There will be no more Playboy. Or at least no more Playboy as we know it, sort of; the magazine is now concocting plans to launch an Indian edition, complete with models and pin ups who will be clothed to suit Indian norms and laws.

Apparently nobody reads Playboy for the articles anymore, and few Americans even read the magazine at all; in 2004 magazine sales shrank one percent domestically, while sales rose by 13 percent abroad. The magazine’s parent company’s primary sources of revenue are extra-literary — video games, porn, DVDs, television, and the like. The answer, then, is to sell overseas, and with approximately 200 million people reading magazines, India should be a prime target. Except that India bans having or peddling goods of “lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest,” barring material that can be redeemed by virtue of its value as art, literature, or religious content. And Playboy, as we know it, certainly fails all three of those criteria.

So what will Playboy look like without its signature nude playmates? Playboy Enterprises’ Chief Executive Christie Hefner stated that the Indian magazine, which may not even be called Playboy, “would be an extension of Playboy that would be focused around the lifestyle, pop culture, celebrity, fashion, sports and interview elements of Playboy.”

The idea is, apparently, that sex doesn’t haven’t to be American, or even western, to sell. Good luck, Playboy.

Mimi Hanaoka


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