From the archive
How far we’ve come only makes it all the more striking that Fawcett’s poster had such an enormous cultural impact, selling 12 million copies in 1975, and making her a star. This was the height of the sexual revolution, after all, a time when – if Dazed and Confused is to be believed – teenage girls raced to reveal bikini-impact skin while sitting in English class. And yes, there was Farrah, essentially modeling what the Jantzen diver wore during Prohibition. The neck on Farrah’s red suit was a bit deeper, and there was her smile, whiter than white. Whereas Bardot’s bikini and pout made her a vivid, voluptuous sex kitten, Farrah, grinning in her red one-piece, was an All-American Girl, just having a nice time at the beach and displaying only a hint of sexuality. The French may flaunt it, but deep down, we Americans still like our sexuality suggested. And then taped to the wall.