Earlier this year, Reese Witherspoon got her panties in a twist about the mere notion that she might go nude for a role. "If [actresses] take their clothes off, they objectify themselves," Witherspoon told UK Glamour. "I am flabbergasted by how many legitimate actresses do it." But if they're doing it to retain the integrity and reality of a role, is that really objectification? Well Reese's prudishness is part of why Showtime producers chose to import the British show Secret Diary of a Call Girl as opposed to remaking it. "This country, being more puritanical, it's always hard to find actors who get really comfortable with the nudity," Robert Greenblatt, Showtime's president of entertainment told Jezebuddy Choire Sicha, writing for the L.A. Times. Greenblatt continues, "It's just a different climate over there. You can find actors who have a reputation and have actually done some serious acting. Who don't need to be covered up every time they do a bedroom scene, which is true of most actresses — most women — unless you're doing something a little more downscale." The 25-year-old Brit star of Call Girl, Billie Piper, clearly has no problem with nudity.
Of Piper, Greenblatt says, "The great thing about Billie is she's open to that. And yet it's also tasteful. We're not that explicit with her." While one could easily make the argument that because Call Girl is about a hooker, the show is inherently objectifying, it would be fairly absurd to have a show revolve around sex and yet not show any naked bodies (though somehow, Carrie Bradshaw managed to wear a bra in the sack for six years; big up to Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall for actually showing their naked bodies without shame as the plot entailed).
I don't think actresses should have to choose between going nude and advancing their careers, but there is something ultimately refreshing about a powerful, talented actress (see Mirren, Helen; Jason Leigh, Jennifer) who doesn't mind going bare for a role because it's the right choice for the character. And judgey Witherspoon can stick that in her Oscar and smoke it.