No More Full Frontal: 'Playboy' Revamps for March Issue

Playboy has revamped its magazine and will no longer include full frontal nudity. Other elements to go are the cartoons and the joke list. The March 2016 issue is the first of the redesigned version. Playboy

Playboy is covering up, or at least finding creative ways to avoid full-frontal nudity, in its newly redesigned print magazine. The March issue, the first of the revamped version, features the Instagram-famous model Sarah McDaniel in a Snapchat-style photo with her hand extended to make it appear she's taking a selfie. The message "heyyy ;)" appears in the foreground against a scantily clad—but certainly clad—McDaniel.

The decision to revamp Playboy, announced in October, came at a time when readers no longer need a print magazine to find nude images. "You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free," Scott Flanders, the company's chief executive, told The New York Times at the time. "And so it's just passé at this juncture."

The new version of Playboy still holds onto many of its old elements—the March issue includes a Centerfold featuring Dree Hemingway; a long interview with the MSNBC host Rachel Maddow; "20 Questions" with the stars of Broad City; and an essay from Karl Ove Knausgaard.

"There's a lot that we're keeping of the DNA of the magazine, but there's a lot we're evolving, too," Cory Jones, the magazine's chief content officer, told CNNMoney. For example, readers will no longer see two of the old monthly staples—the cartoons and the party jokes. The latter, Jones said, "wouldn't resonate with a younger audience" because they were more antiquated than dad jokes. "These were almost grandpa jokes, a little bit." And one of the magazine's main goals with the redesign is to draw younger readers.

Times media writer David Segal, who saw an early copy of the new issue, said the women featured in the magazine appear unretouched, the photography aesthetic is unadorned and the layout "airier and more contemporary." According to the Times, the March issue will begin circulating soon, perhaps by the weekend.

"It's going to be sexy," Jones said. "But it's going to be safe for work."