February 13, 2017 / 11:53 PM / 8 months ago

Playboy brings back nudes, a year after ditching them

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Playboy magazine is returning to its roots, bringing nudes back just a year after abandoning full frontal shots of women saying they had become outdated.

The March/April 2017 cover of March 2017 Playmate, Elizabeth Elam, is shown in this handout photo provided February 13, 2017. Courtesy Gavin Bond/Playboy Enterprises, Inc/Handout via REUTERS

Under the headline “Naked is Normal,” the magazine will bring nude pictorials back in its March/April edition, the company said on Monday.

“I’ll be the first to admit that the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but nudity was never the problem because nudity isn’t a problem,” Playboy’s chief creative officer Cooper Hefner said in a statement on the magazine’s website.

“Today we’re taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are,” added Hefner, the son of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

Former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson was the last person to bare it all for the magazine in its January/February 2016 edition.

Founded in 1953, Playboy had decided to stop publishing nude photos of women, saying they had become outmoded due to the plethora of free pornography on the internet.

Playboy’s circulation has dropped from about 5.6 million in 1975 to around 800,000 in recent years, and the magazine had also come under pressure from women to end a practice many found offensive and degrading.

It launched a revamped version in March 2016 in which it replaced full frontal nudity with flirty, more natural shots of women in scanty attire.

Cooper Hefner said on Monday that the magazine was also bringing back some of its other features, including “Party Jokes” and “The Playboy Philosophy” column that last appeared in the 1960s.

He said the upcoming issue was a “reflection of how the brand can best connect with my generation and generations to come.”

The famed Playboy Mansion near Los Angeles, Hugh Hefner’s home and the venue for his lavish, hedonistic parties in the 1960s and 70s, was sold for $100 million in August in a deal that allowed Hefner, 90, to continue living there for the remainder of his life.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Andrew Hay

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