Playboy reverses nude ban because 'naked is normal'

Christopher Hooton
Tuesday 14 February 2017 10:33 GMT
Playboy's March 2017 cover
Playboy's March 2017 cover

A year after pledging to ban nudity from its pages, Playboy magazine has done a U-turn and re-introduced nudes.

The publication originally made the decision after picking up on the fact its depictions of the naked body were outdated, but instead of banning them, it will now apparently try to ride the ‘love your body’ positivity wave. Model Elizabeth Elam will feature topless on the March 2017 cover, alongside the headline: “Naked is normal.”

Playboy made a big deal of its nudity ban, which was caused in part by the proliferation of online pornography, was praised by women’s rights activists and was aimed at attracting more and new advertisers.

Cooper Hefner, son of founder Hugh Hefner and Playboy chief creative officer since last October, was reportedly against the ban at the time and has now clarified the publication’s stance on nudity.

“I’ll be the first to admit the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake,” he said, as per the Telegraph.

“Nudity was never the problem, because nudity isn’t a problem. Today, we’re taking our identity back and rediscovering who we are.

“This is a remarkably special moment personally and professionally that I get to share this issue of Playboy magazine with my Dad, as well as with readers.

“It is a reflection of how the brand can best connect with my generation and generations to come.”

In a bid to reverse flagging circulation (7.2 million in 1972, down to to 700,000 in 2016), the tag line ‘Entertainment for Men’ will be removed from the cover and ‘The Playboy Philosophy’ column from the 60s will return, exploring “the current political and cultural climate in the US,” perhaps in the hope of returning to the magazine’s glory days, when Hunter S. Thompson would write in its pages.

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