Heidi Klum to Pose Nekkid for Project Runway

Posted on June 04, 2011

So, Heidi Klum is posing naked in order to promote the upcoming ninth season of Project Runway. Do we have opinions about that? What do YOU think?

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news:

“While she has yet to sign off on a final image from a shoot held earlier this week, the show’s host opted to bare all as part of the network’s promotional campaign for the fashion competition series’ ninth season, which will kick off this summer.

The decision, which Lifetime president and general manager Nancy Dubuc made public during a broad-ranging discussion at Real Screen’s Factual Entertainment Forum on Thursday, was inspired by the cable network’s push — and for that matter, need — to embrace the contemporary woman.

Though Dubuc believes women have changed more in the last 15 years than any other time in history, she told a packed room that the Lifetime brand that she inherited a year ago hadn’t changed with her. Since taking the reigns at the femme-centric network, Dubuc has strategically pushed both her programming and her marketing teams to move away from that “women in peril” stereotype that has plagued the once top-rated Lifetime in recent years.

Instead, her staff has been tasked with finding and celebrating female characters who are brazen, strong, confident and sexy … To hear Dubuc tell it, having Klum show off her model figure is a way of showcasing a woman who has all of those attributes.”

Our first thought upon hearing the news, before we got to the bullshit about how empowering this is for women everywhere, was, “The audience for this show is composed almost completely of straight women and gay men.” We suppose we should applaud Lifetime’s bold new move of using naked female models to appeal to this market, but we’re too busy shaking our heads at the stupidity of it. And if they think they’re suddenly going to attract a massive audience of straight men and lesbians for the ninth season, they are seriously deluded.

And do you know why the show has always had an audience of gay men and straight women, Lifetime? Because those two groups have an interest in FASHION far greater than any others. The entire reason everyone watches this show is because they want to look at and talk about CLOTHES. So what is the point in shooting its hostess not wearing any? Sure, she’s got a killer body, but the people who make up the audience of this thing are the exact people who care the least about hot naked women.

Look, we’re not the slightest bit prudish about this sort of thing. Hell, if they promoted the season with a naked MALE model, we might even have understood it, given the makeup of the audience. But we still would have thought it stupid to break out the nekkidness now, after 8 seasons. It stinks of desperation, both on the part of Lifetime and on the part of Project Runway. And to be honest, we question how much Heidi even understands the appeal of her show if she’s agreed to do something like this. We’re not offended; we just think it’s an amazingly bad idea, and worse, we think it sounds like a death knell for the show. The people involved are pulling a desperate stunt that only reveals how little they understand the show’s appeal and to whom it’s appealing.

[Photo Credit: getty, wireimage]

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  • Anonymous

    Whoa guys– watch it with the stereotype that lesbians don’t like fashion! Spoken as a lesbian who has watched this show from season one.

    • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

      We never said lesbians don’t like fashion. We said that the audience for the show is composed almost entirely of straight women and gay men (which is true) and that those are the two groups with the highest interest in fashion, generally (which is also true).

      • Anonymous

        I reread your post and realized I took your comment about straight women and gay men being more into fashion to mean that other groups aren’t. I know I’m sensitive to the stereotype that all lesbians are running around in flannel and ripped jeans. So my bad for reading more into your words than what was written.

        That said I fully agree that a naked Heidi isn’t doing anything to empower women, straight or gay!

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6PUVFQ7YCZZFZRIER6BEJ4HVYE Amye

          “That said I fully agree that a naked Heidi isn’t doing anything to empower women, straight or gay!

          If anything, it’s making us feel worse, rather than empowering us!

        • Anonymous

          “nyll18 said: …running around in flannel and ripped jeans”

          You say that like it’s a bad thing.

          –GothamTomato

        • Anonymous

          “That said I fully agree that a naked Heidi isn’t doing anything to empower women, straight or gay!”

          Amen.  From an atheist.  

      • Anonymous

        Now you’ve done it: You’ve insulted naked lesbians. 

        –GothamTomato

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          I know more teens and tweens then adults who watch the show…..just say’n

    • Anonymous

      WHERE in the post they said anything about “lesbians don’t like fashion”? The point they are making is that the majority of the viewers are straight women and gay men (read any statistics on the show and you’ll see it) and that the show will probably not attract a massive audience of straight men and lesbians just for having Heidi naked on their posters. I personally think it’s tacky not to mention a bad idea. What’s the point of that?

