Ronald Reagan"s daughter Patti Davis poses nude at 58
“I”ve learned to respect my body”: Ronald Reagan”s daughter Patti Davis poses nude at 58
8:38 AM on 19th May 2011
A former Playboy pin-up, she is no stranger to nudity.
But posing naked at 58 years old is a daring feat for anyone, even someone like Patti Davis.
The often controversial and liberal daughter of former President Ronald Reagan has appeared in More magazine in order to celebrate having a body that she is happy with and one which took so long to achieve and accept.
Her body is a temple: Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald Reagan, poses nude for More magazine at 58 years old
Addicted to drugs since she was 15, she said at one time her “body was wasted, muscles thin and barely visible”.
When she finally quit drugs in her late twenties she said she “grabbed onto some rope in her heart that she didn”t even know was there” and resolved to get back into shape and health.
Reagan”s funeral: Patti did not speak to her famous family for years but reconciled with them towards the end of her father”s life as he battled with Alzheimers
Speaking to the magazine she said: “In 1986, I walked into World Gym in Venice, California—at that time, a small, funky space that women typically did not enter, except for a few female bodybuilders.
“At age 34 I’d left the tights-and-leg-warmers world of Jane Fonda’s Workout to come to a hardcore, pumping-iron, no-frills place, having decided I wanted more muscles,
more strength. And no more pink leg warmers.
“I had a very clear idea of what and whom I wanted to see in the mirror, and I had a long way to go.”
“I found myself staring and realized this was the image of who I wanted to be. She was confident and proud, her muscles were lean, defined and beautifully sculpted. “I thought, someday I want to feel that I deserve to pose nude like that. Not yet, but someday.”
Ironically, one of the first things that greeted her when she walked into the gym was a nude image of bodybuilder Lisa Lyon.
She said: “I found myself staring and realized this was the image of who I wanted to be. She was confident and proud, her muscles were lean, defined and beautifully sculpted.
“I thought, someday I want to feel that I deserve to pose nude like that. Not yet, but someday.”
Patti worked on her body over months and years and said that though she became strong and fit, she often had times when she did not like what she saw in the mirror.
She said: “I used to tell myself, how dare you feel insecure, look at the abdominal muscles centring your body, look at your legs, which can run miles and push heavy weights.
Happier times: A Reagan family portrait from 1985, showing Nancy and Ronald Reagan, front centre, and Patti Davis, far right
“Look at the power reflected there and feed off that. The body I had once disrespected, that I had ruined with drugs, was now my therapist.”
THE LIFE OF PATTI DAVIS
The American actress, author and daughter of President Reagan is known as the “black sheep” of the Reagan family.
She is known for holding liberal viewpoints, which clashed often with her famously conservative father.
During his presidency it was already known to the press that she held a pro-choice viewpoint on abortion, supported gay rights, and opposed nuclear weapons. Also at the time of her father”s election to the White House she was unmarried and living with her boyfriend.
She was romantically involved with Bernie Leadon from The Eagles in the 70s and eventually married her yoga instructor. They later divorced.
Patti later reconciled with her parents, especially as they coped with her father”s Alzheimer”s disease. She supported her mother during her father”s lengthy public funeral in 2004.
She wrote books that portrayed her family in a more positive light, portraying her father as deeply religious.
She was addicted to drugs from the age of 15 to her late twenties.
When Patti was 42, in 1994, she was asked to pose for Playboy at a time when most of the Playboy models were half her age.
But finally the moment that she promised herself, that Lisa Lyon”s moment, had come.
She told More: “I wanted what I’d envisioned all those years earlier, and I wasn’t willing to compromise. I knew, given my reputation as the rebellious First Daughter – although
my father was out of office by then – that I’d get criticized for doing Playboy, but I didn’t care.
“I wasn’t doing this to spite my parents, I was doing it for me. This was my victory lap.
This was standing naked in front of the world when it was a miracle that I was even still in the world.
“I am proof that it isn’t that easy to die, because from the age of 15, well into my twenties, I was working on dying. Most addicts are.”
Now, at 58, she said that working out is still a priority for her and as natural as brushing her teeth.
When her kick boxing instructor told her that she looks better now than she did when she posed her Playboy she decided she would do another shoot.
The resulting photos portray a woman half her age and is a testament to the fruits of her labour.
She insists that she has had no work done from the neck down but admits that she did have a facelift when she was 50.
However she does recognise that her body is changing and that her 58 years is most prevalent on her elbows.
She said: “I’m quite upset with my elbows. If you took a close-up photo of them, you’d think, “Wow, very old person”.
“There is actually a plastic surgery procedure for tightening the skin on the elbows, but that seems a bit excessive to me, not to mention costly.
“I risked everything in my teens and twenties. I risked my health and even my life. I got both back through determination and hard work. I’ve now learned to respect time as the precious commodity that it is, and I’ve learned to respect my body.”
Read the full article in the June issue of More magazine.