Style: Anyone still fully clothed?

Never mind the C-list celebrities, it's the naked academics you've got to watch out for. Cayte Williams averts her eyes

The next time you go to your local library and the book-stamper stands there absolutely starkers, don't be alarmed. She's probably spent the past 20 years putting Doris Lessings in chronological order and feels the need to express her "fun" side. At least, that is the likely excuse given by bookish historian Amanda Foreman, who stripped for the February issue of Tatler.

Ms Foreman, whose biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Book of the Year award, appears in the buff with a stack of her worthy tomes saving her - and us - from blushes. Perhaps she got the idea from Elizabeth Wurtzel, who appears on the cover of her latest book, Bitch, completely starkers.

Amanda and Elizabeth are just the latest in a long line of would-be celebrities who have queued up to bare all in the pursuit of fame. It started in the Seventies with Playboy spreads, and the nudies-for-notoriety reached its zenith with the arrival of the Nineties lad mag.

Fully Booked's Gail Porter wore an antimacassar in GQ; Sara Cox made a career out of leering in Loaded and Emma Noble forgot to put her dress on for the BAFTAs. There isn't a TV starlet who hasn't got her kit off for the lads, but it comes to something when Britain's top bluestockings start whipping off their suspender belts. But don't worry - Amanda's not doing it for publicity. "I have spent five years cooped up in libraries researching my book and I thought why not have some fun now," she explains in Tatler. "You're only young once and I'm certainly not going to do it when I'm 40." One wonders if having your butt in a magazine makes up for five years with your nose in a book, but that's academia for you.

While going naked is no doubt good for the morale (Kate Winslet reportedly felt "released" after she performed her first on-screen nudity), it's no slouch in the publicity department either. Foreman and other mouse- like friends may take their clothes off as much to dare themselves (look, I'm not just a brainbox!) as to generate publicity, but the Nobles of this world have the more street-smart approach (cop a load of this!). The only problem with the Noble approach is that it can become a habit.

"Some people become addicted to the publicity," says Dr Raj Persaud, consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital in London. "It's a way of reassuring yourself that you are attractive. They also spend a lot of time looking after their bodies, and in a sense they might want to get some positive feedback. Most people often look after themselves as a flirtation with a partner, but these women have a flirtation with the public."

Alas, the floodgates are open, and any C-list celeb can strip off in the pursuit of fame. So what shall we see next? Perhaps Carol Smillie, who was dumped this week from hosting the midweek TV Lottery show, will show BBC bosses what she thinks of them by mooning in the Mail on Sunday? After all, she was voted Rear Of The Year. Perhaps Ann Widdecombe will really show what she thinks of Labour spin doctors by pirouetting in front of the House Of Commons wearing nothing but sensible shoes?

It's only a matter of time before some smart cookie catches on and promotes their book/TV show/film in a yashmak. Yes, nudity will become so de rigueur that we will be bored to death at the sight of a nipple. Melinda Messenger will present chatshows in a polo-neck. Page Three will become "Ways With Wool". Eurotrash will feature women with small bosoms. Demi Moore will play Cartman in the South Park movie: "I just love those furry jackets," she coos, "and best of all, you never get to take them off." Now that would be exciting.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

    Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

    Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

    £10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

    £17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable