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9 Jul, 2020 08:08

Another unwelcome win for the PC brigade as Playboy puts a bloke, not a girl, on its cover

Another unwelcome win for the PC brigade as Playboy puts a bloke, not a girl, on its cover

Rapper Bad Bunny has taken over from the bunny girls in the latest edition of Playboy, and GQ has gone woke. Does the new PC climate dictate that traditional men’s entertainment is no longer acceptable?

Playboy has just had its first solo male cover star (other than the magazine’s founder Hugh Hefner). The chap it has chosen for this honour is rather appropriately named 'Bad Bunny'.

Mr Bunny is a Puerto Rican musician who is described as a “Latino queer ally known for his flamboyant style.” He seems like a rather confident chap, and I’m sure he is incredibly interesting to some people out there; after all, he featured on the Cardi B hit ‘I Like It’, which was one of the most streamed songs of 2018.

However, I’m not entirely convinced the average Playboy reader is desperate to see a bloke prancing around in false nails and a revealing black and gold toga. Actually, I’d go further than that and say they are actively not looking for that kind of content when they ‘read’ Playboy.

Obviously like many other brands in the world of publishing, Playboy is feeling the pinch. It is entirely released online as of March this year, and so it is looking for ways to keep the audience engaged and attract new readers.

Previously, it managed to do this by relying on the tried and tested model of boys reaching a certain age and discovering they rather liked looking at attractive women. I would hazard a guess that this, broadly, remains the case.

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However, Playboy has decided that a better way to get a bigger audience is by going woke, because obviously there isn’t enough political correctness floating around in the world right now.

I can’t help but feel that, as a marketing move, putting a dude on the cover of Playboy (Latino queer ally or otherwise) makes about as much sense as Good Housekeeping putting a Lamborghini on its cover.

This is just a blatant abandonment of its core audience; there are hundreds of magazines and websites that cater for the woke market, so Playboy has no more need to go after Vox’s audience than GH does to chase Autocar’s.

Playboy isn’t the only ‘men’s mag’ to fall victim to this unwelcome progressivism. Even a casual reader of GQ will have noticed the overt wokery that has infected its pages over the past few years. A cursory flick through GQ UK’s homepage finds that the lists of outrageously expensive watches and advice on which type of moustache it is acceptable to have in 2020 are now liberally interspersed with articles about how “If your idea of equality doesn't include black trans lives, it isn't equality,” how gay dating app Grindr is “rife” with racism, and one bluntly titled “White people: this is what you need to do.”

All fine and dandy, of course, but a bit bizarre from a publication whose primary function is to tell me what kind of jacket is ‘in’ for Autumn/Winter 2020.

But then even when we do get into the clothing section, its lists of “best dressed men of the week” increasingly feature, well, men in dresses. Obviously, you’re free to wear whatever the hell you like, but after the tenth picture of a bloke in a ballgown you can’t help but feel there is some sort of agenda being pushed.

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These magazines, particularly Playboy, are supposed to be for men. They are for the enjoyment of men, not to lecture them about toxic masculinity or white privilege; there are plenty of publications that do that already. In the past, even the most credulous mothers of horny teenagers never really believed their lads were buying Playboy “for the articles.” While the ready availability of more, shall we say, ‘stimulating’ content online may have meant that Playboy is no longer used for that particular recreational activity, does it really need to take beautiful women off the cover?

Even if has decided its main editorial mission is now to push progressive woke politics, you’d think it would have the sense to keep the traditional Playboy bunnies on the cover to get guys to click through in the first place.

Ironically, given the bizarre direction woke politics has taken in the media landscape, actually publishing a traditional Playboy cover, like they did with Kate Moss in 2014, would probably be the most transgressive thing they could do.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.