Some actresses eventually gained enough stature in the industry where they didn't have to make such pictures, called "cheesecake," but virtually everyone did it starting out -- even Greta Garbo (think of the famous early picture of her in a University of Southern California track and field outfit). Carole Lombard was no exception.
Here's a photo of Lombard admiring gifts near a Christmas tree, while the viewer is encouraged to admire her legs (not hard to do!):
We don't have a date for the picture, but judging from her hair and her figure, we're guessing it's from the late 1920s, while she was either working for Mack Sennett or for Pathe. And it probably cheered up any number of editors who received it in the mail -- perhaps enough for them to run it in print during the Christmas season.