    • Anonymous

      Also, the reason a tonne of the alphabet soup crowd watches PR isn’t even an interest in fashion – it’s an interest in gay people on TV. This lesbo (and looots of others I know) watches PR, used to watch freakin’ Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, made Angels in America a viewing priority not because it had lesbians or attractive women in it, not because I’m super into fashion, but because I just kind of like seeing gay people on my tv, men as well as women. (Plus it used to be great, addictive reality TV.)

  • Anonymous

    This is one lesbian who’s a faithful follower of PR.  Still, I don’t want to see Heidi naked and, you’re right — this is a desperation move.  And – Lifetime — NOT empowering to women.  Geez.

    • Terence Ng

      Exactly.  I hate Family Guy, but I always thought their description of lifetime was spot on:  “Lifetime: Putting Women in Their Place”.

  • Anonymous

    Lifetime and Bunim-Murray have no idea why PR was popular on Bravo. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lauren-Jean-St-Martin/504251897 Lauren Jean St. Martin

    I just don’t get it. But maybe it’ll be a thing where designers try and… I just can’t. It’s dumb. Its being “racy” for the sake of being racy, which is just dumb!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNMVM2GPVUEIOJXBOSLCXKAW4U judy brown

    Lifetime? Empowering to women?!!! Snort!

    Frau Seal is lovely, I’m sure. But only the bi in the audience are gonna care.

  • Anonymous

    This is great and just what the “contemporary” woman needs.  A mother of 4 that is 5′ 9″ and weighs 110 lbs strutting around naked showing off her incredibly hot bod.  All for a reality show about clothing.  Please excuse me while I roll my f’ing eyes. 

  • http://twitter.com/iraki86 Ira Ioannidou

    Empowering women?? Yeah, seeing a 30-something woman who’s had 15 kids looking awesome naked (something most of us will never achieve) is reaaaaallly empowering… Using the naked body of a woman to attract an audience has some sexism undertones. 

  • http://twitter.com/margo8461 Marguerite

    You have summed up my two intuitive responses to this news PERFECTLY: 
    1 )  ”The bullshit about how empowering this is for women everywhere.”  Always love when an image objectifying women is rationalized as somehow “empowering.” Makes me wonder if they are really so stupid that they believe this or do they think that we are that stupid, that we will buy it? 

    2.)  ”The entire reason everyone watches this show is because they want to look at and talk about CLOTHES. So what is the point in shooting its hostess not wearing any? Sure, she’s got a killer body, but the people who make up the audience of this thing are the exact people who care the least about hot naked women.”  The very last thing this mother of 3 wants to see is the killer naked body of a woman whose given birth to 4 children. Even if it’s photo-shopped, I don’t want to see pictures of someone who looks good enough after birthing 4 children to do naked pictures. Maybe it’s just my own insecurities, but at my age I’m entitled to them! Looking good in well-fitting clothes? Love it. Looking good enough to pose naked? Not interested!  LOL  Just saying….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1666161627 Julie Cage Racster

    I don’t find the idea incongruous at all.  Heidi and other models are our Barbie dolls, and when they’re naked we think of dressing them. 

    • Anonymous

      I see what you’re saying but they’re not dressing Heidi. It would make more sense if it was a poster/promo material for ANTM.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

        Well given all those dress Heidi challenges, she may be onto something there.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1666161627 Julie Cage Racster

        The desire to dress someone fashionably isn’t specific to Heidi, but since she’s the face of the brand it stands to reason it would be her reminding us that that’s what PR is supposed to be about.

  • http://profiles.google.com/singingraisin ali meowmeow

    Maybe they understand us only too well; given a naked chick, we can’t be judgmental bitches about what she’s wearing. We’d actually need to watch the show to see any dresses to rip.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6PUVFQ7YCZZFZRIER6BEJ4HVYE Amye

    Well, as the mother of a straight young man who LOVES Heidi (& Jacklyn & Iman & Padma), he’s EXTREMELY excited about this announcement, to say the least.

    He’s already standing in line at the newspaper stand to get the first issue of whatever magazine she will appear in nude (’cause I highly doubt it will be on lifetime).

