With everyone in a kurfluffle over VH1’s new unscripted show Dating Naked (Wednesdays, 9/8C), we got to thinking about nudity in media. Where’s the last place it’s totally acceptable to be sans clothing in public (besides dates, apparently)? Music videos. Yep, your favorite divas, R&B crooners, and post-punk bands have all dropped trou — and bras, and panties — in the name of record promotion.
Usually, it works! Remember Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again,” where the zany trio streaks through L.A.? Can you even imagine the song without envisioning their blurred nether regions parading across your screen? Of course, there are instances that don’t quite work – like Alanis Morrissette’s “Thank You” (just weird, she’s too esoteric to be standing in the middle of the street with only her mermaid hair covering her boobs). In tribute to these salacious clothes-optional moments, let’s celebrate the ten most naked videos, ever!
Miley Cyrus, “Wrecking Ball” (2013)
This was actually a really pretty song, but it became beside the point when Ms. Montana released a video of herself straddling a wrecking ball, stark naked. Surprising no one, it holds the Vevo record for most views on the first day after its debut.
Britney Spears, “Womanizer” (2008)
To be fair, BritBrit is always a little bit naked. But in this video, she went full-on nude, all sweaty and self-tanned in a sauna. It had nothing to do with the narrative arc of the video, which was about catching a cheating boyfriend in the act, but did you really care?
D’Angelo, “How Does it Feel” (2000)Embedded from cache.vevo.com.
This R&B scorcher could very well be the most naked video, like, ever. It consists entirely of a seriously sculpted D’Angelo passionately lip-synching as the camera pans lower…and lower…stopping just before we get a look at his nether regions.
Katy Perry, “California Gurls” (2010)
Even more so than “I Kissed a Girl,” this video solidified Perry’s candy-cute, sweetly subversive persona — because she spends half the time totally naked, floating on a sugar-spun cloud. With lilac hair.
Lady Gaga, “Marry the Night” (2011)
This was meant to be a video about the worst day of her life (when she was dropped from her initial record label). There was blood, it was bleak — but the lasting image was of Mother Monster inexplicably splashing around nude in a dingy bathtub after dying her hair platinum.
Nine Inch Nails, “Closer” (1994)
Not only is this a naked video, it’s also creepy as hell. It seems to take place in an evil scientist’s lab circa 1850 — complete with monkeys on crucifixes, terrifying old film stock, Trent Reznor in some quite compromising S&M moments, and a nude, bald chick rocking a goat’s head.
Alanis Morissette, “Thank You” (1998)
Alanis felt that she needed to be nude in the streets for this tribute to all she was thankful for (and who were we to argue)? Thank goodness for some artful video blurring and her endless mermaid hair.[Photo Credit: Maverick]
Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines” (2013)
The edited version was controversial enough (a fully-clothed Thicke, TI and Pharrell gallivanting around scantily clad models?). But in the unedited version, the models were actually completely sans clothes — and in some S&M-ish situations. Nothing blurry about those lines.
Erykah Badu, “Window Seat” (2010)
In the video, Erykah walks down the street in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza (where JFK was shot), slowly disrobing and, finally, collapsing on the street. Oh, and she had “evolving” scrawled across her back. This was supposed to be a commentary about female persecution in media, but the Dallas Police Department was not amused. They charged her with disorderly conduct for flagrant nudity in front of small children.
Blink-182, “What’s My Age Again” (1998)
Famously, this video shows the three members of the turn-of-the-century’s zaniest band totally naked, running through the streets of Los Angeles. It became so ubiquitous that the trio were soon thought of as the “nude” band — even showing up to TRL sans clothes. Ah, those were the days.