout the initial proceedings, her nipple was blurred out. At the point where the operation was completed, the nipple was suddenly revealed in all its glory – the implication being thatsans mammary glands, it was now safe for viewing! And we, as consumers, accept this drivel!
I truly believe – and I’m staking my career on it – that South Africans are ready forPlayboy. I trust that they have the intelligence and discernment of taste and can see this publication for what it really is – a brand, a lifestyle, an aspiration. I am unashamedly a fan of the female form, but this publication is far more than mere pictorials. Ask anyone about Playboy; they all have an opinion on the matter (it is, after all, one of the 50 most recognizable brands in the world). The first comment will inevitably be centered around the pictorials, but the lasting impression is summed up in a sentiment I’ve heard a plethora of times, “They have really good articles, though.”
This is what Playboy’s about. It’s everything men (and women) are interested in. Playboyasks the questions no one else would dare. It’s edgy and requires of its readers that they question everything. Now for some, that might be too much to ask which suits us just fine – we don’t want sheep sullying our publication. My vision is to bring to the South African market an adult magazine (and here I mean it should only be viewed by 18-year-olds and over) for all races, genders and tastes.
My intention – given that we have the broadest editorial portfolio of any magazine in the world – is to surprise ourselves with each issue, as then surely our passion and constant evolution will serve to engage and excite you.
Playboy South Africa’s tenets are that we’re challenging, provocative and on the edge of critical thought. Our pictorials will be artistically rendered, and only reveal the model’s breasts. Our articles will run across a gamut of subjects but will always deliver on the following: cutting-edge investigative features, in-depth interviews, entertainment, humour, reviews, advice and mentorship.
We are up for the challenge – are you? Can you set aside your knee-jerk reactions, and make a decision not based on antiquated indoctrinations, inculcated from birth? It’s a lot to ask for, but I for one would rather live in a society where we are free to make informed decisions, allowing for differences in opinions, but still living in harmony and respecting each other’s individuality.
Playboy is a foil, a reflection of greater society. These decisions are not about whether or not to associate with our magazine – I personally could care less. It’s about personal development and freeing ourselves from the fetters that have bound us in ephemeral chains that we ourselves have fashioned. My desire is for Playboy South Africa to affect its readers and the extent order in a tangible fashion, and be instrumental in bringing about change. Perhaps I’m an idealistic fool, and detractors will laugh at my intention to achieve this through the vehicle of a “girly mag”.
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