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Posted at 10:21 AM ET, 11/23/2009

Overplayed: Levi Johnston's Playgirl moment

By Liz Kelly

I ask because based on the pix released by in an attempt to cajole us into buying a monthly pass to view an expanded gallery (I wasn't able to expense, so no go), I'm getting less heat than I would from an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. See Levi. See Levi topless. See Levi sweaty. See Levi's armpit hair. Meh.

(Photo courtesy

Male nudity, beefcake, has always been a hit or miss kind of thing. Mostly miss. Witness the limited success of the male stripping industry. Even the Chippendales come off as more party prank (let's make the bride-to-be blush!) than party favor. The unadorned male body (sorry guys) just doesn't have that crucial "it" factor -- curves, smoothness, lack of lower back hair -- that keeps everything from girlie mags to the fashion industry moving along at a steady hum.

(This isn't to say, guys, that you don't have definite attractions. There's the disarming grin, the way you wear that old ski cap, even the way you heft a drill or wield an air guitar. It's when you try to out sexpot the girls that the trouble begins.)

Before any of you settle in for a nice rebut, consider this:

-- Playboy sells approximately 2.6 million print issues per month in the U.S. In August, Playgirl announced it would be discontinuing its print version as of January 2009, though the magazine will still live online.

-- The only reason we're still interested in Levi Johnston is because of his baby-mama-in-law, Sarah Palin, and surprisingly hard-working manager Tank Jones. And, in fact, Marge Simpson drummed up more excitement with her October Playboy cover.

-- This = funny. This (although NSFW) = boring.

Oh, and a word of warning for anyone thinking of surfing over to Once you declare you are indeed of age, well, it gets pretty NSFW faster than you can say Levi Johnston.

By Liz Kelly  | November 23, 2009; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Insta-Polls  
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Too bad, Levi, it just doesn't work.

Posted by: bmschumacher | November 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

He's 19 - not yet hottie material except for tweens and teens. Now those David Beckham Armani ads... Nice.

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | November 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Looks like he stepped out of Twilight. Bad career move?

Hope he invests his money well.

Posted by: EricS2 | November 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Liz, you needed a third option:

"I just don't care."

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | November 23, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

God help us if we are so bored that we have to go look at these pictures, for whatever reasons there may be.

Posted by: djmolter | November 23, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. I have a basic disagreement with some of the commentary in this post. It's not so much that the guys can't out-fox the ladies. It's more that they don't have the same high standards, and therefore just don't try hard enough (especially in ostensibly straight-targeted sources, like Playgirl - yes, I know guys read it, but the mag at least pretends that women will be interested).

The full set of photos leaked to the interwebs. Lots of butt shots. The problem is that Johnston's kind of dull looking in general, and in the shots that were leaked, his body is just meh. There's flab. There's sag (on a 19 year old!). There's a sadly flat behind. It's a bit depressing all around.

If you want to see good shots, you need to stay away from anything aimed at women - we get crumbs and leftovers when it comes to everything else, so it only makes sense that we get the subpar "models" in our skin magazines. If you look at the lad mags aimed at lads who like other lads, you'll see the difference. They get boys who are toned and pretty, even the older models.

Posted by: dkp01 | November 23, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ya know?

It occurs to me that Our Sarah's "Newsweek" cover is hotter than Levi's "Playgirl" pix.

I think, perhaps, it's because Our Sarah knows how to cock her leg and looks comfortable doing it.

As ever,

Curmudgeon (again)

Posted by: bmschumacher | November 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"The only reason we're still interested in Levi Johnston is because of his baby-mama-in-law, Sarah Palin"

No wedding, no in-law status.

Posted by: jezebel3 | November 23, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

It's boring because it's Levi without his Johnson.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | November 23, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

agree, meh. Men are much more attractive when they got it going on supertentorially. However, if you like them dumb, the least you need is a little muscle. Levi appears to be lacking in that department.

Posted by: hodie | November 23, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

He'd be off in the first round of "Make Me a Supermodel."

Posted by: mdreader01 | November 23, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

This guy would be nothing were it not for his association with the Palins. He's turned out to be a two timing little b*stard who isn't worth one letter of print. He will fade into oblivion and not too soon! This sh*t burned up his 15 minutes of fame long ago.

Posted by: panamajack | November 23, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I think we have found something that both conservatives and liberals can agree on here. For that, I suppose, we can be thankful to Mr. Johnston.

Posted by: dkp01 | November 23, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Sas, what's the correct spelling for "johnson" (as in, well, you know, johnson)?

Is it "johnson" or "johnston"?

Inquiring mind . . .


Posted by: bmschumacher | November 23, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, it's "Johnson." When one wishes to show respect, it's "Mr. Johnson." If it's a male-on-male pairing, it's "Johnson & Johnson." If the main is wearing a gelding harness, it's known as "Johnson Controls."

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | November 23, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhhhh. I see.

Thank you, Sas.

I knew you'd know.

Amazed and in-the-know,


Posted by: bmschumacher | November 23, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree that if you want to see good looking boys, you go for the made-for-other-boys mags. I have also heard that straight male "dancers" tend to "dance" for other men because they are the ones who fork out the cash. It seems if you are a man and you want to make money from straight women while performing, you are better off in drag.

Posted by: Osteph | November 23, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bmschumacher | November 23, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

He still looks like a kid to me, which makes this all very creepy.

Posted by: kvs71 | November 23, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bmschumacher

Everyone left to test that theory about gay skin magazines being better.

Posted by: dkp01 | November 23, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

SAS, you set the bar high already. Certainly Comment of the week winners, all of them. THANK YOU for the wonderful full belly laugh. I am in awe....

Posted by: agog1 | November 23, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with KVS71-- there needs to be a third option: he's way too young for me to look at him that way.

I think the correct term is Palin is the baby-grandma.

Posted by: msame | November 23, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, snore...

And how did they let that shower pic with the crooked nipples out of the box? Ick!

So much hype about so little.

Anyway, good luck to the kid with getting some kind of life after the Palin connection. I can't blame him for trying to cash in a little, uh, also, too.

Posted by: martha6 | November 24, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Well Liz you aren't a gay guy checking out Levi. I think he is soooo cute, and happy to be fed lots of pics of him And is such a slap in the face to homophobe mummy in law.

Posted by: peterkneipp | November 24, 2009 5:23 AM | Report abuse

"the disarming grin, the way you wear that old ski cap, even the way you heft a drill or wield an air guitar" ?

Liz, I'm sorry to break the news to you like this but you're obviously not a gay man. Grins, ski caps and air guitar just don't make it. Check out the hunks Karl Lagerfeld drapes fur over in "Lagerfeld Confidential" or any Bruce Weber photo book.

Posted by: cllrdr | November 24, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Let's face it, men are just way more visually oriented than are women. Conventional wisdom is that the typical Playgirl "reader" is not, in fact, a girl.

Women, I assert, are titillated more by words than by pics. A teenaged boy will hide a skin mag under his mattress. A teenaged girl will hide a copy of some pulpy novel involving forbidden love among the Greek islands.

Or, in a pinch, "Twilight."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | November 24, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Scrawny, smug and pallid are not attractive to adult women.

Posted by: jackdmom | November 24, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I get what's supposed to be hot here- no buffness to speak of. And how old is this kid? I think he is young enough to be my son. If I'm going to be a perv and look at underage guys, that Taylor what-his-name from the new moon movie has the kind of body to swoon over. I wish he'd made a better career move.

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