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Playboy Is Nixing Nudity From Its Magazines

'That battle has been fought and won,' the company says of its big decision.

Sixty-two years after its debut publication -- which featured Marilyn Monroe as its inaugural centerfold -- Playboy magazine has decided to make a major change and offer no more nudity in print. Yes, you read that right: Playboy will no longer feature nude women in its pages.

According to The New York Times, the publication decided to jump off the nudity train once and for all last month, when chief content officer Cory Jones approached the mag's founder and reigning editor-in-chief, Hugh Hefner, with his proposal to revert to a PG-13 publication that features "a little more intimate" offerings, like the images it currently features on Instagram.

The decision was reportedly based on a multitude of factors, beginning with the fact that it's already employed the no-nudes approach within its digital realm. As of August 2014, Playboy has ditched ultra-NSFW pics from its web content, partly to comply with social media platform requirements. And it was apparently a hugely successful move -- the site's user traffic saw a quadruple jump, from four million to 16 million unique users per month. And since its magazine circulation has dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to around 800,000 today, a shake-up is definitely in order.

Secondly, the Playboy team now believes that the original purpose of the magazine -- to revolutionize the picture of sex in America, essentially -- has been completely fulfilled.

"That battle has been fought and won," Playboy's CEO, Scott Flanders, told NYT. "You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture."

A third factor in the decision stems from marketing research of millennials, which revealed that people between the ages of 18 and 30 are heavily drawn to artwork, which will become a sprinkled staple of each issue from now on.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, there's the fact that Playboy is heavily reliant on licensing contracts -- i.e., fragrances, jewelry and clothes carrying the logo -- and the removal of nudity opens the door for more widespread distribution.

Jones said the decision was not an easy one to make -- "12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me" -- but ultimately believes "it's the right thing to do."

Not surprisingly, the reactions have been mixed, from excitement to sheer confusion.

The change will reportedly hit Playboy starting in March 2016.