'Vampire Diaries' and 'Harry Potter' star Scarlett Byrne's 'Playboy' shoot has a powerful message

'Vampire Diaries' and 'Harry Potter' star Scarlett Byrne's 'Playboy' shoot has a powerful message
Cooper Hefner (L) and actress Scarlett Byrne attend the annual Midsummer Night's Dream Party at the Playboy Mansion on Aug. 1, 2015, in Los Angeles. Charley Gallay/Getty Images
Cooper Hefner (L) and actress Scarlett Byrne attend the annual Midsummer Night's Dream Party at the Playboy Mansion on Aug. 1, 2015, in Los Angeles. Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Scarlett Byrne, who played Pansy Parkinson in the Harry Potter series and Nora Hildegard on The Vampire Diaries, has penned a moving essay for Playboy's current issue. The 26-year-old actress posed naked for the March/ April issue of Playboy, which is bringing back nudity for the first time since removing it from its pages in February 2016.

Byrne, who's engaged to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's son, Cooper Hefner, teased the essay on Instagram with a shot from the spread. 

"I'm very proud to be a part of the March/April issue of Playboy," Byrne captioned the photo. "I penned a short essay along with my pictorial titled, 'The Feminist Mystique.'" 

Byrne's essay title is similar to that of a book authored by Betty Friedan, titled The Feminine Mystique. First published in 1963, Friedan's work is credited with helping start the second wave of the feminist revolution. In the book, Friedan examined our culture as a whole and exposed the problems faced by women both at home and in the workplace. 

The actress' essay is timely — the March/April issue of Playboy featuring Byrne is the "Naked Is Normal" issue and will mark the iconic magazine's return to nudity after almost a year without it.

Cooper Hefner, the magazine's chief creative officer, admitted Monday that the image overhaul was a mistake. The nudity wasn't the issue, Hefner wrote in an article announcing Playboy's new philosophy. The issue was how women were portrayed, something Hefner claims the magazine is now trying to change.

With Byrne's feminist essay and Hefner's promise to help normalize nudity with the magazine's new image, Playboy has seemingly renewed itself in 2017.