Playmate of the Year Redux

PlayboyPlayboy has unveiled Nina Daniele as their latest Playmate of the Year. Why is this such a big deal? Nina is the first woman to be bestowed this an honor since the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner died, last year. She also appears on the cover of Playboy as the magazine sports a brand new logo. Instead of the usual, ‘Entertainment for Men,’ the seminal men’s magazine will now sport the ‘Entertainment for All’ motto.

In an 11-page retro-style pictorial, fashion photographer Jennifer Stenglein has shot Daniele as the infamous “Femlin” pinup character. This cartoon was created by Hefner and illustrated by Playboy favorite Leroy Neiman, appearing first in the magazine in 1963. Femlin has as much been featured in the magazine’s pages as on lots of Playboy product. She was a sure totem of an age when the magazine was not only the forerunner of its kind but when the nude centerfold was indeed the ‘center’ of the magazine’s appeal, along with its fiction, “The Playboy Interview” and reviews of music and film. In 2015 nudes were banished from the Playboy, but Hefner’s son Cooper, who runs the brand now-and recently changed the motto-also re-introduced nudity to the magazine last year. That March/April 2017 release was the issue that Nina first appeared.

In an era of #MeToo and the consistent attention on women’s rights, the argument of Playboy’s relevance, even its possible propagation of negative stereotypes, especially in light on the nude now reinstated (and the press that a new Playmate Of The Year is already getting) is a weighty concern for many. But as Connor wrote in a press release he sent to Fox News:

“Playboy’s content has always been and always will be created with the male point-of-view and our take of masculinity in mind. But the truth is the Playboy brand now appeals to a hugely diverse group of fans, including a very substantive way, women who intersect with Playboy at our events, clubs and through our products and fashion collaborations.”

The Sad Strange Continuing Case of Dani Mathers

playmate-dani-mathers-loses-gym-membership-nf2Apparently when a model body shames someone, even though she apologizes for it across Twitter, it is not enough. As we are seeing played out in the sad strange continuing case of model Dani Mathers. Infamously, Mathers, the 2015 Playmate of the Year, posted a Snapchat pic of a 70-year-old woman, naked, from the locker room of an L.A. Fitness, back in July of this year. She took the picture and posted it, all without the old lady’s knowledge and added the snarky caption: “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” In the picture, Mathers stands in the foreground with a gloved hand over her mouth.

Mathers’ attorney said in court Monday (without Mathers present): “She” (obviously meaning his client) “apologized for her behavior and we’re looking forward to resolving this case in a very fair manner.” But Mathers pleaded not guilty in court to the misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy which the older lady has brought her up on. A possible half a year in jail and a $1000.00 fine awaits Mathers if indeed she is found guilty. As current laws stand in L.A. (and everywhere else) body-shamming is not a crime, but the taking of a nude picture of someone without their consent and then posting that picture, is.

Making a Twitter apology at the time, Mathers said: “Should never make light of another woman’s naked body. I’m sorry for what I did… I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing.” And as recently as September the 29-year-old model tweeted: “I have taken full responsibility for the mistakes I have made and will continue to love myself and others…I wish this for the rest of you too.”

Since the photo was posted Dani Mathers  has been banned from L.A. Fitness properties. Her pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 21, but again, Mathers is not required to attend.