Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Chandra North

She’s always held a deep allure for me.

In the late 90s, her seductive dark hair was cut fairly short, giving her a thoughtful & brooding look.By the early 2000s, she’d let her hair grow out, making her appear more feminine and playful.Happy 38th, Chandra.

Friday, July 29, 2011

When You Ogle the Swimsuit, The Swimsuit Also Ogles You

Every so often, a face peers out from the body of a swimsuit model. This phenomenon can be anywhere on a spectrum from cute to disturbing.

Take this 1990 photo of Judit Masco and Akure Wall.The faces are big and friendly, cartoony and innocent. The overall effect is cute, emphasized by the models’ “speak no evil, hear no evil” poses.

Then there’s this. Michelle Lombardo from 2005, with a cat gazing from her bikini bottom.This is just as cutesy and cartoony as the previous photo, but I can’t help thinking there’s a visual pun here, one I can’t quite put my finger on, that keeps it from being categorized as “innocent.”

(In 2011, Brooklyn Decker took the cat imagery to a whole new level.)Then we move on to Jessica White’s painted-on suit from 2009.A Pompeii-inspired pair of eyes glares a few feet south of Jessica’s. The effect is getting unsettling.

And then there’s Stacey Williams from 1998.13 years later, and I’m still scratching my head over this one. I’m all for Jesus, but as Courtney Love said in “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” “Nobody on this planet wants their religion and their porn mixed together.”

(That is Jesus, right? And Mary?)

It’s especially frustrating because Stacey is one of my all-time favorites. I frankly don’t think there are enough photos of her.

And one of them has a dose of Catholic guilt built right into it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One-Piece Wednesday: Lucia Dvorska, 2009

While looking through Lucia pics the other day, I came across this beautiful one-piece photo.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One-Hit Wonder: Lucia Dvorska (2009)

I didn't get around to posting this on her birthday, which was Thursday. But I thought I'd send a shout-out to Lucia Dvorska.

She's a very fragile-looking model.Those huge doe eyes, the thin facial structure. Even when she makes eye contact and smiles, she seems a little timid.She’s from Slovakia, and those peasant genes may make her a little soulful. She looks like she’s venturing out for the first time in the week since her boyfriend broke up with her.
I’m doing great. No, it was for the best. Let’s sing some karaoke.

Whatever it is, it works. I’d love her to appear again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One-Piece Wednesday: Paulina Porizkova, mid-80s

Another situation where I'm not sure of the year, but I seem to recall this image from one of the mid-80s wall calendars.Paulina captured my imagination more than most models. Something seemed dark and mysterious about her, and I recall reading an interview with her in which the writer was amazed that she ordered a cheeseburger or something. "Modeling sucks anyway," Paulina was quoted as saying. The fact that she could make her living by allowing people to stare at her body, and simultaneously be so dismissive about it, made her seem dangerous.

[EDIT: Ha! I found the interview, from a 1985 People. I remember now, it was my first exposure to the word "fatteningest."]

I also bought this 1986 issue of Life and hung the pics on my bedroom wall.There was one magnificent 2-page spread of her in a black-and-tan one-piece with an open midriff and crossover straps... Man, I wonder if I'll ever find that shot again...

UPDATE 1/29/12: Found it! It's even more beautiful than I remember.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

They Couldn't Stop Messing with Kathy

In a post back in January, I pointed out a photo of Kathy Ireland from 1993, and how at some point they erased Kathy's hand.I recently happened upon this image of the cover from that year's making-of video.Not only is it clearly a flipped photo, but they've also redesigned Kathy's bikini bottom. Was there something untoward about the red plaid section?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hottest Bikini Shots

A couple months ago, the folks at Complex.com put together a list of the 50 Hottest Bikini Shots of All Time. Aside from a few inaccuracies (including a hazy idea of what constitutes a “bikini”), it’s a great list.

Predictably, there are lots of SI girls, and near the end of the list it’s almost a Tourette-style tirade of swimsuit issue covers.

#44: Paulina Porizkova
They refer to this shot as coming from 1987, but it’s from 1985. My first swimsuit issue, seared in my memory.

#43: Christie Brinkley
They list this as from 1975, but it's actually from 1981. It was good enough for SI to recreate it with Marisa Miller almost a quarter century later.
#41: Brooklyn Decker
The only SI girl in a non-SI setting. Nice choice.
#34: Kathy Ireland
From Complex’s description:
“This image was a cornerstone in Ms. Ireland’s career because it was a ridiculously long time coming for the S.I. vet. After 13 consecutive appearances in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, she had finally earned a solo cover.”

Welllllll, 1992 was Kathy’s ninth consecutive year, not her thirteenth. (She was in twelve altogether.)

Also, she had her first solo cover three years earlier, in 1989 (the 25th Anniversary issue).

Finally, by specifying that she “finally” had a “solo cover,” they seem to imply that the cover she shared with Elle Macpherson and Rachel Hunter came out earlier than this one. In fact, it came out two years later, in 1994.

#32: Babette March
Still a sexy photo. Babette is an artist with her own gallery now.
#30: Irina Shayk

#23: Elle Macpherson/Kathy Ireland/Rachel Hunter

#20: Niki Taylor
Not what I’d call a bikini, but certainly a good choice for One-Piece Wednesday.

#18: Marisa Miller

#17: Elsa Benitez

#16:ValeriaMazza/Tyra Banks

#15: Cheryl Tiegs
Yum. One of the giants on whose shoulders stand Irina, Marisa, Brooklyn, etc!

#14: Christie Brinkley
Another pioneer. This may have been the skimpiest bikini on the cover to date (1981).

#12: Petra Nemcova
Eight years later, and she’s still adjusting those strings.

#6: Beyoncé

#2: Tyra Banks
Tyra’s intro to the all-bikini 1997 issue is the highest-rated SI bikini shot on the list. (I call for an asterisk, as #1 is Farrah Fawcett in a red one piece.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Going Fourth

How to celebrate Independence Day?

With photos of models with American flags, from the all-America 2004 issue?With pics of California girl Rebecca Romijn in red, white, and blue bikinis?With a celebration of the two models who share a birthday with the country?Or with an acknowledgment of the East Asian origin of fireworks?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kate Upton is Still Not Ashamed of Her Boobs

Via Guyism, a new campaign for SoBe featuring a young up-and-coming model you may have heard of. The concept: stare as long as you can at Kate Upton's huge, round, beautiful eyes.
Apparently, there's some sort of online aspect to this, where you can challenge Kate to a staring contest, but I can't get it to load. I only get a tantalizing hint on the front page, in which Kate asks, "Do you think you have what it takes to keep eye contact? We'll see..."Perhaps, one day, we will.