In August 2001, The Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle did a nude spread in Playboy and was featured on the cover. The pictorial coincided with the band’s reunion tour and new album God Bless the Go-Go’s. At the time, she told Good Morning America that her spread was an homage to the pin-up girls of the 1950s. Here are a few of her shots and what she had to say in the Playboy interview.
Belinda Carlisle Playboy Spread
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Her pictorial has an East Asian flair, featuring Carlisle posing in Asian-inspired bathtubs and with umbrellas, hats, and kimonos. Carlisle and her husband and son moved to Thailand in 2017, with Carlisle telling the East Anglian Daily Times, “I love [Bangkok]. Whether we’re going to be here forever, I don’t know, but it’s really amazing for the moment.”
She also credited finding Buddhism and practicing kundalini yoga with what helped her get sober in 2005. Carlisle actually featured yoga chanting in her 2017 album Wilder Shores, telling the East Anglian Daily Times, “It’s more internal than yoga, it’s physical in a different way. People think of triangle pose, downward dog, all that. Although there are some of those postures it’s mostly a lot of what they call pranayama which is breathing, a lot of chanting… it’s the best for emotions and stress.”
Carlisle Told Playboy She Feels Like a Cat With Nine Lives
In the Playboy feature that accompanied her pictorial, Carlisle likened herself to a cat with nine lives, saying, “I keep bouncing back from things. After the drugs and the ebb and tide of success in my life. I’ve had nine lives already.”
She also said the media’s obsession with commenting on The Go-Go’s looks gave her terrible self-image problems, but fighting her way out of those problems is what inspired her to pose for the magazine at the age of 42.
“It wasn’t until the Go-Go’s that my name was synonymous with plump, cute and chubby,” said Carlisle. “One of the things I thought was appealing about the Go-Go’s was that we weren’t models — we were normal girls doing it on our own terms, and women loved that. Critics would say things like, ‘Oh, she’s been hitting too many deli trays,’ or ‘I wonder what drug she is doing to get thin.’ I still find the whole thing completely offensive and believe this fed into my drug addiction. It wasn’t until I moved to Europe and had my baby that this weight obsession left.”
She also said she doesn’t regret anything in her life except one home movie filmed backstage that has popped up online where she’s going on what she calls “stupid coke ramblings.”
“I regret that evening because a lot of people were hurt by that video. But I don’t regret anything else in my life because even the negative things, as hideous as they were, were really important to go through. They made me what I am today, and I’m totally happy and comfortable with myself.”
The Go-Go’s documentary is out now on Showtime.