The Art of the Centerfold #33

Nancy Jo Hooper
(Miss February, 1964)


Vanwall said...

Ah, that wonderful lighting from those halcyon days.

Chris Rywalt said...

It's also the printing technology of the time and the age of the paper, not just the lighting.

What intrigues me more is the way the human body actually seems to change according to the fashion of the day. How does that happen? Nude people just don't look like they used to. Is it a selection bias? Do people only photograph certain shapes of other people? Or do people's bodies actually change shape the way hemlines go up and down?

I mean, look at those hips and that waist. No one in any magazine is shaped like that any more.

Vanwall said...

They used to have a set manner of lighting, that was instantly recognizable as a Playboy shoot - I vividly remember some of those as a kid, and they aged well - this pic is prolly as good as it ever was, so I wish they would use those printing processes today!

I think real-life nude people are the same, in general, although adolescent females seem thinner - especially in magazines, but we know those are an artificial reality, anyways. Nancy Jo looks so much more real, tho.

Brent McKee said...

Apparently what we find sexually attractive changes over time - time being measured in decades. There's a blog called "Vintage Pulchritude" that has nude photos from the turn of the last century and on, to probably the late 1940s or early 1950s. There's a stark contrast even to Nancy Jo's period let alone to ours.

I read somewhere once that the reason that men found Marilyn Monroe sexually attractive (on a subconscious level) had a lot to do with her broad hips - good for child-bearing - and the size of her breasts - good for feeding babies, and for a generation that had either been in the war or teenagers during it that was important. The sexually attractive woman of the 1920s (based on the more popular stars of the day and the sort of woman seen in pictures of flappers) tended to be thin and small breasted - almost flat chested.

There was movie from the 1970s where a guy is defending his thesis and someone on the panel critiquing it claimed that the description of Daisy which verges on the boyish is somehow a homosexual fantasy. It's nothing of the sort of course, merely a depiction of the ideal from Fitzgerald's period. A book written in the 1950s when the ideal was in the Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Betty Page style would probably elicit a similar response from people in the 1920s (and quite possibly people today).

Chris Rywalt said...

I know there's a fashion in desire; what I'm wondering is, do the bodies change shape, or do we just photograph different bodies depending on the fashion?

In other words, are there young women out there shaped just like Nancy Jo here, only we don't see photos of them because, for example, the editors of Maxim aren't interested? Or have women's bodies actually changed due to fashion, and Nancy Jo's shape doesn't exist any more?

I think our bodies do respond to culture more than we think. Some of this is purely physical: I think your body's shape is actually changed by its clothes, depending on how tight-fitting they are. An extreme example is the woman who keeps tightening her corset until she gets a very tiny waist.

Some of this is probably due to mind-body interactions. It's all interesting to me, though.

If you can find a modern young woman with Nancy Jo's shape, by the way, then you are lucky indeed. Marry her!

Tom Sutpen said...

In other words, are there young women out there shaped just like Nancy Jo here

It depends what you mean by 'young', but I think I can report that they exist. I've seen them. Problem is, they don't appear in magazines because (sadly, I think) they're no longer the erotic standard.

only we don't see photos of them because, for example, the editors of Maxim aren't interested?

That's pretty much it. For some reason (and I'll never understand it fully), editors of what used to be called 'Girlie mags' today yearn for that look women can only attain through multiple sessions on an operating table. I have a suspicion these clowns are all surgery fetishists, but I can't prove it.

Whatever the case, I don't think they're really interested in women (make of that what you will).

Chris Rywalt said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Tom.

Vanwall said...

I think the WWW will be a leveller of sorts - more pictures are available of non-Maxim-style women than ever before, and I think it's bound to make a difference in perception and action upon same. The real harbinger is the Japanese sex-fad-fashion trends, with their near total commitment to whatever suites one's fancy - they often use non-fashionable Western forms, then bleed back over into the West's popular culture. Not that that's good, particularly, but I think it will eventually become the pop norm to be non-blonde and less well-endowed.

Christopher Westcott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

In 1964 I believe most girls were still wearing girdles which would, over years, taper the waist (to a degree). You can see that her arms, hips, and thighs would never be permissible in today's Maxim or Playboy. In this day and age she'd be told how fat she was and encouraged to eat less. Makes me sad as she is utter gorgeousness.

James Reese said...

Nancy Jo Hooper was really Nancy Harrison from Spartanburg SC. I'm trying to locate her for a Spartanburg High School reunion, but even Playboy has no info on her. Any leads would be appreciated.