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Every Playboy Centerfold, Normalized - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Nov. 10th, 2003

01:53 am - Every Playboy Centerfold, Normalized

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You can't visit memepool and not find something that you have the irresistible urge to repost on your blog. It is a good thing that I only remember to visit that site once every few months.

In the spirit of statistically optimal music, I give you Average Porn.

The photographs in this suite are the result of mean averaging every Playboy centerfold foldout for the four decades beginning Jan. 1960 through Dec. 1999. This tracks, en masse, the evolution of this form of portraiture.



The change in hair color is the most strikingly obvious detail. I want to say it looks like they're getting skinnier too but I don't know if I'm reading that into the images based on my expectations or if that effect is really visible. It seems like the poses must not vary much. I've actually only seen like 2 actual playboy centerfolds so I don't have a lot of experience with the source images here.

Oh and completely unrelated, here are those VERY WRONG G. I. Joe remixes that I have mentioned to some people here and there.

Comments:

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From:domystic
Date:November 10th, 2003 06:10 am (UTC)

eigenpussy? shaken,not stirred?

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the first thing i noticed is that we seem to be getting whiter.
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From:szasz
Date:November 10th, 2003 07:13 am (UTC)

Re: eigenpussy? shaken,not stirred?

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My guess is that's improving photographic techniques over the years, or the result of scanning things from 40-year-old magazines which probably weren't well-preserved.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 10th, 2003 08:03 am (UTC)

Re: eigenpussy? shaken,not stirred?

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Since the hair color is getting blonder, I'd expect the skin tone to get lighter as well (unless of course half of those blondes are bleachers).
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From:szasz
Date:November 10th, 2003 07:15 am (UTC)
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There are usually several pages of photos in different poses, but yeah, there is usually one standard full-frontal pose. The stance in that pose does tend to vary considerably which is I'm sure why the bodies and especially the legs are so blurred in the composites.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 10th, 2003 08:12 am (UTC)
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Right, there's only the one actual multi-page fold out image.

That you can see the vague image of a body at all in images averaged over an entire decade suggests to me that the images don't vary much. There's definitely a set paradigm in which the poses all take place.

If you look around the artist's site he does a bunch of other photo averaging projects including a video averaging of each of the three big late night talk shows. It's pretty intense to see just how formulaic the introductions to those shows are as well.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 10th, 2003 08:15 am (UTC)
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Also invariant seems to be their basic body dimensions. I mean the fact that one can see torso, legs, head distinctions suggests to me that they're all about the same height-width ratio with the same leg-torso ratio. Though I guess that just "most" of them have to be average height and width for the average to come out like that...the rest get lost as blur.

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From:assclouds
Date:November 10th, 2003 08:47 am (UTC)
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There's also the fact that the centerfold pictures are layed out to fill out the entire height of the centerfold. I would think that most humans tend to have roughly the same dimensions (though clearly not all) and that actual height and width (as opposed to assuming average) doesn't really matter at all. That is, if the ratios of body dimensions are generally the same, the constraints of the format (the centerfold) will make all the models look roughly 'average height and width'.
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From:ke_jia
Date:November 10th, 2003 09:04 am (UTC)
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To me, the progression from left to right the composite model is not so much getting skinnier as she is turning sideways; the trend is that the poses are becoming more revealing, displaying rear as well as front ... erm, parts. Which may simply be confirming my expectations, as someone who has seem more than two playboy centerfolds. Both in the magazine and in real life.

I have no idea what caused the color variation, though I like the later background colors better than the earlier ones. The different skin colors are bizarre. Trends in airbrushing, perhaps?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:November 10th, 2003 09:31 am (UTC)
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Ah that's clever about the rotation.

Another possibility with the color could be just different lighting techniques too. I've certainly seen color photos of the exact same subject reveal a WIDE range of "redness" (or lack thereof) in the skin tone depending on the lighting conditions and development technique. Like twisting the "hue" or "color" knob on your TV.
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From:folkyboy
Date:November 10th, 2003 12:23 pm (UTC)
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it looks like the last one is covering up more than the others. & ya: she's the whitest
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