Having bid a firm goodbye to its controversial past, the newer, woke, more inclusive Playboy has pulled off quite an impressive feat for its latest issue.
The post-Hefner era Playboy has a vision for 2020—one of women empowerment, equality, and sex positivity. With a team of millennials at its helm, the magazine long criticized for its unapologetically misogynistic tone has reinvented itself, in a manner that's fitting to a world that does not want to tolerate men like Hugh Hefner. Having bid a firm goodbye to its controversial past, the newer, more woke, more inclusive Playboy has pulled off quite an impressive feat for its latest issue. The first-ever Playboy Equality Issue features five veteran Playmates of different ages and races.
According to a report by PEOPLE, the 70s-inspired "Once a Playmate, Always a Playmate" cover photoshoot features September 1963 Playmate Victoria Valentino (now 77-years-old) December 1979 Playmate Candace Collins Jordan (now 65), November 1989 Playmate Renee Tenison (now 51), the first African-American Playmate of the Year in 1990 Brande Roderick (now 45), and the first Mexican American Playmate of the Year in 2013 Raquel Pomplun (now 32). "These five women, all of different generations, races and Playboy issues, return to the pages of the magazine to do more than prove they’ve 'still got it,'" the iconic magazine said in a press release.
The five women sport a variety of looks in the Equality Issue, from feather-lined robes and vintage one-piece swimsuits to shoulder pad blazers and colorful oversized sunglasses, while sipping martinis. The magazine sheds light on quite a few powerful subjects in this issue as described by the editors in a letter published on the official Playboy website. "When we called Victoria Valentino, who first appeared in this magazine as a Playmate in September 1963, and asked if she would consider being in Playboy again, at the age of 77, she didn’t hesitate. Like us, she recognizes that in 2020, fighting for equality means providing actual visibility. An activist against sexual assault, Valentino knows firsthand how speaking truth to power—she courageously spoke out against Bill Cosby in 2014—is a societal force for good. She also knows that beauty has no boundaries," the letter begins.
The Playmate Pictorial was created with the intention to humanize the concept of the pinup.— Playboy (@Playboy) December 11, 2019
Read the story by @JamilahLemieux to learn more about the Playmates in Nadia Lee Cohen’s cover pictorial: https://t.co/qnd4ClM3P5@nadialeelee @vvalentino1 @BrandenRoderick @RPomplun pic.twitter.com/BvNCsmPEmm
"In this, our Equality Issue, you’ll meet people whose fearless work gives us hope that in this next decade we will all enjoy a more equitable society. Christiane Amanpour, one of the most respected journalists of our time, is the subject of this issue’s Playboy Interview. Currently the host of an eponymous news show on CNN and PBS, Amanpour has interviewed dozens of world leaders, from Angela Merkel to Yasir Arafat to Bill Clinton. Here she appears as an interviewee, discussing how she reports on topics including gender inequality, climate-change denial and the current threats to our democracy. She also talks sex—and trust us, it’s a page-turner," it continues.
"For this issue’s Playboy Symposium, we partnered with Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen, the Black List’s founder and director of community, respectively, to examine how well (if at all) Hollywood is keeping up with evolving attitudes on sex, sexuality, and gender in cinematic representations. And across two music features, we profile the enigmatic country singer Orville Peck and the rising rap star Princess Nokia, two artists who are rethinking gender norms in their genres and in the industry at large. For A Very Millennial Scandal, Playboy features editor Anita Little interviewing former congresswoman Katie Hill in the days before and after her resignation. Hill, in the wake of a political scandal that brought about online debates on revenge porn and sexual misconduct at work, is forging ahead with a new mission to protect others from falling victim to internet-fueled sex-shaming."
VICTORIA VALENTINO September 1963 Playmate— Playboy (@Playboy) December 12, 2019
Hometown: Los Angeles
Occupation: Actress, author, activist
Star sign: Sagittarius
“[I’ve been given] this platform so I might use my voice for social good.”@vvalentino1 @nadialeelee @JamilahLemieux pic.twitter.com/cm8G0h07Jp
"In The Other Plan B, gender studies professor Shira Tarrant argues that regressive reproductive-health laws represent a penalty against sex and that men benefit more from access to abortions than they realize. Here at Playboy, we are particularly proud to have supported the National Network of Abortion Funds last year, and in 2020 we will remain committed to advocacy in the face of state and federal legislative challenges. As always, the arts will light the way, which is why it was paramount for us to present a group of artists who excel at creating spaces for conversation, connection, and representation. Director and photographer Nadia Lee Cohen’s cover pictorial, Once a Playmate, Always a Playmate, features the perpetually magnetic Valentino, Candace Collins Jordan, Reneé Tenison, Brande Roderick, and Raquel Pomplun," the editors add.
"So welcome to 2020. This is our vision for it," they conclude. Since Hugh Hefner founded the publication in 1953, almost 800 women have been named Playboy Playmates of which Marilyn Monroe was the first to receive the modeling honor.