Playboy Magazine Is Getting Rid of Nudity

PHOTO: Playboy covers are seen on display at the "Playboy Exposed" Private View at the Sony Ericsson Proud Camden, Oct. 19, 2005, in London.PlayDavid Westing/Getty Images
WATCH Playboy Drops Fully Nude Pictures From Its Print Editions

Playboy is covering up.

Starting next year, the magazine will no longer feature nudity, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. announced.

The magazine, established by Hugh Hefner, has featured sexy centerfolds and unclothed celebrities since its 1953 debut, serving as a key driver of the sexual revolution. The groundbreaking magazine has shown women unclothed and unashamed, some unknown, some famous, some looking to be famous once more.

The centerfold images have been surrounded with news-making interviews and high-end journalism, along with the pleasure principles of Hefner’s “Playboy philosophy.”

“The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, bears almost no resemblance to today,” Playboy Enterprises CEO Scott Flanders said in a news release announcing the change. “We are more free to express ourselves politically, sexually and culturally today, and that’s in large part thanks to Hef’s heroic mission to expand those freedoms. We will stay true to those core values with this new vision of Playboy’s future. Once our readers see all of the innovative changes we’re making to the magazine, we’re confident they will love the end product when it debuts next year.”

Digital and cultural shifts have eroded the magazine’s readership, from a high of 5.6 million 40 years ago, to 800,000 today. But the company’s brand and marketing presence remain strong.

The shift, which goes into effect with the March 2016 issue, follows the 2014 re-launch of Playboy.com as a safe-for-work site.