  • Sara__B

    Heidi naked. Empowering to women? Not in the slightest. Appealing to the PR audience? Not particularly. Offensive? Not at all. An attempt to attract attention and boost ratings? You bet! It may be a bit silly and even desperate, but it will probably work. LOTS of people will be interested to see the gorgeous Ms. Klum in her perfectly photo-shopped, tastefully posed altogether.

  • Anonymous

    I believe the shark has been jumped.

  • Anonymous

    Any sign of Lifetime acknowledging that their core programming doesn’t represent modern women all that well (except in the Wronged Victims of Men with Dark Pasts sub-demo, where they are trending like a mofo!) is a good sign.  However, I doubt that Naked Supermodels is much better.  You keep trying, Lifetime!  As for Heidi, is this even news?  I mean, it’s still basic cable.  I doubt we’ll see much more in these promos than we already do with her gyno-skirts. 

  • Rachel Philip

    A better publicity stunt: Tim Gunn posing nude.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, I could see Tim doing the centerfold for The NY Review of Books.

      –GothamTomato

    • Anonymous

      Now we’re cookin’ with gas!  Aw hell, let’s just have all-nude judging panels while we’re at it! :-)

  • Anonymous

    “The decision (…) was inspired by the cable network’s push — and for that matter, need — to…”

    … blablabla, some bullshit about empowerment. actually, the first part of that sentence is a pretty good explanaition of why klum said yes to this indignity, im guessing

    (and for the record, i dont think getting naked in front of the camera is undignified. this deperate stunt to revive PR, however, is.)

    im kind of hoping that PR will just accept that they dont have the ratings anymore they once had, and make a smaller but qualitatively better show, with better judging, more insight into the creative process, and less reality-tv manipulation. i know, its never gonna happen. i can dream, though.

  • http://wipgirl.wordpress.com/ kristel

    I could sort of see it if they frame it in a Here’s a naked lady who needs some clothes, why look, here are 16 designers just waiting to make some clothes, two great tastes that taste great together way, but I don’t really get that impression off this description. It comes off more desperate and misguided. Whoever it attracts (the straight son one of the other commenters mentioned?) won’t stick around long when it starts being more about bitchy designers making dresses made out of the contents of my garden shed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/suzie.vazquez Suzie Vazquez

    i’m going to wait to see it. they could use her as an image or mannequin for clothes to be on. it’s not necessarily a schmoozy sexual ad that wouldn’t be consistent w/ PR.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kbryna kbryna frogboots

    Promote this show about clothes by not wearing any! wtf??? Really, this is NOT the right approach. And the language about empowering women is beyond moronic. It is NOT empowering to see women objectified and commodified. It’s not empowering to see a naked woman who conforms to – even exemplifies – society’s highly problematic standards of beauty (standards which only a very tiny portion of the population can meet without radically altering their lives and/or bodies – and even then, the very tiny portion becomes simply tiny).  Gross, gross, double-gross. If Heidi wants to do nakey pictures, she can call up Hugh Hefner or whoever publishes Maxim.

    • http://profiles.google.com/kbryna kbryna frogboots

      And as a disclaimer, I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about nakedness and nudity in general. But this is pointless and being sold in a way that’s downright insulting.

  • http://twitter.com/Littlegrr Mary Nau

    Maybe it’s the theme for the first challenge, “Heidi has nothing to wear, make her something.”

    It should also get a lot of free publicity.  Heidi posing nude would make the news at a lot of web sites.  I’m just looking forward to a new season and hope they do it right.  I want fashion and drama.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    Amen TLO!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this does have a whiff of desperation about it. It also seems to be much more about promoting Heidi than the show or network.

    And while I applaud Lifetime’s desire to move away from the “women in peril” brand, I’m not so sure that moving toward “genetically gifted women as airbrushed fantasy objects” is the right direction.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5BAPDX6V2PRIFK2CHHUMTKHG7M JillR

    I don’t understand what the hoopla is all about.  It might be lame.  It might be interesting.  It won’t be porn.  It’ll affect the show absolutely not at all.

  • Helen C

    You’d think they learned from S4, when they had to make menswear, and a troupe of hot male models walked in, and the designers and audiences all went crazy with glee?

    They have semi-naked female models (who are mostly too skinny but still pretty attractive) on almost every episode.  Whatever huge straight men and lesbian audiences would have been attracted a long time ago.  

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think this bodes well for the quality of this season.

