Apparently sex no longer sells.



Playboy Magazine Says Goodbye To Both Nudes And Photoshop

While users on Instagram are pushing to #freethenipple, Playboy is attempting to conceal it. In an effort to revamp their look and reputation, Playboy‘s February 2016 issue featuring Pamela Anderson marked the last issue that would include their usual serving of nudes.

Today Playboy unveiled their March cover, giving us a glimpse into what the newly refurbished magazine will look like. Gracing the cover is fresh-faced model Sarah McDaniel shot by Theo Wenner, and the text “heyyy ;)” in a Snapchat-looking overlay. The overall effect is very millennial-friendly and not unlike a very salacious American Apparel sock ad. And McDaniel, who found her fame through social media, only adds to this theme.

While the new look could be interpreted as a slightly desperate move to reach out to the Snapchatting, social media-fluent younger generation, you have to give Playboy credit for making an effort to push out something different to stay relevant. Who knew full nudity would ever go out of style?

McDaniel explained, “The idea was to look at me from a boyfriend’s perspective.” And her entire spread follows this theme, which will undoubtedly resonate with at least some of Playboy‘s readers. After all, who hasn’t sent their fair share of nudes through the prime nudie-sending app?

Dree Hemingway was shot by Angelo Pennetta for the centerfold, which has always been a source for grade-A raunchy nudity. With the newly revamped Playboy, however, comes a centerfold that does not bare all.

Miss March 2016 Dree Hemingway p. 96 by Angelo Pennetta-1

I’ll be clear for the people who don’t pick up Playboy for the articles: the magazine still features naked women, but the direction is different from their usual “GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS” theme. The angles of the photos are meant to seductively hide what the magazine had previously exploited front and center. By downsizing the amount of nudity, their NC-17 rating has been revoked. We’ll have to wait and see if leaving a little bit more to the reader’s imagination will do the brand some good.

Largely responsible for the overhaul is Cory Jones, who was promoted to Chief Content Officer in 2015. “A year and a half ago, we relaunched Playboy.com as a safe-for-work site, and traffic skyrocketed 400 percent,” he said. “The average age of our visitors dropped from 47 years old to 30. It showed how the brand can still resonate.”

Besides shedding full nudity, all Photoshop retouching is officially done with as well. And it’s a wise decision too, considering the harsh backlash Kim Kardashian received this past December from her desert photoshoot with the mag. Don’t glorify a body, the people complained, that was literally created through an editing application. And given the alarming difference between the before and after Photoshopped photos, people had good reason to be mad.


The decision to forgo Photoshop is a strong one, and one that helps to raise awareness around the unrealistic expectations that women are expected to live up to. As worshipped as they may be, it’s important to remember that models are still the most Photoshopped people in the world. By leaving women’s bodies alone, and not altering them to society’s unreasonable standards, Playboy is doing us all a favor and giving us hope that generations to come might actually learn to appreciate a woman’s natural figure.

The Internet is a vast place where cats, regrettable tweets, and pictures of naked women reign. Playboy was going to have to make a change eventually, if they want to keep up with the millennial’s preference for soft-core nudes. Editor in chief Hugh Hefner might not agree with the turn away from nudes, but sooner or later he’ll have to come to terms with the fact that the times are a-changing.

Stay tuned to Milk for more print magazine news. 

Image of Hugh Hefner taken by Mike Piscitelli, Kim Kardashian color image via Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and all other images via Playboy.

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