Playboy magazine redesign will eliminate nude photos.

After Decades of Lying, You Can Now Legitimately Say You Read Playboy for the Articles

After Decades of Lying, You Can Now Legitimately Say You Read Playboy for the Articles

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Oct. 12 2015 11:15 PM

Playboy Magazine Goes SFW and Ends Nude Photos

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A man reads a copy of Playboy at a news stand.

Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

The Internet has officially killed the Playboy bunny. The adult magazine that inserted itself into American popular culture in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe on its cover is ditching the nude photos it became synonymous with, the New York Times reports. The editor of the magazine brought the idea to the head of the Playboy empire Hugh Hefner last month in hopes of boosting sagging readership numbers. A redesign that will include provocative, but not naked, photos of women was agreed to and will hit newsstands next March.

Playboy execs are framing the change as a victory of sorts for the magazine. The cultural space, and acceptance, was hard won over the past 60 years and provided the springboard for the Internet age pornography industry with which magazines like Playboy could not keep up. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture,” Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive, told the Times. Playboy’s circulation has dropped to 800,000 from 5.6 million 30 years ago.

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Before it was passé, however, whether you loved or hated it, Playboy was cutting edge in the media world. Here’s more from the Times:

It is difficult, in a media market that has been so fragmented by the web, to imagine the scope of Playboy’s influence at its peak. A judge once ruled that denying blind people a Braille version of it violated their First Amendment rights. It published stories by Margaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami among others, and its interviews have included Malcolm X, Vladimir Nabokov, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, who admitted that he had lusted in his heart for women other than his wife. Madonna, Sharon Stone and Naomi Campbell posed for the magazine at the peak of their fame. Its best-selling issue, in November of 1972, sold more than seven million copies.

Online reading and consumption habits have put the magazine, also know for “the articles,” in a difficult position of trying to push nonpornographic content in a media world reliant on social media consumption. Last year, the Playboy website stopped publishing nude content to comply with content restrictions of Facebook and others, in order to boost its online readership, and according to the company, it worked—Web traffic jumped from 4 million to 16 million unique readers per month and the average age of those readers fell a couple of generations from 47 to 30 years old.