Fashion magazines of the 1970s were graced by many beautiful women, and this fresh-faced girl from Minnesota became one of the mainstays- Cheryl Tiegs.
Tiegs graced the covers of Glamour, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and most women’s magazines of the ’70s, starting her career as a model for Teen Magazine when she was seventeen.
Chosen for the cover of Sports Illustrated’s hot-selling Swimsuit Issue in 1970 and 1975, Tiegs joined Farrah Fawcett as the poster girl that graced the bedroom and locker room of many young men. Tiegs became a household name with her bathing suit images, despite her fashion modelling career.
Her lithe athletic body, shoulder length blonde hair and 5’10” height was a fave of the SI crew, but it was her notorious bathing suit image from 1978 that spread like wildfire. Not knowing her suit had gone translucent after being in the ocean, Tiegs emerged to the delight of the male photographers and posed for almost an hour, causing a sensation when the images went into print.
I remember seeing her on the cover of the magazines at the grocery check out and wishing I had the blonde hair and was tall like Cheryl. She seemed cool and confident and to me, and was the epitome of a pretty girl. I remember one of my classmates, when we were supposed to be creating collages using images from magazines and catalogues, snipping out photos of Cheryl and tucking them into his desk, to sneak a peek at later.
Her modelling career was later overshadowed by her personal life, with her three marriages, including one to noted fashion and wildlife photographer Peter Beard. Modelling also led her to acting, with sporadic roles in several tv series and independent films.
Recently she was a judge on ABC’s True Beauty, adding her two cents on which girls had model qualities. Yet to boys and men of the 1970s, Cheryl Tiegs was the swimsuit pin-up, with the wholesome smile and the sexy bod.