What’s going on with all the nakey celebrities? Is April National Nude Month? I know it’s National Poetry Month, but I’m missing the art in seeing all this celeb skin.
A few weeks ago, neo-soul hippie Erykah Badu bared it all on the streets of Houston for the controversial video for “Window Seat”– controversial because she shot it without bothering to get permits and actually got naked… no pasties or anything. In the video, she walks about a block and a half to the location where President John F. Kennedy was shot, all the while stripping (you can see a number of stunned bystanders, including CHILDREN as she saunters over to the infamous grassy knoll). I’ve watched the video a few times now (K gave it one viewing before dismissing it as “too weird” for his taste), and I’m still not too sure what the message is. Hmm… rebirth? Letting go of baggage (but didn’t she do that already with “Bag Lady”)? There’s truth if we strip down to the core of history?
While I’m still confounded by Erykah’s nudity, other celebs are more than happy to explain why the world should be able to ogle their goodies. Kim Kardashian posed nude for “Harper’s Bazaar” magazine, and her pics are supposedly all natural, with no airbrushing or help from PhotoShop. Why? Since she’s a role model for girls, of course! (Let’s just forget about that whole video thingy with ex-boyfriend and celebreality whore Ray-J.) “I think the message is embrace your curves and who you are. I feel proud if young girls look up to me and say, ‘I’m curvy, and I’m proud of it now’. I might have a little bit of cellulite. I might not be toned everywhere. I might struggle in this area or that,” she said. But considering earlier this year she was plastered all over “OK” magazine for losing 15 pounds and dropping to 109 pounds, or a size 2, I’m finding that quote to be a little disingenuous.
Meanwhile, Ricky Martin, recently did a video sans clothing for a single for his comeback tour (Um, dude, there will NEVER be a way to comeback from the horror that was Menudo or “Livin’ La Vida Loca”). Martin, who recently came out to the world revealing he’s gay (which is the most shocking piece of news since Clay Aiken stepped out the closet), linked his nudity to his announcement, all inspired by his twin boys.
American Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi is in the buff for this month’s issue of Allure magazine, which annually gets celebs to take it all off to… actually, I don’t know why. Kara gave her reason: “‘This shoot was less about beauty than about taking a risk and showing people a side of me they never have seen,’ says the American Idol judge. She was proud to have the confidence to strip down for the camera after struggling with binge eating and depression in her early 20s. ‘Back then I was a size 6 or 8; now I’m more like a size 2.’” Is a size 2, which by the way is far smaller than the average American woman’s 12, the size to be in Hollywood these days? Well, I’m glad she’s overcome depression and binge eating, but I’m still at a loss as to how being photographed naked (even if admittedly, it is tastefully done) helps anyone else who might be battling those demons now. I’m not even quite sure how it proves Kara is over her own obsession. How does one show she’s not overly focused on her body and appearance by showing said body to the world, so everyone can focus on her now tiny appearance???
Stephanie Pratt just showed the world her “Hills” for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked” Campaign. She follows in the bare steps of “Dancing With The Stars” Karina Smirnoff, current “DWTS” competitor Pam Anderson and scores of other sexy models, singers and actors all committed to saving a furry friend’s hide by showing their own.
Granted, this is not a new phenomenon whatsoever. Nineteen sixty-eight, the same year that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, also gave the world a Rolling Stone cover with lovebirds/mismatched musician singers Yoko Ono and John Lennon in the buff. Shortly before his untimely death 12 years later, Lennon would assume the fetal position, stripped of clothing, while tightly clutching Ono, who wore dark clothes for another RS cover (an eerie foretelling?). A very pregnant Demi Moore posed for the cover of Vanity Fair back in ’91, later to be copied by both Britney and Christina years later. Madonna hitched a ride for her “Sex” book stark naked. D’Angelo asked “How Does It Feel” wearing nothing but cornrows and Alanis Morrissette said “Thank You” using her cascading waves as a top.
History aside, I feel like the last few weeks has brought a whole new high (or is that low) in stars shining their lights to the world. The funny thing is, they all spout some grand reason for flashing. Role model, past pain, good causes, blah blah blah. Maybe I wouldn’t roll my eyes… okay, I wouldn’t roll my eyes SO MUCH if they were more honest. Just be truthful. I have a TV show to promote, a tour coming up or an album being released. Or simply, I half starve myself to be a size 2 and I want as many photos of myself in this teeny state before I blow up like Aretha Franklin when I’m old. Now, that would be truth.
At the end of Badu’s video, after being “shot”, the word “groupthink” appears scrawled in her “blood” on the ground in front of the songstress’ blurred body. Well, I hate to break it to Ms. Badu, but if she thinks her video separates her from the pack, she should think again. She’s just another one of the many in the nude group who think- and prove- that flesh sells.