The Orgin Of Playboy
Playboy is an adult magazine being published by Playboy Enterprises Inc. The magazine was founded by Hugh Hefner and his associates in 1953 and is one of the world’s best known brands today. The Playboy magazine is published monthly and along with articles on various topics such as sports, fashion etc. has photographs of nude women for which it is best known. The nude pictures published in The Playboy are termed as softcore. The magazine also features pieces of short fiction written by eminent writers such as Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming among others.

Playboy was initially supposed to be titled as Stag Party but a magazine with the title of Stag approached Hugh Hefner and warned them to not to launch their magazine with similar name. Later, Alexx Mills suggested the name Playboy which was inspired from Playboy Automobile Company of Chicago where Alexx worked and which no longer existed. The first issue of Playboy was published in December 1953 and did not carry any date as Hefner was unsure if there would be any second issue. The work on the issue was done in the kitchen of Hefner. The magazine’s centerfold had a picture of Marilyn Monroe, which had been taken for a calendar. The first issue sold like hot cakes, and the whole lot disappeared within weeks. The cover price of the first issue was 50¢ and it sold 53,991 copies, the copies of the same edition were sold for more than $5000 in 2002. From the second issue onwards the now famous logo of the Playboy, the bunny, designed by art designer Art Paul, appeared on the magazine and has appeared on each and every issue of magazine since then. According to Hugh Hefner, the rabbit was chosen as the mascot for its œhumorous sexual connotation and due to the image being frisky and playful. After Auguste Spectorsky became the editorial director, the magazine which was relying on reprints till now started publishing original stories and nude photographs. The circulation of Playboy crossed the 800,000 mark taking it ahead of Esquire, which was the most widely read men’s magazine at that time.

Between 1955 and 1979 the letter P in Playboy sported a number of stars printed in or around the letter. Many thought that the number of stars was the rating given by Hugh Hefner to the Playmate of the Month, the number of times Hefner had slept with her or how good the Playmate was in bed. The stars ranging from zero to twelve were actually used to indicate the domestic or international region of advertising for that particular printing.

The November 1972 edition of Playboy was its best selling edition. It sold 7,161,561 copies. Pam Rawlings, photographed by Rowland Scherman, was featured on its cover. A cropped image of centerfold, featuring Lena Soderberg, of this particular issue has become a standard image for testing image processing algorithms.

The American chain of convenience stores, 7-Eleven, removed the magazine from its shelves in 1986 only to replace them in 2003. The 7-Eleven stores other magazines of the same genre. It is a common practice to wrap magazines of this category to be wrapped in opaque plastic bags so as not to reveal the cover photographs. Playboy’s sale is banned in many countries of Asia including India, China, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore an almost all Muslim countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia though it is sold in Hong Kong and has a separate edition for Japan where genitals of models can’t be shown. Recently, an Indonesian edition of Playboy was launched in April 2006 and there was a large uproar about it. The publisher stated that the content of the Indonesian edition will be different from the original edition. Despite all the controversy surrounding it, the first edition was quickly sold out.

The playmates always attract attention of all men from the world. Some of the famous people that have appeared in the Playboy are Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Sharon Stone, Bo Derek, and Katarina Witt. The magazine has printed excellent interviews of famous persons such as Michael Jordan, Kevin Spacey, Bill Gates, Jesse Ventura, Bob Dylan, Cindy Crawford, and Dennis Rodman.

In 1988, Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh Hefner, became CEO of Playboy and now hold the charge of the Chairman of the Board as well. Currently Playboy is the largest selling men’s magazine with sales of more than three million copies a month just in U.S. The Playboy magazine celebrated 50th Anniversary with its January 2004 issue.