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A Magazine: SCOPE, April, 1979

I bought this 1979, April issue of Scope in Peter’s Antiques in Swakopmund, Namibia about 8 years back. They’re not so easy to come by since they stopped publishing in 1996.

Scope is another one of those very mannish historical items of past times that I’m drawn to. It feels like we unpack our current behaviour when looking at these items of times-gone-by except that I feel there are still strong influences at play which we overlook.

I found the sexual connotation in the below advert to be pretty interesting.

Ive added a few interesting articles, adverts and the pictorials here.

The stuff of dreams…
The first pictorial in this issue.

They had a sturdy reputation as South Africa’s top selling English magazine but funnily are better remembered as a “titty mag” even though, from a browse through this issue I notice how well put together the content is.
The selection of images represented here are only those which include something to do with the softer-sex, such as the “playmate” and the centre-fold.

There are no nipples and no stars in this 1979 issue, but a surprisingly well populated contents page including categories typical to mens mags: sports, crime, travel, politics, army, cars, sex, etc.

Note the below advert for baby products in the mag, I was surprised to find this in there.

My reference point for the brand had always been more sleazy but this is well researched and well written. I have no doubt it would rival any old issue of GQ for content. Overall it’s ‘pure masculinity’ for its time and the images in the sexy category are kind of saucy-but-sweet. Advertising content consists of text rich, full page ads for Pall Mall, Lion Lager, Pipers Scotch, Benson & Hedges, Blitz Firelighters, Campari and so on. Even DIY is a feature.

Scope was a weekly mens mag and became controversial for its content which challenges SA’s strict censorship laws during the apartheid era,- even swimsuit-wearing girls were a bit of a no-go for local print at the time. The “titty” elements are actually very tame, stars or not, but then thats me speaking all the way from 2020.
The models all evoke a kind of sweet, enticing and flirtatious tone. Their bodies remain un”photoshopped”, slender but shapely and individual. The styling of their swimwear invokes a tactual inflection.

I thought the below multi-page spread fascinating: Ouled wrestlers, quite homoerotic.

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