Play, boys; Playboy
- Jonathan-- you exposed a topic today that for me was novel, baffling, and disturbing, to say the least. As with any eye-opener, I much appreciate it, and hope this post isn't stealing any of your thunder. I liked the fact that you saw "gift givers" as using technology (the internet) to infect, because I saw gift givers as shunning technology--the technology of condoms-- to do so. In a quick google search, I came across a youtube video of CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewing the director of "The Gift", Louise Hogarth. After a clip of a bugchaser who had contracted the HIV virus and was now seemingly at ease, Cooper asks, "is he an idiot?" Hogarth's response was that no, he wasn't an idiot; as Jonathan talked about in class, AIDS for some represents the "in-group" in the gay community, and this drives bug chasers to those who can assure them a position of acceptance.
Isn't it incredible to think that people would risk their lives so consciously to feel accepted? That people could be so heavily influenced by what they perceive as ideal that they would die to achieve it? But wait... What about teenagers that would DIE to fit in with their drug abusing friends? What about girls that die starving themselves to achieve what the media portrays as normal? No. This is not incredible at all.
And I cannot stress how bizzare and ironic it is, that as I sit here totally charged on this topic... I'm watching CSI: NY, "Heart of Glass". This episode is about a man who has killed himself by crashing his body into an industrial glass fishtank. The crime scene is covered in blood and shards of glass, and as one detective attempts to collect evidence, she cuts herself on a piece of this glass, which was inevitably covered in blood. The victim was HIV positive. Does this only appear to lack intention?
Simran and I talked briefly about this after class today, but one (of many) lingering question from class was whether there are any Playboy Playmates that are virgins. Does it matter? Do these women assume this identity to become sexual, or to have sex? (I think many believe the latter) I am a fan of the show Girls Next Door (documenting the life of Hugh Hefner and his three (now ex-) girlfriends), and they make a conscious effort to never discuss the sex practices that go on behind closed mansion doors. I did stumble upon one 1986 playmate who was publicized as "The Virgin Playmate", but there was not much info to go off of. I also found this, which I thought was more reminiscent of our conversations today. This is the December 08 issue of Mexican Playboy, featuring Maria Florencia Onori, nude. The bold reads, "We love you Maria" or, "We adore you Mary" -- The Virgin Mary. Playboy ended up apologizing to the Mexican public for this cover.
Because of my recent fascination with magazine covers, I see this as technology being used to create a symbol of highly feminized, highly sexualized purity. Was this how it was intended, or was it intended to mark some contradictary satire? How do images like this, in Men's magazines, directly or indirectly influence the societal ideals that women feel pressured to achieve?
endless questions, limited answers. I don't get it.