Sunday, November 16, 2008

NYTimes: They Couldn't Get Past the 'Mimbos'


They Couldn’t Get Past the ‘Mimbos’
By CARA BUCKLEY

NOT long after Nicole Caldwell became editor in chief of Playgirl magazine, she realized that looking at photos of naked men all day was not everything she had imagined it would be. When she would meet them, there was often a curious vapidity to the men, who Ms. Caldwell took to describing as “mimbos.”

Readers, Ms. Caldwell decided, deserved more.

So she and her fellow editors, all women in their 20s and all relative neophytes to the world of magazines — and pornography — resolved to fill Playgirl with something different. They aspired to bring Playgirl back to its roots, back to a time when the magazine covered issues like abortion and equal rights, interspersing sexy shots of men with work from writers like Raymond Carver and Joyce Carol Oates.

All the while, the editors juggled the demands of the publisher, Blue Horizon Media, which they said pushed to fill Playgirl with even more nudes and fewer words.

“It always felt like this uphill battle,” said Jessanne Collins, 29, who was Playgirl’s senior editor.
The women’s dreams crashed when Blue Horizon Media, which also puts out hard-core magazines, announced it was shutting Playgirl. The last issue, dated January/February 2009, recently arrived on newsstands.

[Read the rest of this article here]
[Originally published in the New York Times, Styles section, November 16, 2008]

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