In the beginning, the appeal of Playboy Magazine was that it showcased the proverbial “girl next door” type — allowing men to drift into a world of fantasy where they could peek in on their attractive young neighbor lounging around in her boudoir.
But these days — thanks to cheap carbohydrates and an appalling lack of self-control — the girl next door is more likely to sit on her couch stuffing her increasingly rotund face with chocolate-dipped Slim Jims. And instead of mirroring our growing national corpulence, Playboy has run in the opposite direction.
Those are the findings of this article in Wired, in which author Katharine Gammon plots the body mass index (BMI) of every playmate in history and compares them to the wider population. She found that while the average female BMI has spiked from 22.2 in 1960 to 26.8 in 2002, the average playmate BMI dropped from 19.4 in 1960 to 17.6 in the present day.
And that’s before subtracting the extra weight of breast implants, which only became popular in Playboy in the past decade or so.
To be fair, I am sure the average BMI of Playboy’s male readership has risen just as dramatically as the national female average, if not more. On the bright side, I remain a chiseled Adonis with windswept forelocks and a look that says “I am listening to every word.”