Friday, May 31, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Natasha Barnard

Natasha, 25 today, made a couple appearances in the swimwear issues of the now-defunct SI South Africa.
She parlayed that into US rookiehood this year.
She might be my favorite 2013 rookie.
(I can’t decide between her and Emily DiDonato.)

By the way, photographer James Macari has some fantastic (and huge) photos from his 2013 shoot with Natasha (and Alyssa, Anne, and Nina) on his site. Check them out—they’re gorgeous. There’s a lot less (or a lot better) retouching on them, so the photos have a darker and more genuine feel.
I really think SI could take a cue from this. If the issue was filled with more candid-feeling shots like these, it could be pretty incredible. Instead, the magazine has taken to sanding away all wrinkles, folds, freckles, goosebumps, etc.—anything that could be seen as a “flaw.” Take a look at this comparison—SI on top, Macari’s personal Tash stash on the bottom.
I feel confident Macari’s image has been tinkered with. But it just feels like a more genuine snapshot. The difference in retouching is most apparent at the top of the chest, but everything (even the shadow contrast) looks more human on the bottom pic. The top one, especially in direct comparison like this, takes us to Uncanny Valley.

Anyhow. Here’s the birthday girl in FHM.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pinups Within Pinups

I get a giddy little thrill when models display their own SI photos at launch events.
It’s almost its own subgenre of photo. “Here I am in eveningwear, displaying a photo of me in a bikini.” 
This puts me in mind of another subgenre that pops up from time to time. “Pinups Within Pinups.” Sometimes the girls will pose with images of other swimsuit girls in the shot.

Sometimes, it’s the same girl. For example, in this photo (I believe from 2004), we see Elsa Benitez posing in a bikini, showing us a photo of Elsa Benitez in a bikini.
Isabeli Fontana has somehow been given a bikini decorated with self portraits in this shot from 2003.
And in this “intimate” video from 2011, Izabel Goulart snaps a bunch of selfies and festoons her body with the Polaroids.

Sometimes the secondary pinup is worn by the SI model. We’ve previously enjoyed Amber Smith’s 1993 bathing beauty tattoo.
Jarah Mariano wears a swimsuit girl pattern on her top in 2008.
In 2009, Jessica Hart wears a bikini bottom, and a shirt with a bikini bottom design on it.

And sometimes, the pinup is just part of the scenery. Like Jessica White and Ariel Meredith on these boats in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Or Damaris Lewis and Genevieve Morton on these planes in 2010.
In 2002, Chandra North and Josie Maran found themselves in some kind of shack wallpapered with local pinups.
And in this preview tweet for 2011, Julie Henderson models what I’m sure is my favorite beer, without my even having to taste it: Bikini Blonde Lager.
I think part of the joy for me is the tacit endorsement. The models seem to be saying, “Yup, pinups of bikini babes exist. We’re cool with them. After all, we are them.”

And if Julie, Chandra, Ariel, and company approve of photos of bikini girls, who am I to feel guilty about enjoying them?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Three Hot Months

Catching up on some nice magazine appearances by our girls.

April
Esquire Mexico had a nice, racy Nina Agdal spread.
May
Anne V is (according to my meager Spanish) a “woman of risks” in GQ Mexico. 
June
Then, just when it seems like all our models have fled south, the June US Vogue brings us a very pretty, very retro, and very WASP-y Kate Upton spread

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

One-Piece Wednesday: Josie Maran, 2002

Happy 35th birthday, Josie.
She joins Stacey Williams as one of the women I'd love to see get a massive retrospective.

Look, I love Elle Macpherson. You know this about me. She's my single favorite model. But Swim Daily featured the same collection of Elle throwback photos twice in barely a month. Let's reexamine some lesser known ladies!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hannah Davis

The 2013 rookie is 19 23 today.
Nineteen. Twenty-three.

I haven’t posted a “Rookie Math” this year like I did for 2011 and 2012, because I’m having a really hard time figuring out who the 2013 rookies look like. Hannah is the only girl I’ve figured out. I believe she’s a blend of Kristy Hinze and Ana Beatriz Barros.
Happy 19th. 23rd.
UPDATE: Speaking of math... Somewhere I got some faulty info that Hannah was born in 1994. A sharp-eyed commenter pointed out, she’s 23, born in 1990. Somehow, that makes me feel a little more responsible staring at her.