First, on pages 36 and 37, we’re treated to a spread of covergirl Tannia Rubiano, shot from the back:
(Sorry about the gutter. Sadly, I do not have a physical copy of the 1971 issue, so I had to create a screencap of the reproduction online.)
Then, a few pages later, we find Cynthia Korman, also demurely keeping her back to the camera (but still managing to show off some cleavage).
It’s interesting to note the way these two shots are described in the captions. A point is made of the fact that these girls are not wearing tops.
For Tannia, it describes “…the hotel’s private beach—accessible only by sea or air. In such seclusion tops and cares may be discarded; Tannia (center) does both…”
For Cynthia, the caption describes her attire as a “costume suited to sunshine and seclusion.”
Toplessness was rare and remarkable enough for it to be called out, where now it’s pretty commonplace. In fact, I believe it was another
eight eleven years before another topless bikini would appear in SI.