Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Playboy Wears a Hijab

A wise man once said: “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex”.
That man was Hugh Hefner. And this nugget of wisdom was likely on his mind in 1953, when he founded the now-iconic Playboy Magazine.
The spirit of Playboy was, in a way, revolutionary. The 1950s famously framed pornography – and, more broadly, sexuality itself – became celebrated because Hefner recognized the beauty and power of erotic imagery, and believed it deserved recognition.
Yet, Playboy is undeniably about objectifying and fetishizing women and even enforcing impossible beauty ideals.
Whether you are a fan of the publication or not, Playboy is an institution that has altered the way society at large sees sex, porn, and, yes, bunnies.
But for the first time ever, Playboy is featuring a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
American journalist Noor Tagouri appears in the magazine’s October “Renegades” edition, a series that focuses on men and women “who risked it all – even their lives – to do what they love”.
The 22-year-old journalist who works as a reporter for Newsy, a video news network, is featured wearing a black leather jacket, jeans, sneakers and a hijab, or headscarf, in the publication that describes her as “a badass activist.”
Tagouri, who is of Libyan descent and whose goal is to become the first “hijabi” anchor on commercial US television, says that her struggles as a Muslim woman growing up in the US of A have helped her move ahead in her career.
The fact that she has made it to Playboy is really something!
In case, you are expressing naked horror that the hijab has entered the sinful pages of Playboy – don’t despair!
The publication too has gone for a revamp.
The first issue of Playboy without any nudity officially hit newsstands on February 12, 2016, marking a big turning point for the ‘bunny’ brand.
Still, it didn’t come as a total surprise because the magazine followed in the footsteps of its website, which deleted nudity in August 2014 in a move that revitalized web traffic and video views.
In the first four months after that switch, the number of unique visitors to the site quintupled, from 4 million per month to 20 million. And video views on the site also increased. Perhaps most promising for the longevity of the brand, the average age of those visitors dropped precipitously, from 47 to 30.
I suppose Playboy is now designed for a new generation. The revamp is an attempt to capture a younger, more modern audience, a fact reflected by both the editorial and aesthetic changes.
Whether the new version is here to stay, I really don’t know. Let us just wait and see.



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