A History of Naked, Pregnant Celebs on Magazine Covers

Earlier today, the Internet was all a flutter with the newly released nudie pics of an extremely pregnant (it's been what, ten months now?) Jessica Simpson on the cover of Elle. The April 2012 spread was photographed by Carter Smith and styled by Joe Zee, but they clearly got some inspiration, elsewhere. Since Annie Leibovitz shot a naked and pregnant Demi Moore for Vanity Fair twenty-one years ago, it seems like pregnant celebs everywhere have been clamoring to strip down for the newsstands.n At this point, it's practically a right of passage for expectant stars, as well as an informal announcement that "exclusive first baby pictures!" will be shopped around in the near future. Is pregnancy a valid excuse for famous women (most of whom would scoff at an offer from Playboy in normal circumstances) to take it all off? Take a look at our investigation of the fascinating (and at times, extremely uncomfortable) history of the naked, pregnant magazine cover. Do you think it's a celebration or just exploitation? And does a pregnant naked person really make you want to buy a magazine? We want to hear what you think.
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Nora Crotty
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Earlier today, the Internet was all a flutter with the newly released nudie pics of an extremely pregnant (it's been what, ten months now?) Jessica Simpson on the cover of Elle. The April 2012 spread was photographed by Carter Smith and styled by Joe Zee, but they clearly got some inspiration, elsewhere. Since Annie Leibovitz shot a naked and pregnant Demi Moore for Vanity Fair twenty-one years ago, it seems like pregnant celebs everywhere have been clamoring to strip down for the newsstands.n At this point, it's practically a right of passage for expectant stars, as well as an informal announcement that "exclusive first baby pictures!" will be shopped around in the near future. Is pregnancy a valid excuse for famous women (most of whom would scoff at an offer from Playboy in normal circumstances) to take it all off? Take a look at our investigation of the fascinating (and at times, extremely uncomfortable) history of the naked, pregnant magazine cover. Do you think it's a celebration or just exploitation? And does a pregnant naked person really make you want to buy a magazine? We want to hear what you think.
Photo: W

Photo: W

Earlier today, the Internet was all a-flutter with the

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Demi Moore in Vanity Fair August 1991

The naked pregnant lady who started it all. It's been over 20 years since

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Cindy Crawford in W June 1999

Eight years later, supermodel and soon-to-be supermom

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Brooke Shields in Vogue April 2003

Brooke Shields posed pregnant on Vogue immediately following a wet t-shirt contest. But fret not-- this fairly modest maternity cover trend didn't last for long...

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Monica Bellucci in Vanity Fair Italy July 2004 and May 2010

Sultry Italian actress Monica Bellucci wasn't going to let impending motherhood slow her down. She loved pregnantly posing totally nekkid on the cover of Vanity Fair Italy in 2004 so much, she did it again six years later. We like that she smartened up about accessorizing-- that dirt and tree bark looks like it would chafe.

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Britney Spears Harper's Bazaar August 2006, Q November 2006

Oh Britney. The on/off queen of lip synching pop classed it up just about as much as any naked person could for her preggo Harper's Bazaar cover, which at the time was halied as some sort of sartorial comeback. The sophisticated dark hair and makeup, massive jewels, saucy side-eye and lack of Demi-pose seemed like a win-win for Brit.

But just three short months later, the blonde-again, bikini-clad,

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Eva Herzigova in Vanity Fair Italy February 2007

Even well into her pregnancy, Ms. Herzigova somehow manages to look way hotter (and thinner) than most non-pregnant people. And we think she knows it.

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Christina Aguilera in Marie Claire January 2008

Xtina was so flustered during her pregnant Marie Claire cover shoot, she forgot to put on a shirt under her jacket! And pants-- she forgot those too. She must've thought it was going to be a close up on her face, hence all the bronzer and makeup. Yes, I'm sure that's what happened.

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Kendra Wilkinson in InTouch October 2009

Despite being the person on this list who's most consistently posed nude over the years, former playmate and Girl Next Door Kendra covered up quite a lot for her Demi moment on InTouch -- Which was also shot by Annie Leibovitz. Kidding! Kidding.

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Paula Patton in Ebony May 2010

Probable Animal House fan Paula Patton donned a maternity toga for her Ebony cover in 2010.

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Claudia Schiffer in Vogue Germany June 2010

Supermodel Claudia went full-on Demi (potential oxymoron?) for this gorgeous German Vogue shot, which might've gone on to become an iconic image if it weren't for the identical covers that came before and after it.

Photo: W

Photo: W

Miranda Kerr in W December 2010

Annie Leibovitz told Vanity Fair that, in order for her nudie Demi Moore photo to have been a great portrait, "[Demi] wouldn’t be covering her breasts. She wouldn’t necessarily be looking at the camera." Do you think Patrick Demarchelier had that quote in mind when he shot pregnant

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Mariah Carey in Life & Style April 2011

Mama Mariah lost her top and her lower limbs (but not her hair extensions) when she posed, preggers with twins, for this really awkward and totes nekkid Life&Style cover shoot. In this case, we almost wish she had just gone for the tried and true Demi pose. Some things are just better left unseen.

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New York Magazine October 2011

Whoa! Proving that even a 'controversial' pose we've all seen at least fifteen times can still stir up a reaction, New York put a naked, pregnant, middle-aged non-celeb on its October 2011 cover. Which, with the subject's cropped hair and intense gaze, might as well have been an updated photo of Demi Moore herself-- though the actual Demi hasn't really aged in the last twenty years. And probably isn't pregnant.

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Nia Long in Ebony November 2011

Actress Nia Long looks a little cold and very scared as she bares her "soul" on this extremely naked Ebony pregnancy cover. Good thing they were able to crop this one!

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Jessica Simpson Elle April 2012

Finally, the naked pregnancy cover to end all naked pregnancy covers! Alright, probably not. Here's Jessica Simpson, somehow managing to look more naked and pregnant than every other naked pregnant lady on this list. And she's just announced that she's expecting a daughter-- who we hope will someday also become a naked pregnant lady on the cover of a magazine. Assuming this confusing trend continues, we can pretty much guarantee it.