This is the most famous centerfold from Playboy magazine. It is probably the most famous image ever produced by any magazine. The model is Marilyn Monroe and the photo comes from the first issue of Playboy in 1953. As we can see, Monroe was a natural beauty: soft, curvy, feminine, and enticingly vulnerable. Whatever she sadly became later in her life, she will always be known as the first and the most influential of all supermodels and sex symbols.
As far as this particular photo, it is rather remarkable, seeing that it is the first mass produced nude photo in American history. Playboy is often considered by the more conservative elements in society (as well as traditional feminists) as the beginning of all porn and smut, a truly evil and degenerate institution, but as we can see from this photo the early nudes of the magazine are quite tame. Throughout its history Playboy always maintained a certain standard of class and beauty in its nudes. As all men know (since most men today were born after the advent of Playboy and have therefore been exposed to and influenced in some way by Playboy), the Playboy centerfold was the gold standard of female beauty. The greatest compliment men could make about a girl’s looks would be to say that she could be a Playboy model. Even in the age of the internet and the diversified world of erotic imagery, Playboy still maintains its traditional standards of nude beauty.
There is a nice, simply beauty to this photo. I particularly love the contrast between the red, satin background and Monroe’s soft, white skin. Unlike many of the artificially manufactured models of today, she was truly a natural beauty, and her sinuous pose only enhances her form. There is no plastic surgery here, no fake breasts, nothing artificial except her hair coloring, which is not a natural blonde. But that is merely a small quibble. Overall, she was a pure beauty. As an actress she was not bad either, and unfortunately her tragic death robbed her of the chance to grow as an actress.
Still, despite all that, Monroe will always be remembered as the first and greatest sex symbol of the modern world. This is the centerfold by Playboy that introduced her to the world. Hated by both religious nut cases, anal retentive conservatives, and bitch harpy feminists, this photo is now a part of American culture, an iconic symbol of the enjoyment that so many of us have in pure and natural erotic and feminine beauty.