In the magazine, 1983’s Miss America Vanessa Williams stirs up controversy when nude pictures of her posing with another woman were published. These pictures simulated lesbian acts that were photographed in earlier years. Her reign ended early and the crown was taken away from her. Since she was an icon for American woman, this incident was shocking at the time. As a young girl, I can recall hearing people discussing the news.
What I did not recall at the time was the news of its centerfold, Traci Lords. However, as years went on her name became more and more popular. It was later discovered Traci was only 15 when she posed for the magazine. Today, under the laws of Child Pornography, owning a copy of the magazine with the centerfold intact is illegal. Her appearance in the magazine kicked off her career. She quickly became known in the adult video industry and is considered the first porn queen. Because of her underage status in the films, all but one “Traci, I Love You” (made when she was over 18) are illegal in America. The industry had to remove hundreds of her videos and magazines with her naked pictures from circulation which cost them millions. This scandal made her famous or infamous actually.
I remember just hearing the name and thinking, slut, whore or anything else derogatory. The boys wanted to date her and the girls hated her. She was the first porn star to have her name known by everyone. She made mainstream front page headline news.
As a result, Ronald Reagan and other politicians made it a priority to change pornographic laws and to protect innocent people from exploitation. For years afterward, anyone affiliated with Traci’s films faced legal problems. Traci on the other hand was never charged. The controversy still continues!
Sources: Wikipedia, Tracilords, Crime Library and tranquileye