- March 2014 Playboy Playmate Britt Linn
Playboy serves as a cultural barometer for beauty trends. A surprising number of scholarly studies have tracked the changing measurements, ages, and races of Playmates as a way of studying societal shifts in what we consider beautiful. While the gentlemen's magazine has broken many cultural barriers, such as featuring African American models during the height of the race wars, Playboy tends to pick Playmates who embody more conservative hallmarks of beauty. In general, most Playmates could be described as curvy fashion models—Victoria Secret-types as opposed to waif-thin runway models. Despite the recent popularity of tattoos and piercings, Playboy rarely features women who have anything more extreme than a naval piercing or a tattoo that is much larger than a sticker. So, when a Playmate diverges from the mold, the public takes notice.
The March 2014 Playmate, Linn Britt, 23, is the first Playmate in 15 years to have short hair. Perhaps even more surprising is Britt's style of shorthair: she has a mohawk with the sides of her head shaved.
This feminine mohawk has been popularized in recent years by the likes of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, though it was embraced before these pop icons in the underground circles of adult entertainment by Skin Diamond, Christy Mack, and Joslyn James. Even before that, it was a staple of the grunge rock movement of the 90s and the punk scene of the 80s. In and of itself, the hairstyle is nothing new. What is new is Playboy's acceptance of such a seemingly edgy look.
Time will tell what this gesture signifies, if anything. Will the hairstyle be accepted in more mainstream circles? Will the feminine mohawk lose popularity among alternative subcultures? Or, will Playboy be open to more alternative forms of beauty when considering Playmates?