Playboy magazine to resume publishing nude photos

Playmates Heather Rae Young and Hiromi Oshima celebrate the release of Playboy magazine's 'The Freedom Issue' at No Vacancy on June 23, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

Just over a year after the magazine elected to stop publishing nude pictures, Playboy magazine chief creative director Cooper Hefner said it will resume the practice.

Hefner, an outspoken critic of the move to "soften" the soft-core pornography magazine and sell the magazine's infamous Playboy Mansion, once told Business Insider that the decision made him say, "What the hell is the company doing?"

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“The way the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake,” Hefner wrote in a tweet published Monday. “Nudity was never the problem because nudity isn’t a problem. Today we’re taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are.”

For more than a year, Playboy magazine declined to publish images of naked women, seeking a repositioning of the brand, more prestigious advertisers and more prominent placement on magazine racks. That will end next month, when women will reclaim the pages of the magazine in topless and almost fully naked photographs.

The magazine’s new issue says “Naked is Normal” on the cover.

Hefner, 25, is the youngest of Hugh Hefner's four children. His mother is Hugh Hefner's second wife, 1989 Playmate of the Year Kimberley Conrad. Hugh Hefner, 86, married his third wife, December 2009 Playmate of the Month Crystal Harris, 30, in 2012.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.