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LIFE.com: Taboo Then, Typical Now

1949: Marilyn Monroe Poses Nude

Dropped from her studio contract and struggling to make ends meet, the aspiring Hollywood star earned $50 bucks by posing nude for photographer Tom Kelley. A few years later, that session (pictured) threatened to ruin her burgeoning career, after a photo popped up in a calendar and, later, in the debut issue of Hugh Hefner's Playboy. These days, doing a little cheesecake is no big whoop -- in fact, many big names (Drew Barrymore, Kim Kardashian, Kim Basinger) have willingly and enthusiastically posed for Playboy. (Photo: Getty Images/LIFE.com)
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