Girls Galore!: Photography in Australian Men’s
Magazines in the 1960s
Journal of Australian Studies
Figure 9 : Darl magazine, Sydney, c1966. Collection: author.
Men’s magazines have formed a significant part of Australian illustrated magazine publishing since 1936. In this article, I broadly survey the field up until 1971, concentrating particularly on bikini and nude photography, which defined the category. I then focus on the period of the 1960s, when men’s magazines were most relevant to Australia’s rapidly changing sexual politics and its censorship debates. I reveal that, although they were by their nature visually repetitious, far from being a marginal or trivial category, they were deeply implicated in the development of broader Australian visual culture and its sexual politics, and fundamental to wider innovations in publishing, as well as the careers of several important Australian photographers.
Great topic, Martyn! I’m amused to see that Australians also used that old trope that girlie magazines were important for giving young writers a chance to publish, a la the Playboy line about “I buy it for the articles”!