While it’s doubtful anyone will decide to memorialize them in a museum, lad mags are rapidly becoming historical relics, judging by the latest news from the sceptered isle which spawned them.
The UK edition of FHM magazine, for years the lowbrow rival to Maxim -- yes, such a thing did exist -- went “tits up” as our cousins across the pond might say. (Lest anyone take offense as per our humorless and dreary age, that expression is actually an acronym for “total inability to support usual performance.”)
This week FHM, published by Bauer Media Group, announced its imminent demise on its own Web site, with a statement reading: “Unfortunately it’s true, and it has been announced today the intention to suspend publication of FHM. It’s been an absolute joy producing the magazine over the years. Thank you for all your support, we will keep you updated with developments over the coming weeks. Thanks once again.”
Also closing is FHM sibling (bro?) publication Zoo magazine, which focused on “girls, games, gadgets, sport, movies, and funny stuff!” In practice, this meant lots of raunchy photos of minor cable TV celebrities and social media stars, and online video content exploring things like “Abigail Ratchford's slow-motion bouncing boobs!”
It’s worth noting that FHM and Zoo are well and truly defunct: unlike other publishers that make a pretense of keeping magazine brands alive online after shuttering their print editions, Bauer is also closing their Web sites.
As with Playboy’s recent move to ditch nude photos, and Maxim’s stumbling efforts to reinvent itself as a more upscale men’s lifestyle efforts, the closing of FHM and Zoo above all reflects the ubiquity of hot naked chicks online.
With an essentially endless supply of pornography of all varieties and for all proclivities on the Web, static print images for purposes of titillation (ahem) are going the way of the dodo.