It’s hardly news that Aubrey O’Dayformer member of Danity Kane and reigning bad girl of the pop universe — posed for Playboy back in November.

O’Day shot the spread with photographer Markus Klinko, and the issue hits stands this Friday. But so far, O’Day hasn’t spoken in-depth about the shoot, or revealed why she decided to pose for the magazine. Until now, that is.

You could never imagine how empowering it is to be nude in front of cameras and have people looking at you in that way and seeing you as beautiful,” she told MTV News. “You’re seeing yourself as beautiful. I mean, a lot of the times I think I’m seen as a bad girl, and I think that’s because I’m so open.”

O’Day said that she agreed to the pictorial only after the magazine made Klinko available. He’s snapped portraits of everyone from Mariah Carey to Pamela Anderson, in addition to the cover of Beyoncé’s 2003 album Dangerously In Love, and O’Day knew he’d make her Playboy spread something to remember.

I only agreed to do it because [Markus] was shooting it,” she said. “He is unbelievably amazing. He agreed with me that we needed to do something classy, iconic and truly beautiful. I mean, I think a lot of the type of way I’m portrayed in the media isn’t always the way I am in my heart. And I think that we were able to capture that with [this shoot].”

It’s going to be very elegant, very iconic,” she emphasized. “We wanted to do something very beautiful and classic. And I’m very excited about, just in general, how liberating the shoot was and how great it’s going to be to express myself and be comfortable with my sexuality. I think in society we tend to put ourselves in boxes and corners and restrict ourselves, and we constantly feel the need to not say this or not wear this … and taking it all off and being nude is the most natural state that you can be in.”

And what does she think her detractors will say about the Playboy spread? Well, to be honest, she doesn’t really care. Because she’s not listening.

I’m always gonna be true, whether people like it or not. I’m just gonna be me. I’m gonna be real. I’m not gonna do anything because people want me to. I’m not gonna hide something about me,” she laughed. “I think people are scared to be who they are, and if anybody’s gonna go out there and let everybody know, ‘Be who you are … no judgment here,’ it’s gonna be me.”


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