Photo Credit: Patrick Demarchelier/Allure
Bridget Moynahan is posing nude for Allure magazine. Yawn. The nude cover (or posing nude) for a magazine has been done before, and it most certainly will be done again...next month, most likely, by some other magazine looking to bump sales upward. Like I said, yawn.
Allure is launching a new iPad version of itself and such a propitious occasion requires clothing to be removed. And, in this case, Allure’s "Naked issue" features the young Ashley Tisdale (the latest Disney disrobing starlet) along with Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) and ultra-hot singer Keri Hilson (Lauren Conrad, The Hills, who says she’s not sexy, covers the mag appearing in clothing) and the not-so-young-but-still-oh-so-hot Bridget Moynahan.
If you’re like me, you’ve become slightly inured to the sight at our local checkout stands of young starlets staring back at us in their birthday suits for a magazine or its cover to jumpstart a career; or in the case of the aging star posing sans her Armani and her better judgment, trying to prove to us (and her business manager) that she’s still resplendent, regaling, and relevant.
Nudity is not the problem. Nudity is ubiquity. It has always been and always will be so in fashion and film and finance (wait, no, not that last one). Helmut Newton produced some legendary nudes in his day. Look at any fashion runway or catalog and witness lithe, Amazonian and womanly physiques as a work of art, yes, but more utilitarian as a structure by which to frame the latest prêt a porter or haut couture offerings from Marc Jacobs, et. al.
There is no doubt that Ms. Moynahan is the real story here. At 39, she has a timeless beauty that quite easily outshines the likes of the parvenu Cuocos and Tisdales and Conrads of this world (called Hollywood) who are still trying to make a career, one with legs, for themselves. Ms. Moynahan has a 13-year TV and film career starring alongside Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Tom Selleck and Nicolas Cage, holding her own quite nicely, thank you very much.
She also dealt with an ex (Tom Brady) who when he wasn’t avoiding 300 pound linebackers, was busy looking as pretty as she is (It takes the likes of supermodel Giselle to put up with such nonsense). No, there is no doubt that Bridget Moynahan (and her post-baby bounce-back) is the real story for this issue of Allure.
There is a long sung symbiosis in the publishing world between magazines and their fungible cover girls. Vanity Fair (to be fair) started the whole "I’m pregnant" or "I’m in paint" nude cover with Demi Moore not so long ago (she has nailed the trifecta of the nude cover). Publishing is big business and as such is replete with magazines looking to bump those sales. Hollywood is big business, and they’ve got a ready supply of young and aging starlets looking to make a splash.
Lindsay Lohan recently shot an homage cover harkening back to that first nude for Playboy, Marilyn Monroe. If you’re a young starlet, or a pregnant celebrity, or especially if you’re young and pregnant celeb, chances are good that a magazine cover is in your future. Mariah Carey is but the most recent example of a celeb showing her baby bump (in her case, babies bump since she’s having twins) for a cover.
They say John Lennon and Ms. Ono (the only palindrome to break up the greatest rock band in history) were the first celebs to pose nude on the cover of Rolling Stone. There have been decades of rock bands and singers and celebs and athletes posing nude since. ESPN, GQ, Vanity Fair, Esquire, even Time (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) and AARP (Jamie Lee Curtis) magazines have all gotten in on the act with these covers, revving up sales and supposedly boosting careers, but not always self-esteem.
Many a starlet has expressed je regrette. Mariah Carey and Kim Kardashian are but two examples writ large. Especially for Ms. Kardashian. Her nude cover for W has to be the most graphic cover on any mainstream magazine. Only a shot of her in stirrups at the OBGYN could be worse. Perhaps her remorse rings a bit hollow considering her other adventure with the eponymously titled sex tape that was released not long after her friend Paris' infamous tape surfaced like the bloated carcass of a wayward and misspent career.
Whatever the reasons, we will always have the nude cover. Marilyn, John and Yoko, what have you done to us?
Allure's May issue is on sale April 19.
By J. Gregg