Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking Playmate

EDITORS NOTE: Shortly after posting the below entry (which included 4 examples of playmates of years past) I recieved notice that the photos 'violated terms of use' of where they were hosted, my private photobucket account. However, only 2 of the four violoated said policy. Apparently it seems that nudity = pornography. Which I strongly disagree with, but I also don't want to move my picture storage to a paysite. So, I'm removing 2 of the beautiful pictures. If photobucket somehow realizes there are two more that violate the terms, my apologies for the big red 'violation' boxes. I've put a link in place of the pictures, which leads to a location where you can view lots of lovely vintage Playmates...

This is something I've definitely noticed, having been a fan of, and collector of, Playboy magazine for many years. It's the very reason that I collect vintage issues, instead of purchasing the new ones. Not only has the length of articles shrunk, so have the waistlines of the models.

Wired crunched the numbers and found out that the BMI of the average Playmate has decreased from 19.4 to 17.6. Now, of course this assumes that the numbers provided to Playboy are true (and lets be honest, the models that claim to be 5'8", 36C and 105 pounds are probably lying, or misinformed) but the fact is that the models in the 70's issues were probably lying just as much as the models of today.

It should be noted that a BMI of 17.6 is actually considered to be "underweight" and "unhealthy", while 19.4 is within the "healthy" range. 19.4 is still quite slim, if we accept the averages that the Body Mass Index works on. (Of course it should also be noted that the BMI is not the most accurate way of determining if you are healthy or fit - differences such as bone mass, muscle to fat ratio, age and body type should be considered as well, but BMI is the most commonly used tool.)

Among other notable changes to the average playmate are a reduced back to bust ratio - as in, they are all still claiming to be C cups, but the average rib cage has decreased from a 36 to 34 (although, 99% of playmates don't know their REAL bra size - statistics my own) and also have significantly less hair. Everywhere.

What does this mean? Do men really like more androgynous women, thinner, with less hair? Or is Playboy missing the mark? Is there a connection to their falling sales?

I would love to see a mens magazine launch that features the currently popular Pin Up look, with models who have higher BMIs, natural busts, natural booties, and some hair. Maybe even retro tan lines and styling. I would even love if they published great lengthy articles by top-notch authors, like Playboy did at one time. I don't doubt it would find an audience and success. Anyone wish to finance such a venture? I'll happily be the model editor and lingerie stylist. In fact, I think that would be my dream job.

Here are a few of my favourites from the heyday of Playboy:

Rosemarie Hillcrest

Sally Sheffield

see more here:

1 comment:

SVCON said...

Can I work for your magazine? I can write my own honeymoon planner column, "Dear Hussy." In other news, I would love to be a featured illustrator. I'm inking right now,in fact.