Playboy magazine was shocking back in the 1950s when it debuted, but it’s pretty tame stuff here in the 21st century.
So of course the magazine is trying everything to sell copies.
Playboy is featuring its first-ever gay male cover star on the cover for its October 2021 digital issue. So-called influencer Bretman Rock, whose real name is Bretman Sacayanan, is featured, dressed in an iconic Playboy Bunny costume.
Bretman is a 23-year-old from the Philippines who became known on YouTube and Vine for his makeup tutorials. “While Bretman isn’t the first man to get his own Playboy cover — singer Bad Bunny and founder Hugh Hefner himself have both starred alone on the front of the magazine — he is the first to fully embrace the Playboy aesthetic and dress in a corset, heels, ears, and a tail,” the Daily Mail noted.
Playboy put out a profane tweet to announce the news.
— Playboy (@Playboy) October 1, 2021
“In the cover photo by photographer Brian Ziff, he models a a [sic] black corset that hangs below exposed nipples, a pair of black tights, chunky heels, and the standard Playboy Bunny accessories: cuffs, a bowtie, ears, and a fluffy tail,” the Mail wrote.
“I’m a @playboy bunny,'” Sacayanan wrote on Twitter. “DUHHHHHH.”
— BretmanRock’s Decade (@bretmanrock) October 1, 2021
Sacayanan’s followers were happy, with one writing: “This whole look Is everything, from the shoes, the hair, the corset.”
“Game changer. Opening the way for many others. Thank you,” said another, while one more added: “A magazine made for h**ny heterosexual men just put a gay man on the cover. Yeah. Bretman is a different level of sexy for achieving this.”
Glee’s Kevin McHale also weighed in, writing Sacayanan is “playmate of the year tbh” and “gorgeous.”
There were also some naysayers. “So I may be way out of touch but I thought playboy catered to straight men and possibly gay women, yanno since it’s filled with naked women. If a man wants to pose… isn’t that what playgirl is for?” asked one user.
“For Playboy to have a male on the cover is a huge deal for the LGBT community, for my brown people community, and it’s all so surreal,” Rock is quoted as saying on Playboy’s Instagram page.
“The social media star’s historic appearance on Playboy’s cover also marks the latest instance of the magazine breaking barriers for the LGBTQ community,” NBC News reported, adding:
Last year, fellow beauty influencer Victoria Volkova became the first transgender woman to appear on the cover of Playboy Mexico. Volkova followed other trans women to appear in various editions of the publication, including Roberta Close, Caroline “Tula” Cossey, Giuliana Farfalla and Geena Rocero. In November 2017, the French model Ines Rau became the first openly trans Playboy Playmate.
Anthony Allen Ramos, LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD’s head of talent, praised Playboy’s inclusion of Rock on its cover, calling it a ”powerful step forward in the ongoing movement towards greater diversity and inclusion in fashion and modeling.”