Monday, December 15, 2008

Playboy Cover Didn't Play With Mary: Allegedly

My first reaction to seeing Playboy Mexico's December cover was a rude laugh. I might not have thought it was so funny, if I hadn't first learned that the publisher claimed that it wasn't meant to represent the Virgin Mary.

It's not just the cloth over the model's head, and the caption, "Te Adoramos María" ("We adore you, Mary."), that makes that claim a crude joke. Gimme a break: There's a stained glass window in the background.

Granted, the window's pattern isn't particularly Christian, but in most western cultures, stained glass in a Gothic arch says "church."

Mary, the Playboy Cover Girl

Sure, it's blasphemous. I'd say that Mexico's Playboy magazine had hit bottom, but the cover doesn't show her butt, just part of her left breast: and nobody's getting hit.

What's really interesting is the bald-faced, unbelievable, pathetic lie of an "apology" that the magazine made. Actually, both magazines. The Mexican Playboy magazine seems to be published independently of the American periodical. Here's what the magazines said, according to Reuters:

"...'While Playboy Mexico never meant for the cover or images to offend anyone, we recognize that it has created offense, and we as well as Playboy Mexico offer our sincerest apologies,' the statement said.

"Raul Sayrols, publisher of Playboy Mexico, said in a statement, 'The image is not and never was intended to portray the Virgin of Guadalupe or any other religious figure. The intent was to reflect a Renaissance-like mood on the cover.'..." [Emphasis mine]

The Virgin of Guadalupe, maybe not. The Virgin Mary: With "Te Adoramos María" printed right under her ribs and a stained glass window in the background, it's a little hard not to make the connection. Even after you find out that the model's name is Maria Florencia Onori. "Maria" - "We adore you, Maria" is about the model, not the Virgin Mary, get it? Get it?

Yeah, I got it.

Instead of letting myself fume about this, I'll recommend reading a post written by Fr. Jonathan Morris: "Playboy 'Apologizes' for Nude Virgin of Guadalupe Cover." I think he makes a good point or two about the Mexican Playboy cover; and a remarkably silly, and wildly inaccurate, story that Time published about the previous pope.

I suppose I should be more upset, but Playboy Mexico's doing cosplay with the Virgin Mary is just more of the same. I've gotten used to living in a society where the Brooklyn Museum of Art exhibited a portrait of the Virgin Mary, decorated with elephant dung. A "resin-covered lump of elephant dung," as Wikipedia and quite a few other sources put it.

At least in this case, Mexican Catholics didn't have their tax money used to insult their faith. As far as I know.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.