This month's Playboy acknowledges the changes that have occurred with Mr. Hefner and his trio of girlfriends. It is an unmistakable goodbye to Ms. Holly Madison.
I saw a recent piece on Ms. Christie Hefner, Hef's daughter on CBS Sunday morning. She is an interesting woman. Whenever I see or read about her I am impressed with the Playboy organization and how vast it is. I am impressed of how she is continuing her father's vision. In Las Vegas, there is a giant hotel/ casino that carries the Playboy name. There is all manner of merchandise too. And while the depth and breadth of the Playboy enterprise is not as it once was, it still appears mighty. All of this sprouted from one very creative and clever man who started out as a cartoonist. He built the magazine from nothing.
It is now fifty five years old, the magazine. As such, the editors decided to change the format a bit. The layout is a bit more modern, more color, less structure. It is by and large a very heady magazine. There are impressive essays about all manner of things including politics, the current war in Iraq, and sex in our modern society. There was a recent essay on the use of the word 'fag' and what that means in today's society. Any in-depth discussion of language is something that appeals to me.
None of this would be noticed, at least not these days, without the girls. The girls are central to the purpose and meaning of the magazine. It is rather simple yet brilliant idea, photographing women without their clothes. Yet, like most things, it is only as powerful as the people involved. There is great care put into the girls and the photographer's art.
Mr. Hall and I have discussions about the girls photographed, about the lighting, the poses, the make up and set designs. I have always found the pictures to be soft yet potent. I have always found the women to be posed in an evocative yet natural way. Some of the celebrity layouts are lacking, but then again, it takes a certain amount of talent to be a nude model. Comfort in one's skin and the ability to let her own sparkle shine through.
Of all of the things I read, the magazine is something I look forward to each month. It is a relaxing exercise to review the photos and puts me in a sensual headspace. The essays and articles get me all fired up, sending my thinking into overdrive. A good read indeed.
That being said, this month's photos of Ms. Holly Madison just about destroyed me. She is photographed this month like she has never been photographed. They are truly amazing. I can say that in one of the photos, she laying on her back, heaps of platinum blond curls, ruby slippers, a blue checkered dress resting under the slippers, her skin milky stark. This photo stopped my breath and made my heart ache. She really did love Hef and her life at the mansion. She wanted to be his wife, have his babies. This was her home for seven years, that was house, and that was her man, her world.
However, it must have been a bit like Kansas, a small world onto itself. In the end though, she needed to leave, to seek her own way, to follow the yellow brick road and see where it goes.