Play­boy to stop pub­lish­ing nude pho­tos

Lesotho Times - - Lifestyle -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Play­boy mag­a­zine will stop pub­lish­ing the pho­to­graphs of the fully nude women so closely as­so­ci­ated with it, declar­ing such pic­tures have be­come “passe” in the In­ter­net age where free pornog­ra­phy is read­ily avail­able.

The de­ci­sion came af­ter a top editor of the adult mag­a­zine met with its founder Hugh Hefner at the Play­boy Man­sion last month, ac­cord­ing to chief ex­ec­u­tive Scott Flan­ders.

Start­ing in March, Play­boy’s re­vamped print edi­tion will still in­clude pho­to­graphs of women in provoca­tive poses.

They just won’t be nude any­more, Flan­ders told The New York Times in an in­ter­view pub­lished Tues­day.

“You’re now one click away from ev­ery sex act imag­in­able for free. And so it’s just passe at this junc­ture,” he said.

It’s a re­mark­able move for a mag­a­zine that launched in 1953 with a sul­try Marilyn Mon­roe on its cover, break­ing the ta­boo of show­ing women au na­turel.

But with porno­graphic images now so read­ily avail­able on­line, and ac­ces­si­ble via a va­ri­ety of con­nected de­vices, Play­boy is sell­ing less and less copies.

The mag­a­zine’s cir­cu­la­tion de­creased from 5.6 mil­lion in 1975 to about 800 000 now, the Times said, cit­ing Al­liance for Au­dited Me­dia fig­ures. And at its peak, it sold more than seven mil­lion copies, in Novem­ber 1972.

In or­der to be al­lowed on nowu­biq­ui­tous so­cial me­dia plat­forms like Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram that drive In­ter­net traf­fic, Play­boy has al­ready made some con­tent safer, ac­cord­ing to Flan­ders.

Af­ter its web­site went nude-free in Au­gust 2014, the av­er­age reader age fell from 47 to just above 30, and In­ter­net traf­fic soared from four mil­lion to 16 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors per month, ex­ec­u­tives told the Times.

For its lat­est re­design, the mag­a­zine sought to an­swer the ques­tion: “if you take nu­dity out, what’s left?” he ex­plained.

Cory Jones, the chief con­tent of­fi­cer who met with 89-year-old Hefner last month, told the Times that the mag­a­zine will still fea­ture a Play­mate of the Month, though the images will now be “PG-13.”

And it’s un­clear whether or not the cen­tre­fold will sur­vive the chop­ping block.

The Play­boy brand, with its trade­mark tuxedo bow tie-adored bunny sil­hou­ette logo, has had a ma­jor im­pact on the me­dia world.

In ad­di­tion to its sexy cen­tre­folds — usu­ally fea­tur­ing a nude fe­male model, or Play­mate — and cov­ers, the mag­a­zine is also known for its fas­ci­nat­ing in­ter­views with defin­ing cul­tural fig­ures of the mo­ment.

The first Play­boy in­ter­view was con­ducted by writer Alex Ha­ley with Miles Davis, in which the jazz great shared can­did views on rac- ism.

“This whole prej­u­dice mess is some­thing you would feel so good if it could just be got rid of, like a big sore eat­ing in­side of your belly,” Davis said at the time.

There were also in­ter­views with Malcolm X and with Martin Luther King Jr, in which he dis­cussed the civil rights move­ment he led and said “Amer­ica to­day is an ex­tremely sick na­tion.”

And then there was then-pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jimmy Carter ad­mit­ting to have lusted for other women “in my heart,” or an in­ter­view with John Len­non and Yoko Ono, which hit news­stands around the time of the Bea­tles co-founder’s De­cem­ber 1980 death.

Play­boy has also pub­lished short sto­ries by prom­i­nent nov­el­ists like Vladimir Nabokov, Haruki Mu­rakami and Mar­garet At­wood, as well as car­toons by the likes of Shel Silverstein.

Some of the world’s most fa­mous pho­tog­ra­phers, in­clud­ing Hel­mut New­ton and An­nie Lei­bovitz, have pro­vided Play­boy the pho­to­graphs that live on and are for­ever as­so­ci­ated with the mag­a­zine.

Celebri­ties of all stripes have posed be­fore the cam­era lens for Play­boy at the height of their ca­reers, from Kim Basinger to Drew Bar­ry­more, Madonna, Far­rah Fawcett, Sharon Stone, La Toya Jack­son, wrestlers Tor­rie Wil­son and Chyna and gym­nast Svet­lana Khork­ina.

PLAY­BOY mag­a­zine will cease pub­lish­ing images of naked women early next year.

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