In contrast to the models of the 60s - with their birdlike frames and stylized hair and makeup – models of the 1970s embodied strength and natural beauty. Cheryl Tiegs defined the so-called California look.
Tiegs had started her career modeling for youth-oriented magazines like Seventeen and Glamour. After a two year break from modeling, she started working for high fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar. But it was Tiegs’ long association with Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue that made her a star with mainstream appeal.
In March of 1978, Tiegs was featured on the covers of both Time and Newsweek, solidifying her fame beyond the beauty and fashion industries. When a pinup poster of Tiegs in a pink bikini was released later in 1978, she bumped Farrah Fawcett off the walls of several million adolescent American boys.
When she shot the poster, Tiegs was 30 years old. Another model of the day explained why Tiegs’ age didn’t seem to matter, even in an industry often obsessed with youth. "Part of the change is feminism…and part is that everyone is exercising, keeping themselves together. But a lot of it is just Cheryl. She has that incredible face, and her body is the best in the business."
Annie Sprinkle is an ex-sex worker, porn producer and actress, artist and writer. She has often produced work that deliberately shows how bodies and images are manipulated for the purpose of fantasy in pornography.
Anatomy of a Pin-Up shows Sprinkle as a fantasy image but then addresses the reality of achieving that look by playfully explaining the process of preparing the shot. For instance, the boots may look great, but they’re 1 ½ sizes too small, with excruciatingly high heels and take 19 minutes to lace up. And as she notes, “I can’t walk and can barely hobble. My feet are killing me.”