WHEN A CULTURE ABANDONS THE ETHICS OF THE BIBLE — YES, EVEN THOSE SET FORTH IN LEVITICUS — VERY WEIRD THINGS START TO HAPPEN.
You may have heard that Playboy decided to stop displaying naked women in its magazines in 2016. After trying to restrain itself for a whole year, it has capitulated.
The nude ladies are back.
BRINGING SEXY BACK?
It is Hugh Hefner’s son, Cooper, who is responsible for this abrupt change in direction. He left the company in 2015 over creative disputes. Now, he’s back:
At the request of then-newly minted CEO Ben Kohn (who says the brand had “gone too wide and lost part of its aspirational quality” by “covering monster trucks and selling air fresheners”), Cooper returned to Playboy in June 2016 following an 18-month exile precipitated by boardroom battles over the company’s direction. A key factor was a 2015 choice by Kohn’s predecessor, Scott Flanders, to forgo nudity in the flagship magazine’s pages in a bid for more mainstream respectability. “There was a lack of understanding of who we are,” says Cooper.
. . . .
Now the polished and self-aware scion, intent on sounding woke and mindful of the brand’s eternal need to provoke (intellectually and sexually), is charting the course for what he hopes will be a more valuable and relevant Playboy. It’s one that doesn’t revolve around his old man (who is ailing and a semi-recluse) or dated totems of lothario living. “Creating something that resonates with my generation and the generation that comes after mine is how I’ll measure my accomplishments,” Cooper says.
Cooper wants to bring back naked women to Playboy. I don’t think anyone is surprised by this development. But that’s not the worst part. It has to do with him growing up in the Playboy mansion:
It’s true: Cooper Hefner, youngest son of Hugh and newly ascended chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, did enjoy a youth that was the stuff of teenage wet dreams. Celebrities and scantily clad bunnies wallpapered his life. He and his schoolmates could order anything they could think of, and the Playboy Mansion kitchen would send it right out. There was a private zoo.
CROSSING A LINE
A young boy grew up around scantily clad women. Who knows how that went. But the worst part is what he had to see hanging on the wall — his mom:
His mom, 1989 Playmate of the Year Kimberley Conrad, hung in the library, depicted nude in a large portrait frame. “Yeah, that was weird,” Cooper explains over lunch at the mansion. “It was like the elephant in the room.”
Young Cooper had to live in this house with a nude picture of his mother on the wall. For a while, at least, until Hugh divorced her to date other women. Cooper was not responsible for this. He was victimized. But now, as an adult, he should know better…