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Real Housewives' Kelly Bensimon on Getting Naked for Playboy

Kelly Bensimon, Playboy, Inside Playboy

Kelly Bensimon may be Playboy's latest cover model, but that doesn't mean taking her clothes off for the camera was easy.

"I'm pretty nervous," the Real Housewives of New York star tells me. "Everyone thinks of me as this exhibitionist, and I'm not. I'm just not that kind of girl. I'm not that kind of model. I wear clothes!"

Read on to find out what she says about why she did it, about full frontal nudity and about assumptions that this is all an attempt to outdo costar Bethenny Frankel.

So if you're not an exhibitionist, why did you do it?
When my agent was like, "Would you be interested in doing this?" at first I was like, "Uh, I don't think so." But then I was like, "That would be amazing." I'm 41. It's a great image for the rest of the world. Yes, you can have it all. You can have two kids, you can be in shape and you can really enjoy life.

Whose idea was it to have your ex-husband [legendary fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon] shoot it?
That was my idea. No one takes more beautiful pictures of women than Gilles. I know a lot of amazing photographers, and they're all lovely and awesome, but Gilles makes women better versions of themselves, and that's what I wanted for Playboy.

What do your daughters think?
They really love that their mommy and daddy are working together. We talked about it. Some of it was filmed for the show.

I've seen some of the photos, but not all of them. Do any actually show you south of the border?
I didn't want to do that. I don't think that part of a woman's body is really evocative. The roundness of the hips, the buttocks, the breast, the shoulders, the clavicle, the hair, the teeth—those are things that I think are most evocative and provocative parts of the body. So I don't think it's really necessary to show that. Some people might think it's necessary, but it wasn't for me.

There's been some speculation that you did Playboy to try to one-up Bethenny on her "I'd Rather Go Naked" ad for PETA. Any truth to that?
No! Different opportunities come to different people. That's not me. I don't play that game.

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Who else is hot to look at? Try the stars of Valentine's Day!

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