March 2016 will mark the beginning of a new era for how femininity is portrayed both in American culture and worldwide. Playboy is set to halt the publication of photos of nude women in their magazine early next year. I do not believe that the decision by Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, and Playboy’s founder Hugh Hefner’s to remove the photos is for the right reason. The women in the magazines will still be hypersexualized, which will perpetuate body shaming for women who do not look like these airbrushed models. Therefore, those who are glad to see the photos of the nude women go should not consider the new format of Playboy to be a genuine win.
Both religious and women’s groups have fiercely opposed Playboy for decades. However, the catalyst in the magazine’s decision to shift how it portrays women was not a result of any backlash. They have simply lost their shock factor. Of all the reasons why Playboy should cease the publications of nude women, I am unimpressed that this was the reason that they chose. The magazine promotes the idea that women are supposed to look and present their femininity in a certain way, and simply removing nude images will not alter the narrow perceptions.
Playboy is not looking to solve any social issues; they merely realize that the photos they sell can be found online for free by opening a new browser. The photos that they publish will continue to feature women who are posed in provocative positions, performing in a way that is aimed to please the male gaze. I am unhappy by this reality and hope that all those who oppose Playboy do not think that their fight is over because I am certain that Playboy will still sell and be successful around the world.