Allure's Nude Issue

May 2009 Allure issue photos of five nude celebrities

Scoop

Allure’s Nude Issue

Why do these “models” think seeing THEM nude makes the rest of us feel good about ourselves?

-Betty Editors

If you’ve ever wondered if the business of women’s magazines is making women feel like s**t, the May issue of Allure should leave no doubt. It’s Allure’s nude issue, and the editors asked five celebrities to bare it all for the camera.

Padma LakshmiSo we get to see Padma Lakshmi, Chelsea Handler, Eliza Dushku, Lynn Collins, and Sharon Leal air-brushed, Photoshopped and buck-nekkid.

Just what you want from a magazine that says its mission is to try to help you look and feel better.

Oh, but these photos don’t make you feel so good? You mean you don’t feel really great after being shown women who look maybe a thousand times better than you have ever looked? In fact, you feel, maybe, just a tiny bit suicidal staring at all that smooth skin, cellulite-free thighs and perky boobs?

So why did the magazine, which calls itself “The Beauty Expert,” ask these women to bare it all? Why do you think? Oh, we’re sure they would say something about how posing this way builds a woman’s self-confidence and self-esteem or some such b.s. (Yes, we’re being ladies, here, and maybe being ladies is part of the point we’re making. And what the hell is wrong with that?)

Allure may try to go on about all the high-minded reasons they asked these women to take it all off. But it is obvious that Allure‘s morphing into Hustler has absolutely nothing to do with female empowerment. Just the opposite.

Why would celebs want to do this? Well, because nowadays C- and D-list celebrities will do practically anything. Come to think of it, A-list celebs aren’t immune. Remember Jennifer Aniston, turning forty and appearing almost nude in GQ? But stripping for a men’s magazine makes some sense, doesn’t it? Especially when you want to show up your ex-husband’s new squeeze. We get that. What we don’t get is soft-core porn in a magazine that’s only supposed to tell you what the best brand of drugstore mascara is.

A couple of the celebs involved in the Allure shoot echoed those same hard-to-believe self-empowerment, self-esteem, self-confidence lines. Lynn Collins, whoever she is, says, “Women with confidence in their bodies are the sexiest thing, so I put on my cape of courage and did it. It was quite liberating!” Yeah, sure. While Sharon Leal, whoever she is, found being full-frontal behind a lace curtain “liberating,” too. Wonder who wrote their quotes.

Chelsea Handler, never a shrinking violet, just goes for plain unabashed narcissism and tells the readers how much she admires her own boobs. She declares, “They’re real and perky… the important thing is that I know about them, and the guys I’ve slept with know about them.” But why exactly does Allure think it is important for us to know about them?

Padma Lakshmi, who is lying on her side, with her butt jutting out–a salute to a million Playboy and Penthouse photo spreads–just can’t help telling us how darn sexy she is. She says, “I tend to sleep in the nude. I’m an innately tactile person and a very sensual-leaning woman. You have to use the word ‘leaning’ or it sounds like I’m boasting!” Guess what, Padma, it still sounds like your boasting.

Oh, we know you want to see  more of the photos. So here they are.

Allure nude issue

Allure nude issue

And they make you feel as lousy as they made us feel. Right?

These photos are all over the web with hundreds of comments. Not one that we’ve seen says anything remotely about women’s empowerment.

Allure, it’s a really cheap shot. Allure, you ought to be ashamed.


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0 thoughts on “Allure's Nude Issue

  1. needcoffee says:

    I get what you’re saying, but honestly I find them motivational rather than depressing. OK, a little depressing too, but photos like this definitely motivate me to try a little harder …

  2. celiacmom says:

    I don’t really want to look at perfect nude women either but they are just trying to sell magazines and we all know that sex sells…

  3. kitty says:

    Sure, it can be somewhat “inspiring” — but it’s just plain false to act like it’s some kind of “empowering” issue. It’s nothing of the sort. Why don’t they just call it what it is — a bunch of beautiful, well-lit, airbrushed celebrities naked? It’s dishonest to try to couch it as anything but that.

  4. deborah says:

    I’m sorry, but come on…Do these women have nothing else to sell other than their bodies? Do these women know that these VERY PUBLIC photos will be with them FOREVER? Guess they are not planning to have a career in politics.

  5. iaretehsarah says:

    I love nude pictures of women as art… And not perfect women, mind you, I’m thinking Venus de Milo — someone with curves… images like these really don’t make me see anything other than a washed out celeb who’s naked. (and here’s some nude art that actually inspires me: http://www.jordanmatter.com/uncovered.asp )

  6. Fern says:

    What a puritanical point of view — nudity doesn’t always equate to pornography. And why mock Padma for being sensual? Aren’t women allowed to feel sexy and sensual or do they have to get shamed for it? And you clearly don’t get Chelsea’s joke — she talks about her boobs on her show all the time, it’s part of her signature routine. If you’re so offended by the magazine — why reprint the photos?

  7. CM-JJordan says:

    Media such as this gave me a weight complex when I was 9 years old. Enough said.

