Playboy Retro: Girls of Hawaiian Tropic

By Staff

<p>It's not Girls of THE Hawaiian Tropic; It's Girls of Hawaiian Tropic. </p>

We’ve covered a lot of “Girls of…” in the last few weeks: Girls of Canada, Girls of Australia, California Girls. We’ve covered a lot of ground. And while it looks like the trend is continuing this week, it is in fact not. Not really.

This is not “Girls of the Hawaiian Tropic”; it’s “Girls of Hawaiian Tropic,” the suntan lotion. Back in the 1980s and ’90s this was a big deal. This suntan lotion sold bottles by the boatload thanks to its brilliant marketing strategy. It wasn’t anything new; people had been selling all manner of products by placing them next to a smoking-hot sex bomb. Just never on them…


It all started in 1969, with Ron Rice’s burning desire to save his skin from the Florida sun. Rice, then a high school chemistry teacher, figured he could concoct a natural tanning product that would work better than synthetics. So he went into his garage, threw some aloe, bananas, coconut oil, avocado and other good stuff into a garbage can, stirred well and—voilà—Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil was born. Soon after came his second brilliant idea: to show off his product on the perfectly tanned hides of the Girls of Hawaiian Tropic. Today, these bronzed ambassadors travel the world in their work uniforms—string bikinis—to promote the product in a most effective way. Hawaiian Tropic women have appeared in an MTV broadcast, at the Cannes Film Festival, at the Indy 500 and in Moscow’s Red Square. But until now, you’ve never seen quite this much of them. So put on a pair of sunglasses and start turning the pages. 


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