  • Guest

    Dubuc has strategically pushed both her programming and her marketing teams to move away from that “women in peril” stereotype that has plagued the once top-rated Lifetime in recent years.Instead, her staff has been tasked with finding and celebrating female characters who are brazen, strong, confident and sexy … To hear Dubuc tell it, having Klum show off her model figure is a way of showcasing a woman who has all of those attributes.”Lifetime giveth, and lifetime taketh away.

  • Guest

    Dubuc has strategically pushed both her programming and her marketing teams to move away from that “women in peril” stereotype that has plagued the once top-rated Lifetime in recent years.Instead, her staff has been tasked with finding and celebrating female characters who are brazen, strong, confident and sexy … To hear Dubuc tell it, having Klum show off her model figure is a way of showcasing a woman who has all of those attributes.”Lifetime giveth, and Lifetime taketh away.

  • MilaXX

    Yep Heidi’s sexy as all get out, but I could care less. I want interesting designers with the right mix of talent & personality to make the season intersting

    • Lisa

      Right!  I mean, sure, Heidi’s the face of Project Runway, but does Dubuc honestly think that’s why we’re tuning in?  I want to see the designs and the innovation.  Has this woman ever watched any of the prior seasons?  Austin’s corn husk dress, Chris and Christian’s couture gown on Marcia, Korto’s seat-belt coat – I mean, that’s why we watch.  But a naked woman?  To advertise a fashion show?

  • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

    Though Dubuc believes women have changed more in the last 15 years than any other time in history,

    Because those 15 years between 1965 and 1980 showed absolutely no changes or growth for women.  Or, maybe, the 15 years between 1940 and 1955.  No, clearly it’s been these last 15 years where women are really “empowering” themselves by stripping nekkid (because that’s new) that has really shown change and growth for women.

    Do these people who make these professional statements understand that words have meanings?

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      congratulations!!
      you get the everlovin award forCleverest Comment of the Year{or fifteen years, or whatever} tho”I hate the word ‘empower’” comes in really close.i think whoever this dubuc is is confusing the wordspersonal computing & its related technologiesw/ the wordwomen.i dont know how she’s doing it,but she is.{then again, it’s once again all about the peculiar movement of tropes.& i mean movement in several of its many definitions:nakedness, “empower”, nakedness empoweringall of it. it’s all a movement in this context.}
      edited to code in line breaks for the first time.
      i think this is the right number of line breaks.

    • Anonymous

      As always, Dina, you cut to the heart of the matter. Because I think that not only does Dubuc not understand PR’s viewership, she also doesn’t understand other members of her own gender and/or what we’ve been fighting for over the past many decades.

      I feel like I should be offended by this, but I’m not. I do think, though, that it’s a really stupid move on Lifetime’s part. I don’t know a lot about PR’s ratings when it was on Bravo, but I imagine it was one of the most popular reality shows on television, certainly on basic cable. The best thing Lifetime could have done was get a clue about who was watching it, promote the hell out of its move to Lifetime (which they did do), and then leave it alone.

      Also, I have no idea what Naked Heidi has to do with Project Runway.

    • Anonymous

      I think the ways women, or at least young women, have changed is that many of them love to send naked, or semi-naked texts of themselves to anyone they can think of, and they think everyone wants to see them naked. I have been teaching for 20 years, and the girls in high school today often have no modesty whatsoever. I find it very surprising about how casual they are about their bodies. I don’t know if it is good or bad, I am just saying.

  • http://joansbooks.blogspot.com/ lilithcat

    I cannot tell you how much I hate the word “empower”.

    As for this idea, it’s just silly.  It’s like promoting Top Chef with an image of McDonald’s.

  • Anonymous

    BTW, every lesbian I know watches ProjectRunway, naked Heidi or not. (And lesbians are as into fashion as much as any girly. So many power dykes into fashion! I KNOW you boys know that!)

  • Anonymous

    Desperation is right, both for the network and Heidi. What is this, “I just turned 38 so I have to prove that I still got it,” Frau Seal? I watch Lifetime only when Project Runway is on. And after last season, I’m not convinced I’ll watch it even then.

  • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

    my final answer:

    you know, i would throw in
    perhaps they think it’s empowering that a perpetually post- pregnant & currently just pre-middle aged women is naked
    but wasnt that empowering, in its way, when farrah fawcett was fifty?

    in truth & instead, what i think dubuc finds {dubiously} empowering
    is in the mode of an upper middle class college student’s ‘working’ as a stripper
    &, for example, bringing home her upper middle class family’s thanxgiving turkey
    by winning a strip contest & telling her family that’s why it was there, seat-belted into her car.
    this after marrying a blue collar, semi-toothless rodeo cowboy, whom she’s since divorced.
    {i imagine she brought him home too. briefly.} anyway: i did not make this up. it’s in a book.

    anyway {redux}, i think it empowers, if you will, in that way. which is no way.

    ps. if i gotta code in linebreaks, i’m gonna make use of them!

    edited to add:
    AAAAACK! it doesnt want linebreaks any more!!

  • Anonymous

    Well, she’ll look good because the business-savvy side of Ms. Klum will lock down any images that *don’t” look good.  But I just can’t see the ever-chipper power-Frau projecting much sex appeal in a promo for a fashion show – even during her Victoria’s Secret days I thought “healthy & beautiful” came through first, “sexy” second. (and it was the underwear that brought the sexy. without it, much less so.)

    And how much more is Lifetime gonna reveal than she ever revealed with Victoria’s Secret, anyway? It’s not like they’re going to share full frontal.

    Silly gimmick.

    Edited to add: I also scoff at the idea that this ‘empowers’ women and at Dubuc’s shaky grasp of [even recent] history. But others have covered these points masterfully.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNMVM2GPVUEIOJXBOSLCXKAW4U judy brown

    Wait, I think I’ve got it: “We screwed the pooch (Mondo) on the last season, some fans aren’t coming back…BUT LOOK OVER THERE! HEIDI’S NEKKID!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it smacks of desperation. But then again, most of what she wears is so tight and short, that going naked is merely a technicality.

    –GothamTomato

  • Anonymous

    good grief!   i totally agree TLO. 

  • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

    If Lifetime wants to promote a nude Heidi, I don’t care one way or another. It’s “empowering women” bs spiel that I find so offensive and condescending. Sad that they think women are that stupid.

    • Lisa

      Exactly – it’s just offensive.  Not that she’s naked, but that they think women are dumb enough to fall for this as “empowering.”  Puh-leeze!

  • Anonymous

    Ah, who cares? Just bring on the show.

  • http://twitter.com/shinobi42 Shinobi

    Y’know I could imagine a clever commercial about project runway involving a naked heidi.  The show is, after all about dressing people. But this whole “HEY HEIDI IS GOING TO BE NAKED!” thing leads me to believe they are just stupid.

  • Anonymous

    They’re replacing Women In Peril with women in nothing?

    • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

      New tag line!

  • Judy_J

    Sounds like Heidi thinks she’s got something to prove.

  • Anonymous

    What a bunch of non-hype bullshit.  Naked just doesn’t have the same impact it did when Demi did it pregnant.  My strongest reaction is, as you noted oh wise TLo, is that this is the end of my favorite show.

  • Anonymous

    In the same “not knowing your audience” vein, the Style Network was running a PR marathon (early seasons) over Memorial Day weekend, and they kept showing ads for ChristianMingle, an online dating site for devout Christians.  My guess is that most of the audience for Project Runway would not be interested in finding their love match on a Christian dating site.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HY37OQ6GEB5IMWUREVZ2KE5HYA Norita

    Let’s just ALL be thankful they didn’t ask the “Duchess” to pose naked!!!

  • Lisa

    Oh, yes.  Of course.  By all means, seeing Heidi Klum naked will make the average woman feel SO much better about themselves!  Dipshits…

    And I do agree on one sad note – it sounds like it  may be the death knell for the show.  It sounds like they’re trying too hard to spark up interest after the Gretchen win.

