Playboy brings back nudes, a year after ditching them

The March/April 2017 cover of March 2017 Playmate, Elizabeth Elam, is shown in this handout photo provided February 13, 2017.
PHOTO: 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to its roots, bringing nudes back just a year after abandoning full frontal shots of women saying they had become outdated.

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.

Hugh Hefner and his guests at the Playboy mansion

  • The Playboy mansion, a stately 1927 home famous for exotic parties where movie stars, athletes and billionaires frolicked with scantily clad women, is to be sold to the most familiar of buyers: the neighbour.
  • Daren Metropoulos, a principal at private-equity firm Metropoulos & Co. who bought the adjacent property in 2009, is in contract to purchase the property.
  • He said in a statement he is less interested in the fame the mansion earned over the last four decades as a playground for Playboy bunnies and more interested in preserving its architectural pedigree.
  • The home's architect is Arthur Rolland Kelly, who designed hundreds of homes in the Los Angeles area.
  • "The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity, and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege," Mr. Metropoulos said. He declined to disclose the purchase price.
  • The home was listed for US$200 million (S$270.8 million) by broker Mauricio Umansky of The Agency, as well as Gary Gold and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland.
  • Jeffrey Hyland, the president of Hilton & Hyland, said the price was "nine digits" and would set a record for the highest-priced residential sale in Los Angeles.
  • Model Crystal Hefner (L) and Hugh Hefner attend the annual Halloween Party, hosted by Playboy and Hugh Hefner, at the Playboy Mansion on October 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Models pose at the annual Halloween Party, hosted by Playboy and Hugh Hefner, at the Playboy Mansion
  • Actor Keith Powers (C) attends the annual Halloween Party, hosted by Playboy and Hugh Hefner, at the Playboy Mansion on October 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Actor O'Shea Jackson (C) and Guests attend the annual Halloween Party
  • A view of the Playboy Mansion in this January 11, 2007. The Playboy Mansion is up for sale for $200 million, US media said on January 9, 2016.
  • Home of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, 89, the notorious building will be listed within the next month, celebrity website TMZ reported. Playboy Enterprises is seeking upwards of $200 million, but TMZ, citing real-estate sources in the area of Holmby Hills -- close to Beverly Hills -- said the mansion is more likely to go for between $80 million and $90 million.
  • American-born British model and Playmate Crystal Harris (in blue) is back with Playboy Magazaine founder Hugh Hefner after leaving the US mogul at the altar in June 2011 following a December 2010 engagement.
  • Shera Bechard is seen in this handout image obtained June 28, 2011. Two weeks after Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was dumped by Miss December 2009 just before their wedding, Hefner said on June 27, 2011 that he was now dating Miss November 2010.
  • Hugh Hefner and his fiancee Crystal Harris arrive at an opening night gala in Hollywood, California in this April 28, 2011 file photograph. Heartbroken Playboy founder Hefner said on June 14, 2011 his wedding this weekend was canceled because Harris, his 25-year-old fiancee who is a Playmate from his magazine, changed her mind.
  • US Playboy Magazine publisher Hugh Hefner and his favorite girl friend Holly Madison, 26, pose during a press conference introducing the new season of Hefner's TV show "Girls of the Playboy Mansion" on E! Entertainment, 11 January 2007 at the Palyboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.