Once upon a time the best way for actresses to drastically redefine their public image or shed new light on past scandals was to appear on a magazine cover minus clothing.
These cover shots were always accompanied by a headline that alluded to the performer’s new outlook on life with an accompanying article where they waxed lyrical about being misunderstood. In reality though it never really mattered what that inky black text said as the power was in the picture.
Cast your mind back to 2000 when Jessica Biel was pictured nude on the cover of Gear magazine in order to shed her good girl 7th Heaven image or when Lindsay Lohan tried to distance herself from a childhood as a Disney starlet or her teenage years as a boozy paparazzi magnet by doing a “mature nude” cover shoot for New York Magazine in 2008.
Of course, one of the biggest additions to this trend was Jennifer Anniston, who posed nude on the cover of GQ also in 2008 in order to separate herself from the jilted wife storyline that was plaguing her in the wake of Brad Pitt and Angelina’s lovefest (it was not entirely successful).
Nowadays, the nude magazine cover trend is not quite as prevalent as it used to be. It’s a flip that could be traced back to the idea that magazine editors are starting to read the room a little, floating the idea that maybe there’s a way for these women to share their stories in a manner that doesn’t always involve showing off their bare breasts.