Grin and bare it (if you must)

Everyone's stripping off these days. Here's 10 ways to satisfy those naked ambitions.
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The Independent Culture
TO BARE all or not to bare all is no longer a valid question. It's where you do it, with whom and what with. In this month's Tatler, the millennium's most talented are united by more than their achievements and aquiline features. They're practically naked. But taking your kit off can be an imprecise art. When Abigail Saxon, a BBC producer, streaked at a Christmas party she almost lost her job. Proof that any fool can do it, but few can get away with it. So here's what you need to remember...

1) Only do it if you're posh

Don't be fooled; nudity is not the great equaliser. If you've got a double- barrel name and a degree from Oxford, you can get them out for the boys with impunity. Flashing what it takes won't tarnish a high-brow literary career. See Amanda Foreman; historian and Whitbread finalist, in Tatler. Her books got a full frontal but she didn't (she stands behind them naked). Smart.

2) Never go the whole way

See Christine Keeler and that chair, and never opt for an Eames. Unless your naked ambition stretches to implants and a Channel Five chat show avoid Page Three.

3) Style over content

Think tasteful. Glossy magazines not tabloids. Remember prop is really another word for product placement; see Amanda Foreman and that biography.

4) Stay upmarket

Arty films and posing for Lucian Freud is acceptable. As Irena Brignull, script editor for Shakespeare In Love and another one of Tatler's "bare geniuses" says, "I was extremely flattered to be asked to be included among a list of people I so admired."

5) Don't do it if you're over 40

Amanda Foreman told one newspaper, "You're only young once and I'm certainly not going to do it when I'm 40."Would that put Tatler editor Jane Procter off stripping for her magazine? "Well, I'm over 40 years old," she says. "So the golden rule is I'm not allowed."

6) Don't do it if you're under 20

Timing is all. Teenage glamour shots will haunt you forever.

7) Nudity is a girl thing

Naked men just aren't so in demand. Ewan McGregor was desperate to strip off on stage but the producers refused. Would they still have said "No" if Ewan's co-star, Lou Gish, had made the same offer?

8) Don't do it if you've got a boyfriend

When Gwyneth Paltrow insisted on stripping for a love scene with Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare In Love, her boyfriend Ben Affleck, now ex, objected.

9)Don't do it while you're shopping

This week naturists wanted to shop at Tesco. If you do play the nude card, a glamorous setting helps - the frozen goods section of your local supermarket is to be avoided.

10) Just don't do it

PR supremo Max Clifford says: "Nine times out of 10 it cheapens anyone who does it."