Hoaxes & Rumors

Debunked: TIME “Perfect Body” Photo from 1955

Debunked: TIME “Perfect Body” Photo from 1955

A photo which has circulated online for several years allegedly shows TIME magazine’s definition of a “perfect body” from 1955.

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False Caption

The black and white image of an lovely brunette wearing a bikini was not taken in the 1950s. Let’s first take a look at what has been circulating for several years, promoted heavily in recent years by internet “fact” pages.


The image which has circulated for several years is a black and white image of porn star Aria Giovanni, who was also Penthouse Pet of the month back in September 2000 and Playboy’s Model of the Day in 2007. The photo actually dates back to around 2004, and was originally in color. The retro style of the photo is likely one reason it has convinced casual readers that it could have been taken in the 1950s. Several other images from the same photo shoot can be found easily online.

Perhaps another point of contention is that the style of the bathing suit, particularly the bottom, does not date from the 1950s. One-piece bathing suits were far more popular, and the two-piece suits that were around at the time covered significantly more than shown in Ms. Giovanni’s photo shoot. Below is a photo of typical bathing suits from the 1950s.

1950s bathing suits

Bottom Line

The photo which allegedly shows TIME magazine’s “perfect body” from 1955 is actually a modern photo of Penthouse Pet Aria Giovanni, who was born in 1977. The photo was converted to black and white and a false back-story was added to imply this was a 1950s pinup model.

Updated January 9, 2016
Originally published March 2015

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