BARING ALL: Shape magazine is typically unmistakable on the newsstand, mainly because it’s known for getting celebrities to pose in bathing suits. Whether it’s January or July, it’s not uncommon to see the cover star in a colorful two-piece. When the March issue hits newsstands next week, that trademark bikini is coming off. “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh, 44, is going completely nude for the cover and apparently, it was all her idea. A few months ago, she approached the magazine with her plan and editors jumped at it, as they had always wanted to publish a nude cover but so far no celebrities had gone for it.

Which begs the question: why was Walsh so into it? “I’m enjoying my 40s and wanted to share that,” said the actress. Is it a midlife crisis? “I do drive a Porsche, so maybe it is.” Editor in chief Tara Kraft said the title went easy on the air brushing. “She has an amazing figure; she definitely works hard for it.”

This story first appeared in the February 21, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

It will be interesting to see whether showing Walsh’s full monty translates into more copies sold at newsstand, since the magazine is coming off a tough end to the year. For the last six months of 2011, single-copy sales fell 30 percent.

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