As anybody who has ever seen the videos for “Alejandro” or “Bad Romance” is aware, Lady Gaga is hardly uncomfortable with being scantily-clad. She recently appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing little more than a thong and a weaponized bra, and this week she bares everything on the cover of Vanity Fair. Though the photos that have been released see the 24-year-old pop star strategically covering up her controversial bits, it’s still jarring and bracing, especially for an artist who takes her personal style and costuming so seriously (though there is an argument to be made that her naked body is simply another persona).
In the entertainment world, you’re nobody until somebody asks you to take your clothes off for the cover of a magazine. Here are a handful of the most notable bare-all moments from recent magazine history.
Lindsay Lohan, New York
In their “Spring Fashion” issue in 2008, Lindsay Lohan stripped down to her birthday suit and re-enacted a classic Marilyn Monroe photo shoot with only a few sheer scarves to keep herself warm.
Jennifer Aniston, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone has a history of nude and nearly-nude cover subjects (including John Lennon, Christina Aguilera, Brooke Shields and Britney Spears), but the one that really shook the planet was Aniston’s. She appeared completely stripped on the cover of the magazine during the height of “Friends”-mania and with her rear end completely exposed for the universe to gawk at.
Demi Moore, Vanity Fair
Demi Moore might just be the godmother of stars who strip for magazine covers (especially Vanity Fair), but her first nude cover was her most eye-catching. Coming off the success of “Ghost,” Moore appeared completely nude on the cover of Vanity Fair save for one key accessory: her very pregnant belly.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Time
Who knows if Hollywood’s hottest couple (at the time, at least) were dressed from the waist down, but they certainly suggested total nakedness when they appeared together on the cover of Time to promote “Eyes Wide Shut.”
Rachel Weisz, Esquire
Not only did the Oscar-winning star of “The Constant Gardner” take off her clothes for her cover of Esquire, but she also allowed herself to be covered only by a giant snake.
Britney Spears, Harper’s Bazaar
Spears has appeared scantily-clad on just about every magazine cover she has ever done, but for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, she took a cue from Moore and allowed herself to be photographed both naked and pregnant.
Serena Williams, ESPN The Magazine
For their annual “Body Issue,” ESPN The Magazine recruited a number of professional athletes to wear little more than skin. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, MMA fighter Gina Carano and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrien Peterson all participated, but the true headliner was superstar tennis sensation Serena Williams.
Beth Ditto, NME
In one of the boldest naked-on-the-cover initiatives in history, the British music weekly NME featured the Gossip lead singer Beth Ditto, a plus-sized performer who has helped to make it safe for big girls everywhere.
What’s your favorite nude magazine cover? Let us know in the comments or tweet @kylemtvnewsroom!