    • Anonymous

      Hated that Gretchen, the boring hippie, won.  Mondo was clearly the winner.  I will not watch PR anymore for exactly that reason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=769541660 Teresa Wyatt

    PR used to be a great show about creativity and pushing limits.  Heidi has always been secondary for me except I’ve always loved laughing at her stilted, awkward presentation. Hell, it’s the only thing us plain girls have on her.  The last thing I want the show to become is Heidi-centric

  • Anonymous

    I suspect the problem here is that the audience of straight women and gays are mostly *not* in that magic 18-49 demographic and Lifetime for some reason thinks being “edgy” will attract a younger audience.
    Which is just as stoopid.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FNFWER3VPXZGG4B6QCJVIPYEDM AntonijaM

    Totally shark jumping, this is. 
    Recently they had several earlier seasons of PR running on Bravo, I think, and the difference between those early seasons and the last few is remarkable.  The challenges seemed to be more imaginitive, the judges seemed more interested in critique and less in snark, and everything else–the photography, the editing, etc. seemed to have more integrity.  No network or producer-induced drama–just people making great clothes within ridiculous time constraints!  *sigh*  Those were the good ol’ days….

  • sonictofu

    well said guys.  Empowering or not, Heidi’s nudity will do nothing to promote a show about clothing.  Alas, Lifetime’s taken our little gem and  is polishing away all the facets that make it shine.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MIKSJSDTVHC375HED6CDNF525I Pamela

    Does anyone else smell a shark in the water and water-skis nearby?

    • MilaXX

      yup *sigh*

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see Heidi in a commercial featuring some of the more off-the-wall memorable Project Runway design attempts. Now that could be fun.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HY37OQ6GEB5IMWUREVZ2KE5HYA Norita

    At least we can thank lifetime for NOT asking “The Duchess” to pose naked!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, please, people, you know that you will ALL watch that show! No, it’s not empowering to women (because who has 4 kids and looks like Heidi, except Heidi??), but everyone wants to see Heidi naked. Yes, it’s desperate, but it will work just as the network hopes it will!. And the comment about straight women and gay men watching?? Well, (can’t speak to the gay men), but the straight women will be the first ones to watch – yes, it’s all horribly sexist, but, unfortunately true…

    • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

      i dont wanna see heidi naked.

      • Anonymous

        me neither

    • MilaXX

      I’m watching for the same reason I have always watched PR  the possibility of seeing Heidi nekked was never the draw.

    • Anonymous

      And the silliest thing of all? They may *photograph* her naked – but what will be aired will be draped or pixilated or angled so the audience will be seeing no more (if as much) of the gorgeous Frau as we’ve all already seen a decade or so ago in her underwear ads.

    • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

      While I’m sure the naked stunt will attract some new eyes, what will be the next stunt to keep them? As for me, while I like Heidi well enough, she’s not the reason I watch the show. I watch the show for the designers and I do love Tim.

      • Lisa

        Bingo! Well said.

    • Lisa

      With all due respect, I think you’re misunderstanding us.  I’m not saying I won’t watch PR if Heidi poses naked – nor do I think most of the other posters are saying that.  I’m saying that I find the stunt desperate, offensive and condescending on the part of Lifetime.

  • http://twitter.com/campbelliah Rachel

    I think T & Lo are right about this being a non-empowering, desperate stunt, but I also think they’re being narrow-minded about PR’s potential audience.  In my experience, once you get a straight man to watch an episode, he’ll get hooked.  Have you seen Craig Ferguson interview Tim Gunn?  He LOVES the show.  I don’t think this particular plan to lure in people who like to bang woman will work, but it’s not stupid to try to expand that part of the audience.

    If you’d never seen the show, you’d assume there weren’t any straight male contestants, either, when there’s actually usually more than one per season. 

    • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

      We didn’t say a word about the “potential” audience. The entire point of the post rests on what we know about the existing audience, and that existing audience has been primarily straight women and gay men for the past 8 seasons.

      • http://twitter.com/campbelliah Rachel

        What about “And if they think they’re suddenly going to attract a massive audience
        of straight men and lesbians for the ninth season, they are seriously
        deluded”?  The context sounds like that could either refer to this stunt in specific or just the whole idea in general.

        • http://www.tomandorenzo.com Tom and Lorenzo

          Audience demographics don’t radically change after eight seasons of a show. We’re used to people latching onto one phrase and nitpicking it to death, but this is getting silly. The audience for this show has always been primarily composed of straight women and gay men. That doesn’t mean that NO lesbians or straight men have EVER or WILL ever watch it.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus, Mary and Joseph!  Desparation is right, guys.  Naked Heidi needed to promote our beloved PR?  Does anybody over there have a brain in his or her head???

  • Anonymous

    This is a really dumb and pathetic idea.  I do not want to see her lady parts and I do not see how this promotes the show.

