‘But just the cover!!’
‘So you judge the book by its cover? But if you do, have you ever given a closer look to any of the Cosmo covers?’
There is a momentary contemplative silence.
‘Come to think of it, Cosmo does have some suggestive covers.’ The answer comes from Crystal.
‘And have you ever paid attention to their cover blurbs? Excuse my French, but most of them seem to screaming how to get a man and keep him, how to seduce him, how to, how to… And if you don’t have a man, you are fucked? How more demeaning to women can it get?’ As I am writing this, just out of curiosity I pulled up some recent Cosmo covers. Here is just a quick sampling of what’s on the offer. How To Turn On A Naked Man, 50 Ways to Seduce A Man, 20 Ways To Make Him Scream, Sweet & Sexy Moves, What To Do When Your Guy Gets All Quiet?
I have gotten their attention. I see a slight smile of wonderment on Crystal’s face. Amber still seems to be not convinced. So I continue.
‘You know, I have been in publishing business all my life and have worked all around the world. In my opinion Playboy is one of the four best mass market consumer magazines in the world.’
‘What are the other three?’ Asks Joe.
‘Time, The New Yorker and New York.’
‘If that’s so, why is there a need for the nudes?’ It’s Amber again.
‘Well, because among other things, men also like women! Your dad is sitting here right next to me and hope he doesn’t kill me for saying this, but as I sit here right next to you two, in my mind’s eyes, I am undressing both of you. That’s the nature of the beast. And Hefner decided not to ignore that part of being men.’
Not that I have convinced anyone, because since Adam and Eve were shamed to cover themselves with the fig leaves, the nudity has remained a taboo in the minds of even the most knowledgeable people – at least in the puritan United States of America. Precisely the reason Playboy took off like a rocket.
‘So you have a problem with the nudity!’ I conclude. ‘You know, only in America anyone would have an issue with it.’ And then I ask.
‘Have you seen any of the Before movies? Especially the last one, Before Midnight?’
‘No I haven’t seen them all, but did see Before Sunrise when it first came out!’ Amber answers.