“If we are able to give the American male a few extra laughs and a little diversion from the atomic age we’ll feel as if we’ve justified our existence.”
(Playboy magazine. Vol. 1. No. 1)
|Hefner (centre) with two of Playboy's most celebrated covers: Lindsay Lohan (left), and initial cover girl, Marilyn Monroe (right).|
We want to make clear from the very start, we aren’t a family magazine.” (Playboy, 1953) The initial issue of Playboy reached the newsstands of America in December 1953 and Hefner, unsure of the magazine’s reception, released the publication undated. As a new publication “Playboy addressed, and thereby simultaneously helped to created, the new masculine, always (allegedly) heterosexual consumer.” (Conekin, 429) The Economic boom within post war America created a new middle class within society, or the “new masculine.” (Ibid) This new movement introduced the possibility of the male consumer in place of familial spending. One of the main reasons for Playboy’s success was its time of release. Playboy was allowed to flourish in the 1950’s for a number of reasons, perhaps most significantly being the limited selection of men’s lifestyle magazines. Whilst women had a broad selection of consumer magazines “Male magazines tended to be based on particular leisure pursuits or hobbies, motorcycling, fishing cars or even pornography.
|Bunnies: Marketing technique associates the bunny image to Hefner's Playboy.|