In her magazine spread, first generation Libyan American Nagouri wore a leather bomber and Converse sneakers, with an olive headscarf holding back her hair. In one picture, she throws the camera a rebellious sneer. In the other, she stands on a step ladder mid-shout, arms stretched wide, peace-sign fingers out like a protester. The backdrop? A massive, spray-painted American flag.
In line with the October issue’s “Renegades of 2016” series, Tagouri, a reporter for the Columbia, Missouri-based digital video news source Newsy, aspires to be the first hijab-wearing news anchor in the U.S. Her portfolio includes digital features on the the White House’s first celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr and the first Muslim-majority city in the U.S.
“I may dress a little different,” she told the magazine when asked how she’s succeeded in changing her environment. “I’m a reporter who happens to wear a scarf and a hoodie—but being a story teller, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and unapologetically myself has opened so many doors for thousands of people.”
The “Renegades” series features another surprise for those who know the magazine as a source of curated hyper-feminine pornography: Several men are included among the series’ female subjects. The profiles include a comedian, “sex activist,” novelist, video game developer, skateboarder and rock band frontwoman.
Does this mean the magazine famous for its images of scantily-clad women in furry animal costumes, swimsuits and sometimes nothing at all has been done away with in favor of something that sees women as more than the sum of their (body)parts? Not exactly. Click on the “Women” tab on Playboy’s website and you’ll find everything from “17 Hottest Celebrity MILFs” to “The Provocative Sky Ferreira Holds Nothing Back for Our October Cover.”
In the face of dwindling circulation, the magazine announced about a year ago that it would no longer be publishing nude photos, largely because of the abundance of the stuff online, but the move hasn’t really resolved Playboy’s financial woes. In June, following a restructuring period for the magazine, 90-year-old founder Hugh Hefner sold his famed Playboy mansion to Twinkies owner Daren Metropoulos for $100 million. Perhaps less skin and more substance will do the trick.