We all know Playboy. Playboy fueled the everyday man’s fantasy, lifestyle and let’s say…inspiration. Their famous centerfolds from aspiring models, famous women and rising stars. To men’s tips on the perfect golf swig and the right color tie to bring out your masculinity.
Society views Playboy as sexualizing women. Opinions are made where men’s reading material is known to be dirty, vulgar and disrespectful. Even towards the women who choose to pose in those nudie spreads receive shame from the conservative. However, I see no difference with women’s magazines. Women’s magazines can be just as dirty, with countless ‘advice’ columns on how to reach an orgasm and those ‘confessions’ famous in Cosmopolitan, and even to the women gracing the covers in a sexual manner. But how come those women don’t receive shame, rather praise? Women sexualize men just as they do in Playboy. We spread men on our centerfolds with nothing but a pair of jeans or undies. (not complaining)
Of course, Playboy isn’t the only magazine that carry this kind of content. There are countless titles from FHM, Maxim, Nuts, GQ, Esquire.…And for the women? Cosmopolitan, In Style, Glamour, Marie Claire, and even Women’s Health…more, I know there is more. So, women are just as dirty as men making it a fair game. Today we see the progress in women’s magazines becoming equal to that of men’s. But it is not enough, there is still the stigma of being overtly sexual as a woman. There is a misconception of today’s feminist that stand against these ‘dirty men’s magazines’, but they tend to forget that we too expose the men. So, why do we see them differently?
Before the epic 1953 launch of Playboy making sex mainstream, popular pornographic material was kept underground. Society liked to keep things secret. Owning such material was considered dirty, like a fetish of some sort. We also have to look at how mid-century women’s magazines were pre-women’s lib. Articles strictly stuck to keeping house, matching your drapes to the perfect foyer and the recipe to Susie’s favorite chocolate chip cookies. You won’t find Jenny, 23 from Makati with her confession of a quickie with Tom in the janitor’s closet. And that defines the difference as to why we view these sexual magazines as taboo.
Like I said Playboy wasn’t the only dirty magazine. My friend Adi got me something amazing for my birthday. He found a 1957 issue of Nugget Magazine at an antique store in Quezon City. A little frail around the edges and the seam, which I saved by enclosing in a plastic cover. The colors of the pages are still as vibrant as it would be when it was orignally published. Nugget was one of those wannabe Playboys. It’s basically the poor man’s Playboy. Articles are bland, from fantasy stories about women, to how to cook a perfect steak. Their centerfolds aren’t exactly the top of the list either. Mostly unknowns, these women are much more vulgar (for a 1957 issue that is). The photography seems to be shot by an amateur, but nevertheless the women are beautiful. Illustrations full of cheeky jokes, and many many photos of women and their assets.
Featured is Joy Harmon, best known for her infamous car wash scene from “Cool Hand Luke” (Starring Paul Newman). This scene launched the iconic sexiness of washing a car!
For me, this is a special rare find. Nugget was unknown to me and it still is. I literally could not find anything online besides former covers on Google Images. There seems to be no website, or even a Wikipedia page. If anyone does find something please let me know I would love to learn more about this publication! Owning this magazine is one of the greatest gifts I have received. Being able to gaze through the dated articles and detailed editorials let’s me be in 1957 from a man’s perspective. It gives an authentic idea of how times have definitely changed.
Thank you Adi!