  8. morninglightmama says:

    I don’t find these to be INSPIRING at all, because lo and behold, I’ll NEVER look like these ladies. I don’t have a personal trainer or assistant, a shopper, a nanny (or several), or the time that it would take to embody a body like that. Instead, I have three children who need my attention 27 hours a day, a house that needs cleaning, laundry that needs washing and folding, floors that need scrubbing, PTA meetings that need participation, a hubby who needs some love, and a real life that needs living. This life is tackled by me with my oh-so-real body that has curves and bumps and cellulite and stretch marks, and there’s just no airbrushing in this life. No one is stopping to drool over me on the street, but I sure hope my life has something more interesting to offer than my love for my boobs!

  9. the parent trip says:

    Looking at these pix to me is like looking at a cartoon Jessica Rabbit. They’re so clearly NOT REAL that they honestly don’t even make me feel bad. But I’ve worked in magazines for 20 years, so I know how much editing has gone on. I once read a quote from Elle McPherson that said she refuses to wear a bikini in public because people actually come up to her and say “YOU DON’T LOOK AS GOOD AS YOU DO IN MAGAZINES…” (And they surely do this with a big smile/sigh of relief.)

  10. MommyWoman13 says:

    Strange but I side with both Fern AND morninglightmama. Believe it or not, they don’t cancel each other out!

  11. singingnymph says:

    I think I’d have a hard time buying that issue in public w/out worrying that the cashier thinks I’m some sort of pervert.

  12. K S says:

    I’ve always thought that the annual nude issue is beneath Allure, but it’s hardly morphing into Hustler. Come on.

  13. ambernoel says:

    i use to play with Eliza when we were both Mormon…

  14. loubell says:

    Quite frankly, it’s such an overused tactic by the magazine industry getting celebs to strip off their clothes. As a women reading a magazine for “beauty tips,” the last thing I want to see is a bunch of naked broads, it’s rather pathetic.

  15. chaucerleelou says:

    Gee, must be spring again cause every tacky magazine runs out of ideas and gets celebs to pose nude. Like we care about seeing this, it’s really insulting and degrading to women.

  16. CAMUS890 says:

    Hilarious. Barely even know who these people are. This is just a tacky way of self promotion and trying to court some controversy. Won’t be long before the pages are used to line the waste bin.

  17. LISHY says:

    Gee, if they want to sell the magazine, get some real celebs, not a bunch of losers who need publicity to further their careers. And how about all that airbrushing, probably not even their own bodies.

  18. KiraScurro says:

    oh, mean betty, you have such a cold, evil heart. i agree with need coffee. i am not so insecure that i can’t appreciate a beautiful, well cared for body and aspire for the same. have you never been loved?

  19. sencerre12 says:

    This is exactly what Allure wants. For everyone to yack about their stupid nude issue and stimulate debate. Totally lame and tasteless.

  20. dustyleelou says:

    Well if you have it, flaunt it, cause it won’t look that good forever! It all starts to fade after 45! I’m sure they can look back and say, wow I looked good airbrushed!

  21. VERUKA says:

    Don’t these women have anything better to do than to strip off for a magazine. And they think it’s tasteful. Rather gross to be exact!

  22. SNOOKY61 says:

    Everyone is way too uptight. So what if they want to strip it off for a magazine. IF it offends your sensibilities, here’s a thought…don’t buy the stupid magazine!

  23. tigerlily_808 says:

    wow. I feel ugly now… and to think I was actually having a good day :P Those photos make me feel like a fat slob. Thanks. Real empowering… not.

  24. meliaarhrt says:

    I think the point is that these women don’t even look that good. The pics are Photoshopped, as are all fashion photos. That kind of perfect beauty is an illusion.

  25. MrsTightySharpe says:

    This article speaks volumes about how insecure you are. There is absolutely nothing wrong about nudity…its our most natural state and show be your most comfortable as well. Also, the pictures are very tasteful. There is nothing porno-esque about them. Someone should introduce you to confidence, she’s the greatest friend you could ever meet!

  26. shameless102 says:

    I think women and men just too need own up to their bodies. Everybody has flaws, and nobody looks the same. So why put such an emphasis on what beautiful is? ANYBODY CAN LOOK LIKE THIS and be on a magazine cover. You have to push yourself as hard as you can to be what YOU want, not what somebody else is trying to make you. These are to inspire people to make purchases to make the world go round’ one more time…

  27. Vitality2000 says:

    If this is a women’s magazine why are we looking at women? Shouldn’t there be guys nude instead? I’m confused? I may even stop buying Allure

  28. Lennie Ross says:

    I agree this has nothing to do with female empowerment, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for. I think they’re going for advertising sales for their publications. Sex sells. Always has always will. I also don’t think it’s degrading either. These women aren’t all anorexic models. Chelsea is a big girl and she’s proud of it. Kudos to them if they want to take their clothes off for the camera (which they are doing tastefully btw), I just hope they get paid well, since the publication is making a ton off them.

  29. asm212 says:

    love this article! Mean betty you are awesome, are you from NY??

  30. tanya1111 says:

    I love morninglightmama’s comment! I think it is fun to see how vapid and self absorbed celebrity life is… YAY for you and your perky boobage… just wait until you see what happens to your looks next! I like to keep fit, but I think it is best to go about life developing a personality as if you are invisible, being a party favor just never ends well. Three cheers to our funny intellectual and hard working mothers who have the common sense to not buy this garbage!

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