  • Anonymous

    Better naked than a head-to-toe citrus fruit.

  • Anonymous

    It will take about 20 naked supermodels to wash the memories of all the suck of last season out of my mind.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.  Heidi Klum nekkid for PR is dumb.  For all of your stated reasons.  Lifetime – please reconsider a better marketing campaign!  That is all.  

  • http://twitter.com/ShelfAfterlife Shelf Afterlife

    I love this show.  This show is about clothes.  Not sure how posing naked is about clothes… Not sure who’s dumb enough to think if they watch one minute of Project Runway there will be another chance to see her naked.  And like they aren’t gonna airbrush the hell out of the stretch marks she has from her 18 children.

  • Anonymous

    Heidi posing nude will not affect my watching of PR at all. Deciding if I’m over Mondo’s loss to Gretchen will.

  • Lawrie Allred

    What a weird decision. Even ignoring the silliness of “supernaturally attractive naked women will empower normal women!”, it doesn’t make much sense to promote a show about making clothes with a lady wearing no clothes. I suppose they might be saying clothing designers are inspired by the human form, but that’s kind of self-evident. Redundant, even!

    Though now that I think about it, “make a garment not inspired by the female form. Your “models” will actually be hangars moving around via conveyor belt. Have fun!” would actually be a funny challenge.

  • Anonymous

    This latest brainstorm demonstrates just how clueless the producers are.  Bunim-Murray is the gift that just keeps on giving, and Lifetime is the tacky bow on top.  

  • Anonymous

    How is nekkid Frau Seal empowering to women? *head desk* It’s a wonder Lifetime exists at all. 

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking “WTF?” when I first heard this, and now I see that the last two sentences of your post exactly nail what was bothering me. This show belongs on Bravo, dammit.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe the ads will suprise us and be clever, I’m sure she’ll be posed in a way that she won’t be revealing too much, it is still Lifetime. All said, asinine idea.

  • Anonymous

    *sigh* Really, guys? Come on, Lifetime. This isn’t jumping the shark, this is jumping 8 sharks naked on a jet-ski with two sparklers in your hands and one up your ass. This is stupid and frankly, it’s the exact opposite of empowering. Nor does it draw in viewers (and this is coming from a lesbian who would be MORE THAN happy to see Heidi naked. But not like this. This is just….sad.)
    I’ll be honest, I’m just counting down the days until cancellation. It’s kind of inevitable because Lifetime clearly has NO idea what they’re doing. Should have seen it coming from the second they picked up the show. What a shame. 

  • Anonymous

    As a perfectly well-empowered woman, I’ve never understood why showing the goodies to the world was supposed to make you feel strong, rather than objectified.

    That said, maybe the campaign is along the line of “So… how are we going to dress her?  Find out on Project Runway.”  Or something.  It does seem an odd thing for a fashion-centered show, but then, half the time, fashion is just short of nekkid anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I think it is ridiculous, and how is being naked empowering for a woman?? I have never gotten that; in fact, my husband and I just had this conversation last week. He thought Playboy magazine has helped women push for equality, and I thought the opposite: that it showed women as just bodies. 

    Heidi and the show has a lot going for them – and I am somewhat offended that Lifetime thinks I have any desire to see Heidi’s private parts. I am not a prude, I draw, and have drawn live models, but really…this is offensive to me.
    Nancy

  • Anonymous

    As my fella pointed out, there *is* a contingent of straight (or bi?) hubbies and boyfriends who watch with their SOs. Not enough to warrant this, though …

  • Presumptuous Insect

    Reeks of desperation and suggests they are worried about ratings.

  • vmcdanie

    Why will naked Heidi make me watch PR? If I were a lesbian-no, scratch that-if I were someone who didn’t watch PR, why would a naked Heidi make me watch it? Is she judging naked? Wait, then would she then have to wear the winning outfit for that week? That’s not a bad idea. It would have fixed half of the crazy ass judging last season. This is what symmetry looks like you say? Great, Michael. I’m sure your friend Heidi would love to put this orange toga on right now.

    This would be irrelevant even if I were still invested in the show. As it is, I’m going to wait on the T Lo word before I even think about tuning in.

  • Anonymous

    How are they going to photoshop her when she’s nude? 

