Sunday, April 27, 2014

Playboy By: Dominique Cotton


Hugh Hefner grew up during the Depression. His home was quite on the conservative side; he mentioned it being very lonely. Nobody hugged and or kissed, how sad. Despite having a boring childhood Hugh Hefner always had a thing for publishing. At the age of 10 Hugh created his first penny newspaper. Later on he created another penny newspaper called the Pepper that did excellent. After he graduated from high school he went into the army. After serving some time he got out of the war and realized he had entered the conservative time. Everything changed from the twenties and he thought of it as a deplorable sign. Everything political, social and sexual had changed the skirts even got longer during this time. Soon, Hugh Hefner enrolled in the University of Illinois where he continued to write. At this time the Kinsey scale report was published and he wrote about how important the book was. In the mid 1500s he returned back to his old high school to host an alumni show with his best friend he thought how his life was over. He thought about how Betty Conklin turned him down and from there he changed the way he dressed and his name from Hugh to Hef. He thought about how he created a comic strip, which he starred in and was the center of attention. He was living in a dream world that later came to life as Playboy. After leaving the reunion and looking back on his life that time motivated him to start Playboy. At that moment Hugh was working for a Children’s magazine when he had ideas for Playboy, how awkward! He did not put these ideas into action until he asked for a $5 raise and was declined. The initial name of Playboy was Stag Party, then a couple weeks before the publication date he received a letter from a lawyer telling him not to use that particular name for his magazine. This was perfect for Hugh because he did not like the name as much as he liked Playboy. The name Playboy came along from a friend that worked at a car dealership called Playboy. Hugh Hefner has great friends! The famous bunny logo was not introduced to the world until the second cover came out. Hugh wanted to put the picture that nobody saw but only heard on the first cover. He traveled all the way to Chicago and spent $500 on naked pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Even though they were in a conservative time the magazines did excellent, selling around 52,000 copies. When the second magazine came out it sold even more and it didn’t have the picture of Marilyn Monroe in it. Even though the magazine was doing great number he was not satisfied with it. Now I bet you are wondering how does somebody make so much money on something so popular not be proud of it? It was not his image, it was a magazine for young men and that was it. Later after that Playboy soon grew into movies, the first film was a version of Macbeth. This was the height of Playboy until Ronald Regan became President and he ordered a Meese Commission; which is when he declared anything sexual with porn to be contained. In spite of the downfalls Playboy is still the best selling men magazine. [ii] I think Playboy paved the way for all other male magazines. There were probably male magazines before his but I think he set the bar and other male magazines had to reach that level of sophistication.

[i] Jim Edwards, “Here’s How Playboy Pitched Itself To Advertisers In The 1960s,” Business Insider, March 19, 2012, URL.
[ii] Carlye Adler, Hugh Hefner, “Hugh Hefner Playboy Enterprises in 1953 I didn’t really fully appreciate what I had created. It was the first successful magazine for young, single men,” CNN Money, September 1, 2003, URL.

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