Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nippled and Dimed

Vanity Fair published this video slideshow when Walter Iooss’s book “Heaven” came out. It has narration by Iooss about some of the photos, including this statement about the famous Cheryl Tiegs shot: “To have nipples showing was very provocative in ’77. And by the way, we can’t show nipples in 2010 in the magazine, so things have sort of backtracked.”
That’s kind of fascinating. I think the swimsuit issue has gotten more blatantly sexual as the years have gone by. It’s made a transition from a frolicsome diversion to a straight-up girlie magazine. (I’ll go into that some other time, probably. I have mixed feelings about it.) And yet, the nipples have disappeared, sometimes blatantly so. I remember being confused by this 1986 picture of windsurfer Jenna de Rosnay:
How could those be allowed in a mainstream magazine, one that didn’t even have to be hidden behind the counter at the 7-11? I imagined that the letter of the law stated that the nipples had to be covered, leaving a loophole regarding what they were covered with. If it was translucent, so be it. So nipples were pretty common, pre-2000.
Elle Macpherson, 1989

Stacey Williams, 1996

Heidi Klum, 1998

But they came to a hard stop around the dawn of the 21st century. Then they started to be airbrushed out. Some of the more egregious examples:
Frankie Rayder, 2004

Irina Shayk, 2008

Brooklyn Decker, 2010

Jessica Perez, 2012

Some guy at a site called Celebutopia even took the liberty of scanning some uncensored 2011 photos from SI’s “Fantasy Islands” book, in which the nipples are free to be viewed behind their damp wrappings.
Alyssa Miller

Hilary Rhoda

Izabel Goulart
Why dress the models in translucent suits, only to remove the nipples? Personally, I’m not salivating to see the nipples—there are plenty of places to go for that. But the Barbie breasts are pretty distracting and unnerving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't really bother me that the mag has a no-nipples policy, as long as it they only published pictures on which there were no visible nipples. Airbrushing them out is just plain weird. Generations are growing older without knowing how real boobs look like.