What makes Playboy pictures so unique? Not just the gatefold, but all of the "candid" pictures have a look that makes them unique among the bazillions of nudie pics from the 50's and 60's. As a fan of the female form, what do you think? - Toby Flenderson
“Girl Next Door” perfection!
Hmm, I can only speculate from my perspective and experience from growing up during the heyday 60’s of the publication. But I can tell you that it was the first and only men’s magazine that my mom would allow in the house.
Of course, she was the only female in the house, mother of two sons that came of age during the 60’s and a spouse that was a world war two veteran sailor. My brother graduated high school in 1965 and with Vietnam in full swing, might have eased her into some tolerance. If I had had a sister, I’m not sure that would have been the case.
Remember, our mothers were veterans of a world war also and they knew the importance of the Betty Grable pinup, after all, they invented the modern pinup girl. So the fact that mothers, wives and girlfriends didn’t perceive Playboy to be that offensive and maybe reminiscent of the tasteful glamour girl of the war years allowed it to become the main stream cultural phenomenon that it was.
But the simple answer is it was the first girly magazine that eliminated most (not all) of the raunchy, seamy aspects of men’s magazines. Even the glossy paper, which cost twice as much as most pulps made Playboy magazine different, it cost 50 cents as opposed to 25 cents that was most common in those days.
And of course the girls were “Girl Next Door” perfection. If they spent that much on paper, then imagine how much they spent for top photographers, sets and recruiting. They found a formula and it worked. Every girl wanted to be a centerfold, I know my girlfriends did.
I remember a common conversation. What if your daughter was Playboy centerfold? It wasn’t that rare to hear a reluctant father say. “Well if it was in Playboy, maybe I wouldn’t kill her.”
Hugh Hefner – “Playboy is an entertainment magazine for the indoor man… a pleasure-primer for the sophisticated, city-bred male… We hoped that it would be welcomed by that select group of urbane fellows who were less concerned with hunting, fishing, and climbing mountains than good food, drink, proper dress, and the pleasure of female company.”