Playboy Remove Naked Photos Of Women From Magazine, But 'It's Not A Victory For Women'

Playboy Removal Of Naked Models 'Is Not A Victory For Women'

Playboy made history on Monday when it announced it will be removing images of naked women from its print magazine.

The magazine, which was first published in 1953, has featured naked women throughout its 62 year history. But from March 2016, while it will continue to feature women in provocative poses, the nudes will be no more.

In an interview with the New York Times, Playboy's chief executive Scott Flanders says that featuring naked women is "passé" because of the accessibility of pornography.

"You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free," Flanders said. "It's just passé at this juncture."

According to Flanders, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, 89, agreed to the proposal to stop publishing images of naked women.

Meanwhile, chief content officer of Playboy magazine, Cory Jones, said: “Twelve-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it’s the right thing to do.”

This isn't the first step towards non-nudes for Playboy. Last year the brand launched a safe-for-work website when it stopped posting nude photos online and they claim the change saw an increase of 12 million monthly visitors.

Playboy's current print circulation is currently about 800,000, which significantly less than the 5.6 million it had in 1975. So many are assuming this is a bid to boost sales.

The relaunched magazine will also feature a new "sex-positive female" columnist and it is unsure as to whether it will retain centrefolds.

But the change "is not a victory for women", says Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, journalist and co-founder of feminist blog The Vagenda.

"If anything it shows that the internet has taken over in the female objectification stakes, and it's much more difficult to hold the online world to account than it is mainstream media," she told HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

"The death of the lads' mag and page three has more to do with the availability of Internet porn than feminist gain, sadly."

She added: "I don't know what we can do about it, other than make sure we educate young people so that they're aware that porn is not real life and that women should be treated with respect. It's a depressing business."

Kat Lister, HuffPost UK blogger and journalist, agreed: "I would say, no, I don't think this is a 'victory'. I don't see how it could be really - it's hardly a decision that's been made to finally emancipate women. In fact, it has nothing to do with women and everything to do with business and their competitors.

"The objectification of women hasn't vanished, it's just gone online. Playboy might be covering up, but the internet certainly isn't."

Artist and campaigner Sam Roddick says she is interested to see what Playboy does next.

"Playboy was birthed at time when misogyny was virtually unquestioned," she added. "Although it was boldly sexist, it was sexually creative and also strangely empowering for women who were otherwise trapped in the 1950s / 60s.

"I think it is interesting that the magazine that once was so cutting edge in pushing social boundaries has reclaimed that space saying they want to do something different," she told HuffPost UK Lifestyle. "They haven't really had much to offer since the 1980, so I'm interested to see what they feel is relevant and I am curious to see how they execute it.

"So I say let's watch that space and be prepared to be surprised or very disappointed."

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