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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Featured, Opinion, People | 5 comments

Is There Really Still A Place For Playboys Playmate of the Year?

Claire Sinclair - Playboy Playmate of the Year 2011

Not old enough to drink yet, but old enough to be a playmate

Claire Sinclair is the 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year

She’s just 19 years old.

And at 19 she’s too young in fact to celebrate being awarded the title of 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year at the nightclub where the other 11 contestants and assorted Playboy hangers-on gathered to honour her. She becomes the 52nd recipient of the award, which was first made in 1960.

As for Sinclair’s celebratory plans following her acceptance speech, they weren’t as exciting as one would imagine for a Playmate of the Year honouree. “Tonight I’m going to go out to the movies with my friends because I’m under 21, so there’s not going to be any hardcore clubbing,” said Sinclair. “We’re just going to have a nice little gathering.”

Heffner: She reminds me of Bettie Page

Sinclair, whose real name is Clarissa Irene Riccio, has been modelling since the age of 14. She was introduced to the Grandfather of the Playboy Empire, Hugh Heffner, at the Playboy Mansion and soon after became the Playboy US editions’ Playmate of the Month in October 2010. Hefner said Sinclair’s style reminded him of Bettie Page, a popular 1950s pinup model who was also Playboy Magazine’s Miss January cover model in 1955.

The similarities between the young Ms. Riccio and Bettie Page were not lost on the marketers and since her ‘exposure’ in Playboy Magazine, she has become the official spokesmodel for (no prizes for guessing) Bettie Page Clothing – a fashion house that specialises in “vintage and retro look clothing for the modern woman”.

So I’m an old fart maybe?

Claire Sinclair - Playboy Playmate of the Year 2011

Not old enough to drink yet, but old enough to be a playmate

Perhaps, since I’m the proud father of a beautiful young daughter myself, I’m prone to over analyse, and be overly critical of, this story. Maybe as the hair at my temples has taken on a distinct shade of grey I’ve become a bit of a prude. A fuddy duddy. An old fart even.

To be fair to the PMOY, she presumably has no problem with taking her clothes off for the camera, and appearing naked on the pages of an 85 year old media moguls’ magazine. And the publicity and fame that it has brought her has already provided her with more work. She obviously has no personal qualms with the sexual objectification of women. She’ll certainly continue to find favour as a model and reality television personality, I’m sure.

But, besides her age, the mere thought of her (or anyone else’s young daughter for that matter) being pawed at by some lecherous octogenarian with a mansion bothers me. A lot. Even the title “playmate” seems so archaic and misogynistic to me.

Youthful sexualisation for middle-aged perverts?

My concern though is more toward the fact that this young lady, just a few years older than my own child, is now the object of much lustful consideration for a bunch of lonely men, old enough to be her father. Or, as in Heffners’ case, old enough even to be her great-grandfather!

Playboy reader demographics show that the magazine’s audience is overwhelming male (83%). No surprises there. What is a little surprising though, is that the readership is strongly on the youthful side itself with over half of its’ readers under the age of 34.

Are we, as a society, becoming so morally deficient that we are sexualising women at a younger and younger age than ever before? (See the post 7-Year Olds Dancing to ‘Single Ladies’ ). Are our children – both male and female – simply growing up too quickly? Or is it a sign of the times, a modern world reality?

Personally, as far as my daughter is concerned at least, I’m sticking with being an old fart. She won’t ever be anyone’s ‘playmate’. At least whilst I’m still alive.

Image & Info Sources: PMOY 2011 , PMOY Contenders , Fox News, Frontline

5 Comments

  1. Yeah she is a bit young, but an adult regardless. I’m a bloke in my early 30’s and – think she’s pretty damn sexy. Knowing now that she is still a teenager though does worry me a bit though – just doesn’t feel 100% “right”, if you know what I mean. If I was 50 years older though it definitly wouldn’t feel right.

  2. Good grief! She looks like a child playing dress-up with Mommy’s sexy lingerie. Why such a beautiful young woman feel sthe need to debase herself in this way is beyond me. To each their own, I suppose.

  3. I’m in my mid-20s so if I say that I’d hit that big time would that make me a pervert too?

    • Not in the ‘dirty old man’ pervert way, but yeah, you sound pretty perverted to me…

      #justsaying 🙂

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