Nude Actresses and American Idol Twins

Are the owners of Yahoo! News looking for some traffic from Google?

Two of the stories currently highlighted on their front page make me wonder:

‘Idol’ Singer Strikes Sexy Pose With Twin

“American Idol” contestant Becky O’Donohue just doubled her exposure. The aspiring singer is featured alongside her twin sister, Jessie, in a series of sexy photos on the Maxim magazine Web site. The 25-year-old twins pose in bikinis, unbuttoned baseball jerseys, and glistening with sweat in a sauna-like setting, wearing only towels.

This, by the way, is listed among the five “Top Stories.”

Two Naked Actresses Draw Magazine Buzz

Pick up this month’s Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair and you’ll see two lovely young stars-of-the-moment, Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson, posing alluringly in the altogether. Open the foldout, and you’ll even see Johansson’s bare buttocks. What you won’t see is a third, equally lovely young actress, Rachel McAdams of “Wedding Crashers” fame. It seems McAdams arrived at the photo shoot and decided she didn’t want to take her clothes off.


Is it arty and fun, or does it say something about sexual politics in Hollywood? In 2006, four decades after the launch of the feminist movement, does a serious actress still need to take her clothes off to get attention?

And where, oh where, are the naked men?

The reason female stars disrobe is simple, says Janice Min, editor of the much-read celebrity magazine US Weekly. “It’s tried and true. You show some cleavage on an actress. You make her look sexy. You make her look hot.” She NEEDS to be hot — because in Hollywood, “you have to be sexy to be a successful actress. You just have to be.”

So where’s the nude photo of Brad Pitt? Or George Clooney, who appears later in the issue, dressed, amid a bevy of women in flesh-toned bras and panties? Let’s face it, Min says: Women do like to see sexy men — just not with all their clothes off. “Men just aren’t viewed as sex objects in the same way that women are,” Min says. “Women don’t think about men being naked in the same way that men think about women.” In fact, she says, at her magazine’s offices, when photos come in of a male star with no shirt on, “We say, ‘Gross! Put some clothes on!'” (Imagine that being uttered about an attractive female.)

This was among the five “Most Popular.” That I can believe.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Hey, if it works for Wizbang…