Counted in terms of subscription downloads added to the number of magazine units sold, Kim Kardashian's recent nude poster is about to overtake perhaps the most famous bathing suit poster ever sold.
Farah Fawcett's famous one-piece beach poster, replete with big locks of golden hair and noted perkiness in her upper body, helped usher in an entire generation of young teenagers to manhood. Selling more than 12 million copies, the mid seventies poster was long thought to be a sales record that couldn't be broken. That is, until now.
Kardashian's recent pose seems to have replaced the old standard of the "girl next door", with big hair and a flirty but unassuming smile, with one that says "I'm naked and I'm going to do you until you're bruised".
"Sign of the times", says Wilfred Ballington, print media analyst for the New York Times. "Instant gratification and all. Farah's look suggested that you might have to work for her attention, that romance and anticipation would need to be involved. The whole girlfriend fantasy was wrapped up in that single photograph. Today, everyone just wants it now." And that, Ballington argues, is what you get with the Kardashian pose. No waiting, no fantasy, no anticipation or mystery around what the sexual encounter might be like. It's already there, undressed and in your face.
"Don't get me wrong", added Ballington, "She's quite easy to pull a wank to", referring to Kardashian and pointing to a box of facial tissues sitting next to his computer monitor, "but I do miss the mystery and fantasy of a well photographed poster. Farah will always remind me of my youth".