Allure's Annual Naked Issue Is Light on Actual Nakedness


Allure magazine is celebrating spring the way they usually do: by getting a few pretty famous women to take their clothes off and pose for some nudes in which none of their truly interesting parts are displayed. The lucky ones this May are Kristen Bell, Nia Long, Minnie Driver and Jenna Dewan Tatum.

Maybe hindsight is 20/20, but as a younger woman, I remember these shoots being far more interesting. (Perhaps you hadn’t seen as many naked women back then, Kate, you might say. Fair enough, I might say back to you.) While the chosen bodies have remained stunning and the faces the same, the images are pretty par for the course, except they’re perhaps even less scandalous than year’s past have been.

The theme this year seems to be “sand and water” which translates to Bell and Long being naked covering in a fine layer of sand while Dewan Tatum and Driver mostly submerge themselves in water. Previous years featured the women’s actual bodies a little more obviously, but this year’s reminds me of the 2008 Naked Truth spread featuring Gabrielle Union, Angie Harmon, Zoe Harmon, Jill Scott and Ana Ortiz. In that shoot, the women were all surrounded by grass in some sort of fake field. The photos were brightly backlit and Scott’s body in particular was basically entirely covered.

The point of Allure‘s nudity issue every year seems to be to remind women that celebs are just like them – they’re insecure about their bodies too! The questions are always the same: What did you do to prepare for this day? How do you feel about your body? In video interviews, the women come across as humble and self-aware. They’re described as “courageous.” But the shock value and street cred of taking these photos seems to decrease as each year passes. Perhaps that’s because there are plenty of naked photos of celebrities online. Or because Allure‘s photos are not much different from those you’d seen in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The only difference is that this is a magazine for women so the spreads are art directed to be more on the “beautiful” spectrum and less in the “sexy” category (though of course they still look very sexy).

Maybe that’s not the point though. Maybe the point is that these women feel like they’re doing something courageous, something that puts them on the level of mere mortal. Maybe it’s a great opportunity to get some free hot pictures of yourself naked taken. Or the point could be magazine sales. Anyway, here are some women looking good naked in a magazine. Enjoy.

Images via Allure

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