The 57-year-old star shared the photo on social media, and is pictured completely nude on her bed with just a rumpled sheet covering her modesty.
Explaining why she decided to post the photo, she wrote a lengthy caption.
“Is it objectification or celebration? A little weekend food for thought…” she began.
“In a patriarchal society, women have always been seen as objects of desire or nurture. Because these are the needs of men who run the world. This is why youth and beauty are such a strong currency.”
The star then explained she was ‘objectifying herself’, which allows her to ‘take her power and use it in her own interest’.
She notes that if a man were to do the exact same thing, he wouldn’t be ‘shamed’ like women are, but instead ‘celebrated’.
“When I was a young model exposing my body, it was because someone else approved of it. Someone else decided it was to be celebrated," she wrote.
“I didn’t know enough to have an understanding of consequences. Hence, objectification. Now, when I expose my body, it [is] with my full knowledge and consent.”
Paulina’s nude photo caused quite a stir, upsetting many people online.
“I honestly don’t know of any valid reason why it’s necessary to do a nude photo shoot,” one person wrote.
“This woman claims to be a feminist and is ‘celebrating’ her body. What I don’t get is why she presumes that everyone on Twitter wishes to look at her exposed body. I’m sure it’s just me but something about this is strange,” another remarked.
“With everything going on in the world today your bulls**t and body are so insignificant,” added a third.
“Yet, here you are for the world and young impressionable girls and boys to see,” commented another.
On the other hand, there were plenty of people who supported the supermodel for her candid shot.
“Love this. Men have never been taught to be ashamed of their bodies at any age, we don’t have to be either,” wrote a fan.
“If anything your physical beauty is a tribute to your self-care. You don’t get to your age looking like that by accident! So definitely, CELEBRATE!!! Have the best day!” added a second.
“You are a beautiful example of what every woman should be! Love your post! Beautiful and inspiring,” another wrote.
“Girl, you look absolutely smokin’ hot, you keep whippin’ them clothes off if that is what you want to do,” a fourth quipped.
The supermodel then addressed the backlash to her photo on Twitter, writing: “Why does a photo of an older woman daring to feel sexy so unsettling to all these same-aged dudes? When I did photos like this as a teen, I sometimes got shamed by women, but never the men.
“This is a most interesting social experience. The only thing that’s changed is my age,” she finished.
Fans then replied to Paulina and suggested some reasons that men were feeling threatened by her nude photo.
“I think it’s great to feel good in your body at [any] age. Maybe it destroys their fantasies about their own age, and they strike you out for it,” one person guessed.
“I think there’s still a fear/dread of women past childbearing age, deeply rooted in the nervous system of patriarchal society. We’re strong and wise, with communities, and if they don’t keep us down, they have no hope of controlling us,” added a second.
“The same reason the world is freaking out about the female Prime Minister of Finland dancing. They are afraid of women they can’t control,” another suggested.
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