Debra Messing is dean of Allure magazine’s nude issue. At 43, she is the oldest to shed her clothes along with Taraji P. Henson, 41, Maria Menounos, 33, Leslie Bibb, 37, Morena Baccarin, 31 and Heidi Klum, 38. Sorry, no twenty-somethings need apply.

Messing said she developed a whole new appreciation for her body after turning 40. “Once you have a child, once you pass 40, you have a different relationship with your body. I love my body in a way I never have before.”

She said posing nude was part of a natural process of self-acceptance.

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“I started out in dance—there’s something beautiful about a dancer’s upper body. I love strapless dresses.”

Menounos was never a standout in teen beauty pageant swimsuit contests. “I was hippy and I didn’t diet. And it didn’t bother me,” she says. “This was definitely challenging,” Maria said of her decision to strip, “But I feel so much better having done it.”

Baccarin may have the most experience with on-screen nudity next to supermodel Klum. She’s stripped down for a sex scene on Homeland, her new show. “I didn’t want it to be an overload, like ‘That girl is always taking off her clothes,'” she said of the shoot. “This is for the art of it. It’s beautiful.”

She also believes that nudity is not for every occasion. “I don’t do any naked activities except for the obvious ones. No cooking naked. That’s dangerous,” she warns.

Henson also felt comfortable with the shoot. “My friends won’t be surprised by this shoot. Whenever we go to the beach, I’m like, ‘Is this a nude beach? Can I take my top off?'”

Bibb was probably the most self-conscious. She went on a four-day juice cleanse to get ready for her shoot, and went to a Korean spa for a body scrub. “Everybody’s naked there, and I don’t mind,” she said. “But I’m like a cat with a feather anytime I see a boob job. I can’t look away.”

The nude issue is a regular annual thing with the magazine. Previous years have featured such celebrities as Emmanuelle Chriqui, Colbie Caillat, Kara DioGuardi, Padma Lakshmi, Lynn Collins, Sharon Leal and Eliza Dushku.

Check out this year’s photos: