The first woman, Eve, could not be bothered to scrounge up another fig leaf to cover her top half, seen here in Andrei Ivanovich Ivanov’s “Adam and Eve With Children Under a Tree.”
Roman Goddess Venus is featured nude in many pieces of famous artwork, Sandro Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” arguably the most famous.
Austrian designer Rudi Gernreich’s topless monokini, modeled here by Peggy Moffitt, made its debut in the June 4, 1962 issue of WWD.
Phoebe Cates emerging from a pool, clad in a red string bikini in 1982’s “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” quickly became an iconic scene for all movie buffs — and teenage boys.
Five years before her topless turn in “Striptease,” a pregnant Demi Moore bared it all for the August 1991 cover of Vanity Fair.
No stranger to controversy, Madonna upped the ante in 1992, walking down Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring 1993 runway in a cutout triangle bra.
Kate Winslet’s Rose ditched her robe in “Titanic” in order for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack to “draw [her] like one of those French girls.”
Sixteen years before Willis walked New York City, Alanis Morissette did the same on the West Coast, roaming nude in Los Angeles for her “Thank U” music video.
For Christian Dior spring 2003 couture, John Galliano accessorized a pretty pink look only with a fur stole, leather harness and knee-high boots.
Super Bowl XXXVIII’s infamous halftime performance ended with Justin Timberlake ripping off a panel of Janet Jackson’s costume, exposing her bejeweled right breast.
Attending P. Diddy’s 35th birthday bash, party girl Tara Reid suffered from an unfortunate bout of dress slippage, effectively kicking off the age of starlets snapped in states of undress.
Supermodels are famed for two things: good looks and sunbathing nude in the South of France. Here, Kate Moss takes the plunge while vacationing in Saint-Tropez in 2011.
Sarah Burton covered a model’s face entirely but left her chest exposed in a standout gown from the Alexander McQueen spring 2012 runway.
Time magazine made waves with its May 2012 cover touting activist Jamie Lynne Grumet breast-feeding her three-year-old son.
For Kate Upton’s 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, the blonde bombshell cut out the middleman, opting to go fully topless — save for a strategically placed parka.
“Blurred Lines” generated as much buzz for its uncensored video as it did radio plays, effectively launching model Emily Ratajkowski’s career at the same time.
A pair of female protesters interrupted the Nina Ricci spring 2014 runway show, storming the catwalk with dubiously translated slogans (“Fashion dictaterror;” “Models don’t go to brothel”) painted across their naked chests.
Reality star and aspiring model Kendall Jenner made her runway debut in a memorable way: parading down the fall 2014 Marc Jacobs runway eyebrow-less in a sheer Henley top.
Months before she became Mrs. Kanye West, Kim Kardashian appeared topless in her fiancé’s video for “Bound 2.”
For Lady Gaga, life is a constant competition to create controversy. Her latest attempt: full, onstage costume changes during her “ArtRave: The Artpop Ball” world tour.
Rihanna’s famed Instagram account was deactivated after the pop star posted her nipple-exposing Lui magazine cover. The deletion of her account resulted in various forms of uproar including…
…Willis’ topless stroll on Tuesday. Alongside the photos, which she posted to her Twitter account, Willis wrote “Legal in NYC but not on Instagram” and “What Instagram won’t let you see #FreeTheNipple.”
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Photo by 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection