This is Sarah McDaniel, a 20-year-old Instagram celebrity. She’s on the cover of the newly nudity-free Playboy magazine, striking a very millennial pose. Notice anything odd about her eyes, though? McDaniel took the internet by storm a few months ago thanks in part to her particularly beautiful case of heterochromia irdum. This is why she has one brown eye and one blue eye. But that’s only a small part of what makes this cover interesting. Since Playboy decided to go PG-13 in October, the magazine says that traffic to its website has spiked by 400-per cent and the mean reader age dropped from 47-years-old to 30. It seems like the pivot to being a better-behaved media empire was pretty smart.
Cleverly, the new cover manages to evoke not only the obvious Snapchat reference but also a little bit of the internet cam girl allure. So it’s familiar, if not a little naughty at the same time. McDaniel said of the cover, “The idea was to look at me from a boyfriend’s perspective.” (The photo was, of course, taken by a professional.)
It’s voyeuristic and alluring which is why people started “reading” Playboy in the first place.