Shapely centrefolds

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7393.823 (Published 12 April 2003)
Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:823.1

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Are women changing or is Playboy?

  1. Petra M Boynton, lecturer (p.boynton@pcps.ucl.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, University College London, London WC1E 6BT
  2. St Bernard's Hospital, Southall UB1 3EU

    EDITOR—First, sexual images were blamed for causing sex crime. Now, it seems they're responsible for eating disorders too. Voracek and Fisher's analysis of the changing shape of Playboy centrefolds tells us more about the changing face of sexual material than the changing shape of women's bodies.1 The authors are correct to challenge existing research that claims that women in sexual materials represent the “hourglass” figure, but despite a more thorough analysis of Playboy, it is fair to point out that Playboy is only one sex publication and is well known for having close links with fashion and mainstream media.2


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    (Credit: BAL:KOBAL; REX)

    Had the authors chosen to analyse other magazines, they may well have seen an increase in women's shape, body size, …

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