IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Paulina Porizkova, 56, poses nude in photo shoot to send message about ageism

The supermodel is proving a point with her latest magazine spread.
Paulina Porizkova
Paulina Porizkova wants to change the way society thinks about the aging process.TODAY Illustration / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Paulina Porizkova is stripping down to prove once and for all that age is just a number.

The supermodel posed nude for the latest issue of Los Angeles magazine, and in her cover story, she explained why she's tired of combatting ageism in her industry.

Over the past year, the 56-year-old model, actor and author has been going au naturel on Instagram and posting unretouched photos of herself without makeup or clothes. All of them, Porizkova told the magazine, are posted with one goal in mind: to normalize aging. Naturally, her followers have had some pretty strong opinions about the photos, and she is taking it all in good stride.

“Most of the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “But the negative ones have been so mean. They’re like, ‘You’re so desperate,’ or ‘It’s time to retire, grandma.’ But I looked at those pictures of myself without makeup or without clothes, and I just thought, ‘Hey, I look pretty good for my age.’”

Porizkova explained that she was initially inspired to start posting raw photos of herself not because she liked the way she looked, but because she wanted to make a statement.

“I remember waking up, catching a glimpse of my face in my phone, and going, ‘Holy s---, who is that?’ I took another picture from a lower angle, and it was also beyond hideous,” she said. “And then I started thinking, ‘Well, this is what you look like now. This is the truth, and you can’t pretend that it’s not.’ And I decided, ‘You know what? It’s not so bad.’ And I posted it.”

As her social media following began to skyrocket, the model started to realize that other people were also learning to celebrate physical characteristics that are often considered flaws.

“I think people were craving that sort of authenticity,” she said. “Also, it was the year of COVID. Everybody was miserable and bored, and I was miserable and bored and posting pictures of what I looked like when I was miserable and bored. So I guess that was relatable.”

Keeping with that same message, Porizkova on Tuesday posted to Instagram an unedited version of her L.A. magazine cover photo.

“This look took two hours of professional make up and hair. And body makeup. And excellent lighting by an talented photographer,” she wrote in a caption. “But the result is me looking my best- with no retouching and no filters and no anything else.”

Plastic surgery might be quite popular in her industry, but Porizkova said she has not gone under the knife and only gotten collagen-enhancing laser treatments.

“I used to be very judgmental about it when I was younger,” she said. “It’s so easy to be judgmental when you’re 30. But now I don’t blame anybody for wanting to look younger. I understand doing a bit of botox, a little bit of filler, to feel good about yourself because looking younger is more accepted by society. But, really, the way to fix (society’s attitudes about aging) isn’t to try to look younger — it’s to get the world to embrace older people the way we are.”