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Mary-Louise Parker: Naked in Esquire

In 2002, two years after appearing nude in Esquire, Mary-Louise Parker proposed writing an article for the magazine.

"When I pitched half a dozen ideas," she recalled, "the 'what if I write about being naked in Esquire' idea was mysteriously latched onto, the first response being, 'Would you consider posing naked again?' I received an e-mail from the editor the next morning in which the word nude appeared no less than five times in the course of one paragraph, and it ended with 'We agreed that it would make sense if you posed nude again.' So. Well, anyone who might suggest a very public display of nudity for me must be very open-minded, I thought. So I rang him up and said, 'Well, yeah, I think it's an idea, and I was also thinking, actually, that as the editor of the piece, it would make sense for you to appear naked as well. And I thought maybe I should choose the photo of you that runs, so you can really experience that loss of control and possible objectification. Just as an idea. I mean, I thought it might make sense.'"

The editor, A.J. Jacobs, agreed and appeared naked in a companion piece entitled, "Mary-Louise Parker Made Me Take My Clothes Off."

["When I say, 'I'll just sign right here on my naked ass,'" Parker said of the original shot, "the picture holder counters with, 'Oh, no, just below it, please.'"]

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