Rest in Peace dear Hugh.
Like your ‘huge’ name, your contribution to the world of adolescence, the world of sexual education, the world of naked celeb women and to a refinement of the ‘male’ mind; were all available for the price of your glossy magazine. Much revered, much hoarded. Much hidden, much flaunted. The bunny logo and that little furry rear of your serviettes – all making for a delicious, yet tasteful serving. You were the first to tread the bunny ‘tale’, the first to go where no man has gone before. In the burrows of the rich and famous. And you brought Monroe, Bo Derek, Kate Moss, Madonna, Kim Kardashian and other revered celebs home to us, as stark naked as the day they were born. Thanks to them, we were also reborn!
Not just the T&A, the articles too were insightful, classy, refined. Teaching men to be gentlemen. And teaching style to the novices. A lot of classy romances bloomed as men and gents followed the tips and tricks of your vanity columns and wooed women of class and stature.
What we also appreciate is the fact that while incisive writing and class were the backbone of ‘Playboy’, nudity and pin-ups remained the marketing factor alone. And the fact that you never, ever resorted to pornography and explicit sex, like some of your competitors, probably like ‘Penthouse’ and ‘Hustler’. Nudes were where it stopped, and stayed. The class retained. Thank you for that.
Which is why, as ‘the Hef’ breathed his last, in his own ‘Playboy Mansion’, at a ripe age of 91, the punsters say that he was probably ‘coming while going’. But those are just the jokes and memes floating around. A tribute to HH. How ironic would ‘His Highness’ sound?
Which is also why we proclaim and insist, on behalf of a planet of fans and followers – that he be knighted. Sir Hefner sounds real rabbity, doesn’t it?
Ignore his hedonistic lifestyle, ignore his wild parties with young bunnies and stars; Ignore his silk-robe clad Casanova image and ignore the nude imagery. The fact remains that he, who started up ‘Playboy’ with a mere 600 $ and had the vision and passion to turn it into a multi-million dollar business. A franchise that spins off billions.A lifestyle that is aspired for. Magazines, clubs, parties, memorabilia, merchandise – all spun off from the passion of this passionate man. A sexual revolution in the 60s that awakened a lost youth. It provided employment and it probably helped the celeb industry too. He brought the topic of sex and nudity into the boardroom.
Indeed, counter arguments will say that he fuelled a voyeuristic, paparazzi culture. A culture of peeping into bedrooms. But then aren’t Facebook, Twitter and other social-media platforms today just that? Voyeuristic? Instagram even says, ‘hey look at me, what I ate, where I travelled, what colour I crapped’, directly from the handles of celebs. What Hugh did was break the glass ceiling and like Captain Kirk and Spock, took all of us on a ‘Star Trek’ where ‘no man had gone before’. Kudos!
Yes, a slew of controversies have come to the fore yet again post his celebrated death. But hat’s now the norm for any mega celebrity. Yes, he’s said to have slept with thousands of women. So what? That’s a number not even a tenth of how many Genghis Khan slept with. Difference being, that all those who slept with Hugh, did it of free will!
His businesses remain. His bunnies stay. His vision and lifestyle a guide for all those in the glam industry. It won’t be long before he’s recognized as a visionary. He was too.
We insist he should be knighted. The only thing greater than a knight on a chessboard is the Queen. Hope she’s listening!
Also Check: The Iconic Covers of Playboy Magazine