Tuesday, August 28, 2012

PBC Hall of Fame - Jennifer Liano (1970)

Although perhaps not as famed as some of her 1960's Hall of Fame predecessors, the first entry to appear in the 70's was 22-year old Jennifer Liano from California. With all of the glamor and glitz of Playmate styles of the day, Jennifer was an oddball of the pack, a free spirit with a maturity and talent that made her one of the finest girl-next-door's in Playmate history.

Look back at Jennifer's oddly extensive Cyber Club pictorial, and you'll note one main thing - this woman looks like she belongs in the 90's. Jenn's look is way ahead of her time, with a darkness that overlays milky white skin that immediately draws you to her features. Her spectacular face isn't something you see every day - heck, we haven't seen anyone quite like her in all the decades  of Playboy's history.

Of course, some photos of her pictorial were immediately iconic. When Jennifer sported her pigtails and batted those long lashes around some of the most beautiful eyes a woman could have, it's almost ethereal. Even today, it's almost an experience in itself just looking back through this woman's work, which she did so effortlessly. Every move isn't too calculated, just natural. There's no hint of nerve anywhere, just a pure sense for the camera, giving Miss Liano one of the great pictorials of all-time.
  • Face: A+
    There aren't really enough words to really describe just how fascinating Jennifer's face is. Her features are almost otherworldly in their balance and beauty, and it all starts with her amazing eyes. While the era was a great time for beautiful faces (we've gotten farther away from that tenet), Jennifer was above all of them in many ways. She had a dark, independent look that was emotional and almost lonely in several aspects. It was a face that drew you in and didn't let go.
  • Body: A+
    Although the obvious issue of exposure is always there with past Playmates, you can't avoid it with this girl - Jennifer has a fantastic body. Even though all you see is her toplessness, the balance and curvature of her figure is way ahead of its time. Although it isn't strong and hard like bodies of today, the suppleness contributes to this model's sheer innocence.
  • Talent: A
    As I said before, the overall darkness and almost gothic natural look of Jennifer was really what created her awesome persona. All of this wouldn't be possible without her strong penchant for the camera, knowing how to get just the right shots. While she benefited from stellar photography, Jennifer never got in her own way, which is more than can be said for several of today's ladies.
  • Pictorial: A+
    Jennifer's pictorial boldly sits at the top of most of the finest work of the 1970's. Miss Liano took all of her physical gifts and ran with it, producing a varied and colorful set that oozed personality and set a low-key but intriguing tone throughout. It's on par with even some of the finest pictorials of our day. Although that comparison isn't always fair, this one can hold her own.
  • Centerfold: A
    They just don't make centerfolds like they used to, and Jennifer's is a borderline classic. Those deep, sensuous eyes take hold. A tight pink pair of pants cling closely to her sleek waistline, hinting at much more underneath. It's just a fantastic shot.
  • Overall: A+
    With Jennifer, we had a model who could truly do no wrong. Even among my hall of famers, that's not a sure thing, with missteps here and there. But with Jennifer, what we saw is what we got, with consistent posing coupled with physically one of the finest models in 1970's Playboy magazine. Indeed, they found an unbelievable talent in this one, and it all comes down to her near-perfect face and amazing persona. There has never been another Jennifer Liano.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

PBC Hall of Fame - Cynthia Myers (1968)

1968's Cynthia Myers was another Playmate who didn't just reflect the trend of the times, but set the trend of the times. She was and is still an instant classic, and with her passing last year, it seems even more prudent that I write this post as an homage, as well as a tribute to one of the most popular Playmates ever.

Cynthia was more than a woman - the 18 year old model was Miss December in a year where she followed a strong performance by November's Paige Young. Connie Kreski eventually won the '69 PMOY title, but no woman would leave her mark on the Playboy world quite as much as Cynthia did, becoming one of the most recognizable girls from the 1960's.

Although Cynthia's pictorial set is meager by today's standards, you have to get a good feel for Cynthia to really appreciate what she brought to the table. She wasn't particularly edgier compared to other ladies of her time. It's really the pure beauty of Miss Myers that stunned her fans back then - large, glowing eyes combined with a voluptuous frame and spectacular, massive breasts that really anchored her persona. She was always understated in her presence, but physically, she was over-the-top in ways that still defy imagination today.

  • Face: A+
    Undoubtedly still one of the most recognizable faces in Playboy's history. With all of the cookie cutter Playmates that littered the scene in the mid 2000's, it's nice to look back on a true original that is Cynthia. Those eyes have still never been matched.
  • Body: A+
    Even by today's standards (or perhaps especially by our standards), Cynthia's body is bombastic and over-the-top in many ways. She was perfectly tapered, with a great structure, but it always comes down to her breasts. Cynthia's huge, natural boobs are a relic of the past, sadly. Making overly large breasts look so good is a delicate balancing act, and no one did it quite like Cynthia.
  • Talent: A
    Although it's difficult to gauge her talents from her pictorial offering, it's still apparent that Cynthia is always comfortable in her own skin. Understated albeit her outstanding body, Cynthia's game is to keep it simple.
  • Pictorial: A-
    Great, original photos, with perhaps not the quantity that we're used to now. Cynthia's movie star looks and intimate zeal always shine through.
  • Centerfold: A+
    With a meager pictorial, it all came down to this. Cynthia's centerfold photo is arguably the greatest centerfold of all time. Just this photo could vault her into my hall of fame alone. With an exceptional overhead shot showing off every 'showable' curve on her interesting body, and a wonderful look at those glamorous and deep eyes, this centerfold is the textbook for how all centerfolds should be done. Big, bold, and sensual.
  • Overall: A+
    It's really obvious to have Cynthia in any 'top Playmates' list, and it's not just as a nod to nostalgia. The youthful Miss Myers, the first Playmate to be born in the 1950's, stunned the Playboy world and launched a career that would make her one of the most exposed women of he era. She was as big a superstar as a Playmate could get. Even when we look back now, we're dumbfounded by her gorgeous eyes or her amazingly balanced body. Even with the vast physical gifts, she remains a grounded, subtle young lady in all of her photos. And now, she will be missed. To Cynthia!