  • Anonymous

    I’m as straight as a goddman string and I think it’s stupid. Not because OMG TEH GAYZ AND WIMMEN ONLY WATCHEZ TEH SHOWW but becasue it’s an XFL-level ploy to get ratings. Desperate. And by the way, Hollywood Reporter? “taking the reigns?” Really? Hire a proofreader, why don’t you.

    • Anonymous

      Taking the reigns–that was going to be my comment.  Rats you beat me to it.
      And while on the subject of PR–but off topic of Heidi sans schmata–MONDO is designing the costumes for the summer production of Hairspray at the Arvada Center in Arvada Colorado. Yay! And for you folks who remember that 80′s show, Too Close for Comfort–San Francisco, Ted Knight–not that funny a sit com? Jim J Bullock will be playing Edna Turnblatt.  Yay!!!

  • Anonymous

    Actually, let’s get a “photograph Tim Gunn naked to empower men!!” petition started!

  • Lattis

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cr . . . ack up.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mmara00 M M

    OMG, like her ultra mini short, shiny and tight dresses weren’t bad enough!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Janes/1307910218 Melissa Janes

    Meh. It’s just a promotion. She’ll probably look great in it, and part of the anticipation of Project Runway is finding out what they’re going to put on the models. I can see a naked Heidi representing that idea pretty well. Like you guys, I don’t understand how this is in any way empowering. It’s not necessarily degrading (depends on how they present it), but empowering to have a model pose nude? Naah.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dchockeyguy Trevor Burroughs

    “It stinks of desperation, both on the part of Lifetime and on the part of Project Runway”This.

  • Anonymous

    Look, a naked lady selling something! 
    Wow, no one has ever thought of that before.

  • Anonymous

    I heard the death knell two seasons ago……and this last season cinched it for me when Gretchen won over Mondo.

  • Anonymous

    Any idea when this season is supposed to begin?  Are they timing it more appropriately so that they won’t have to have a dozen designers show decoy collections at Fashion Week?

  • Anonymous

    The first thing that popped into my head was that the “empress wears no clothes”. I hope Lifetime really thinks about that one for a second considering the controversy surrounding last season. Plus, I don’t think Heidi deserves to be objectified in such a way just for Lifetime to finagle in viewers; especially, since the show is about Fashion! I agree with the comments here that it would make more sense for her to be wearing either the previous seasons’ famed garments or for her to be wearing something out of the previous seasons’ bolo collection. In my head, I can even imagine her saying, “can you do better?” in an advert. 
     *sigh* Why, oh why, couldn’t Project Runway get picked up by the Style network?

  • mandyjane123700

    I just want a good show, without the gimmicks. 

  • Anonymous

    Just do it and shut up about it. Do they really think we care when they announce in advance they’re going to do something “shocking”?

  • Anonymous

    what?  am i the only person in the universe (besides the aforementioned youth) who wants to see heidi naked? as a straight woman with an artistic eye, i say a beautiful woman in the nude is always a good thing.  forget the rest of this politically correct crap.  as to the all-nude judging panel, i draw the line at the tangerine duchess.  so i guess i’ll be in line at the magazine counter behind amye’s son (hope he’s cute).  and gotham tomato, i am all in favor of naked lesbians.  where do i sign up?      

  • Susan Walker

    My husband is a faithful viewer of PR and loves Heidi – but he is 58 and probably not in the demographic they want anyway…Heidi naked is not going to bring our son, 23, into the fold.

  • Anonymous

    Please, straight women love looking at naked women. (See also: Cosmo)  This is basically how Heidi Klum made her fortune:  posing nearly naked for Victoria’s Secret for what, ten years?  That catalog is mainly read by girls and young women.  If you’ve ever flipped through your average woman’s magazine, it’s packed with photos of nearly naked photos of women.  So your original point is made:  People have been using naked ladies to sell things since time began, so this isn’t exactly groundbreaking.  But it’s not an “extremely bad idea”.  That comment should go to that horrid orange pantsuit.  Bleah!

  • Vodeeodoe

    As long as they only use the shot for The Emperor’s New Clothes challenge. I’m fine with that. Otherwise It’s a cheap shot.

  • Lisa_Cop

    Maybe this is more about Heidi personally than PR. Since splitting with Seal she has been in loads of magazines and red carpets. Like JLo since her split with Marc Anthony. Seems that women in their late 30′s/early 40′s who split with their partners want loads of press and like flaunting their bodies.