Pin-up: A glamour model, fashion model or actress whose mass-produced pictures see wide appeal as popular culture. Pin-ups are intended for amusement. In other words, meant to be “pinned-up” on a wall. The term pin-up may also refer to drawings, paintings, and other illustrations done of these photos. The term was first used in English around 1941 but the culture has been documented back to the 1890s. The pin-up images could be cut out of magazines or newspapers, or be from postcards and so on. These photos or illustrations often would appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of pin-up girls were mass-produced and became an instant hit. The typical style of these photographs or illustrations were called Cheesecake Photography. The glory days of this stream were the from the late 1930s until the end of the 1950s.
These photo’s, like the famous photo of Betty Grable, showing off her ‘million dollar legs’ found great popularity amongst soldiers in WWII, that were far away from home. They would pin posters and postcards displaying these Pin-ups to their walls and lockers, where they were not only considered as sex symbols, but also as a symbol of patriotism, often wearing the colors of the flag and accompanied with patriotic slogans. Pinups would also be depicted on warplanes.
Women have been supporters and protesters of the pin-up. Female supporters of pin-up content considered it to be a breath of fresh air after the suffocating standard of beauty the Victorian time had put upon society, where there was a lot of taboo around the female body being shown for their beauty. It was supposed to be covered and women were supposed to be modest. Opposite to that, the protestors claimed that these images were lowering the female morality and lowering the standards of women, leaving them with no dignity and setting a bad example for young people.
With the progression of time, Pin-up obtained a huge popularity. Even governments discovered the power of the pinup and during WWII the American government made a very clever campaign using posters with the famous Rosie the Riveter, to stimulate women to take on jobs that until that time were only considered for men and because of WWII were not occupied. Although women took on male dominated trades during World War II, they were expected to return to their everyday housework once men returned from the war. Government campaigns trying to gather women were addressed only to housewives. One government advertisement asked women “Can you use an electric mixer? If so, you can learn to operate a drill.” Propaganda was also directed at their husbands, since many of them weren’t happy to support such jobs. This campaign proved to be successful as many women took on these jobs. After the war, many women returned to traditional work such as administrative positions, even though they were not keen on returning to a lower paid job. However, some of these women continued working in the factories. The name Rosie the Riveter is inspired on an a woman taking on a riveting job in this time. Until this day Rosie the Riveter still symbolizes feminism and female strength.
Nowadays the pinup culture still exists. Still a lot of artists, designers, models, musicians etc. are inspired by these old fashioned icons. A lot of women love this style because it exudes sensuality and sexuality without having to expose nudity. The nowadays culture is spread all over the world, accepting women, men and everything in between in all kinds of shapes, sizes, color or heritage.
Lots of love,
xoxo Miss Ginger Tulips