The cover of the September issue of Women's Health.

Women’s Health is baring all for its September issue.

The cover of the magazine’s “naked” issue features Sofia Vergara sitting on a wooden block, completely nude save for the shiny brunette waves cascading down her back (in the new publishing era, even the cover benefited from a brand partnership — Vergara is a spokeswoman for Head & Shoulders, and the magazine made a deal with the company for advertorials).

“The goal is to show really confident, strong women in their own skin,” said editor in chief Amy Keller Laird. The idea of showing some skin came from the U.K. edition, which has had cover stars pose au naturel on its September issue for the past three years. The U.S. led the charge on taking that concept and making it bigger. The concept, with Vergara on the cover, will run globally on 15 editions.  

“Step one was finding someone who would resonate around the world, and there’s only a few people who do that,” Keller Laird said. According to Keller Laird, there was a shortlist of three stars whom the editors of all the global issues could agree on, and the “Modern Family” star was number one. Although the decision was, according to the magazine, an editorial one, being able to work with Head & Shoulders on ads and online advertorials was, no doubt, a plus. 

The editors took the “naked” concept and applied it to all the content in the issue. There are instructions for how to take the peels of fruit and vegetables, guides to natural snacks and cosmetics, service pieces about vitamin deficiencies and which articles of clothing to remove at various doctors, stories about auras and climate change.

“We are looking at nakedness not just literally and physically, but mentally, emotionally, metaphorically,” Keller Laird explained. “We wanted to make sure to take the concept and not be utterly cheesy about it.”

Even Keller Laird disrobed for the issue. Photos that accompany her editor’s letter show her topless — at least, from the shoulders up.

“Our editorial director essentially said that if I was asking all these women to strip down and bare it all, shouldn’t I be willing to do the same?” she said. “But really, I’m only showing a little shoulder. There are different forms of nakedness and rawness and being open, and mine is more an emotional nakedness.”

The issue, which hits newsstands on August 8, comes as parent company Rodale begins to entertain bidders in preparation for a potential sale.

Read More:

Women’s Health Tackles Mental Health; Editor in Chief Reveals Her Personal Struggle in May Issue

Potential Bidders Circle Rodale as Publisher Preps for Sale

Women’s Health Names Amy Keller Laird

Rodale Inc. Puts Itself Up for Sale

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