A photo that later turned out to depict an adult video actress went viral earlier this month, along with the claim that the bikini-clad woman in the black and white shot had been selected by Time Magazine as representing the "perfect body" — back in 1955.
Why the photo received thousands of shares and retweets is pretty clear.
The woman in the photo — which merits no more than a PG rating, despite the actual profession of the model depicted — displays an ample bustline, a somewhat soft belly area and legs that are neither stick-thin nor as taut as titanium cables. In other words, the photo seemed to contradict the highly unrealistic beauty standards imposed on women in the media circa 2015, 60 years after the viral photo was supposedly taken.
Here is the photo of the alleged Time Magazine "Perfect Body" of 1955 in one of the hundreds of separate Twitter postings in which it appeared recently, mostly on "throwback Thursdays," an internet "tradition" in which Twitter and Facebook users post old photos of themselves and others once every week.
Time magazines definition of a perfect body, in 1955 #ThrowBack pic.twitter.com/9Aty1dHZ1AWhile the claim that a woman's "perfect body" six decades ago was considerably more realistic than today has an obvious and, of course, understandable appeal, there was only one problem with the photo — other than the problem of naming one specific body type as "perfect," a highly problematic concept.
— Total Woman Crush (@WomanCrushPixs) December 10, 2013
The pic was not taken in 1955. In fact, the model, though obviously dressed in retro beachwear with a corresponding hairstyle, was still 22 years away from being born in 1955.
The picture was snapped as part of a modeling session in 2004. The model is adult video performer Aria Giovanni, whose real name is Cindy Volk and who turned 27 on November 3 of that year — and who is now 37 years old.
Whether Giovanni herself, star of such videos as Alabama Jones and the Busty Crusade, and Thirteen Erotic Ghosts, had anything to do with the online hoax is not known. All that's for sure is that sometime in 2013, someone lifted the following photo of Giovanni from the 2004 photo shoot...
...and converted it to black and white — then posted it on Twitter as "Time magazine's 'perfect body.'" The photo reappeared on a Facebook account on March 5 of this year, according to the hoax-debunking site Snopes.com.
From there, there was no stopping the viral hoax.
While Snopes notes that the photo set from which the viral photo first surfaced online in 2010, a copyright notice on the photo itself clearly says "2004."
While the bikini shot of adult video star Aria Giovanni is definitely not Time Magazine's "Perfect Body" of 1955, the point that it makes about contemporary beauty standards certainly remains valid. And in fact, Giovani herself was named to the Complex.com "50 Prettiest Porn Stars of All Time" list in 2010.
[Image: Lukeisback.com/Wikimedia Commons]