Jenny McCarthy on "The View" (ABC)

Jenny McCarthy's absurd Playboy hypocrisy: "They weren’t the girls that had just got off Monday nights on the poles"

Posing nude—fine. Dancing topless or nude? How "gross!"

Erin Keane
October 17, 2015 12:17AM (UTC)

Taking a break from spreading bad science about vaccines and autism, former model and "The View" host-turned-reality show star Jenny McCarthy waxed nostalgic about her time as a Playboy Playmate after the magazine announced this week that it would cease running nude photographs in its printed magazine. On her SiriusXM show "Dirty Sexy Funny" this week, a heartbroken McCarthy declared, "in solidarity, I will be wearing my panties at half-mast."

Why the wistfulness over the end naked women in Playboy? McCarthy lamented the end of the era of "classy" nudes that the magazine was known for, heaping praise on their method of showcasing "girls next door" ... like her: “They weren’t the girls that had just got off Monday nights on the poles."


In McCarthy's vision, women who want to pose nude for men's magazines are acceptable only when they "capture the innocence in the women," as in her own 1993 test shoot, when "I had one uni-brow and a giant bush to my knees, and they were like, ‘You’re in! You’re a girl next door!’"

"There was nothing ever skanky, I thought, about the photos," she continued. "There was nothing I felt was too embarrassing or too gross."


McCarthy has every right to be proud of her 1993 appearance in Playboy, which turned into a Playmate of the Year designation and launched the totally not-embarrassing career she has today starring in A&E's "Donnie Loves Jenny," the sort of reality TV "Joanie Loves Chachi" to "Wahlburgers"' "Happy Days." What she doesn't get to cling to is a completely "embarrassing" and "too gross" moral high ground of slut-shaming dancers or other women and men who have performed sex work that isn't up to her own hypocritical standards.

Then again, many logical people have been flying their own panties at half-mast for years over McCarthy's departure from reality on everything from medical science and immunity to working for "The View." Call me skanky, but being the symbolic face of the crackpot "why not bring polio back?" movement would be a great deal more shameful to me than someone thinking I look like a stripper, "classy" or otherwise.

McCarthy has generously volunteered to be in Playboy's last nude issue — hopefully not alongside anyone embarrassing and gross, of course.


Listen to the whole segment:

Watch our compilation of some of McCarthy's most controversial statements:
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Erin Keane

Erin Keane is Salon's Editor in Chief.

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