Pin Up Girls

So, hooray for the new issue of Snippets! But with it I felt a little bit sad too, but it's speak your mind so i felt i oughta.

I know this won't be met well here, and I'll have an argument on my hands for sure- but I just wanted to say how I don't like pin up girls, and I don't like the way how the crafting world seem to accept them as heroines. Pin up girls and the burlesque is all based on one thing- and that's women being objects. Objects to pin up on your wall, objects to dance around in leather and feather boas. People say it's liberating- but if that's liberation, then I want to stay locked up. I'm not going to lie, I'm not happy with my body. In a perfect world I'd have less of a pouch, slimmer thighs, no cellulite, matching breasts etc etc, but I sure as heck know that taking my clothes off, putting on different 'sexier ones', caking myself in make-up isn't going to make me happy about it. I'm comfortable when I'm in the nip with my boyo, and I'd probably be kinda comfortable in other situations too, like life modelling or something, i don't know- nudists beaches, whatever. But I don't see how being comfortable has to mean being sexy too.

I get so angry when I see programs like Gok Wan's how to look good naked- and how does he tell people to look good naked? Wax everything, tan yourself up, bleach your hair, put on some slinky underwear, some super big high heels- basically, be everything you're not. Hide yourself. Put on a fucking mask while you're at it.

Pin up girls seem to get away with it because they've got curves, so they represent real woman- yeah, right. Not everyone's got curves. It's like people think their curves mean they're fat- they're not fat. They're tiny, they've just got wide hips and big busts. I never see people who look like them. Ever. But yeah, just because of that people are embroidering them onto t-shirts and walking around with these 'symbols of feminity' ablaze. Why do women always have to be represented sexually? It depresses me so much. 1940s style pin up girls are just an old version of the girls on Page 3 of The Sun. We don't talk about them as though they're something to aspire to be- so why should we do it with the 'vintage' ones?

I'm no saint. I love film stars from the ages of silver screen. I love them because they're beautiful. That's an awful thing isn't it? But I do. I love to look at them and I love to dream of looking like them. I guess there's something romanticised about the bygone era. I'd never look at a picture of, I don't know, Jessica Alba and think "She's so stunning, I wish I could be her" but because my idols are from the 1920s I think it's acceptable. (I don't really mean idols- I reserve that for people who actually did something. Lee Miller for example.)

So yes- I think the female form should be celebrated, but I think we should celebrate it for what it is, not what it could be with a dash of retouching here and there. So, keep the bush, dodge the make-up, wear the frumpy knickers with period stains and love yourself for who you actually are.

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117 replies since 13th September 2008 • Last reply 13th September 2008

I see what you are saying. I happen to like pin up girls, not particualarly naked ones. I like pin ups because of their hair and the clothing they wear. Which I guess is actually saying that I like the styles of hair and clothes from the 1920's the 1950's.

And thanks for saying what you said at the end. (= Women Power! Hehe

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you rock and i totally agree.

I am not gonna lie though. I do look at some every now and then and say "wow that is really pretty" but i enjoy pin up's for the artisticness of them. not all of them but a few. I hate that people think women should look like that, and i would never aspire to be them or try to look like them. But to me the putting on make-up and a lacy outfit for a picture is no different than body painting to be artistic. There is nothing wrong with pin-ups. It all comes back to the individuals perspective. If you see a pin-up as a hero for portraying femininity then there is a problem, but just enjoying it as something artisic is no different than this

when people see this statue they don't think "wow that is what it means to be a woman" and that's the way it should be with all art. nothing should make you define yourself.

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Yeah I get what you're saying- but it's that there isn't a male equivalent which bothers me.

and yeah, pin up girls have a great style- i love 1920s and 1950s fashion, but like in the snippets article it began with a snap of her in her undercrackers, which is the essence of the pin up. also, even when they are fully clothed a lot of the time they're pulling all these coy expressions or doing all these sexy faces and stuff. it's all sex, and it shouldn't be.

(also a lot of female nudes in art are entirely voyeuristic. I can't speak for the greeks and the fella who made the venus de milo, because at the time everything was sex based and there were male equivalents- but a lot of portraits which are supposed to be all arty and beautiful and aren't seen as 'porn' as such, were infact intended for that purpose. like this painting by velasquez that's in galleries and stuff, but originally it was painted to hang in someone's bathroom so they could wank over it. )

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I agree with your argument. I like pin ups as a fashion statement, but as an art history major, Women have been on display since the early days. Think venus of Wollendorf(well she is squat, round with big breasts)

Women have been objects of desire for ages. Now with TV shows like Girls Next door, and Pop tarts(Brit Spears) its like all girls have become "pin ups" or Show it alls. I don't know about you but I wouldn't want my daughter looking like Aubry O'day (who cares about the spelling- she looks horrible. everything is on show. I saw a pic of her in a see through dress. nothing on underneath eew)

but with the art of pinup, its the suggestion of sex that sells. And it seems in this world that sex sells.

There are "sex tapes" popping up everywhere. There is YouPorn(its a youtube for porn)

I think people are so used to seeing sex everywhere. That some men suddenly think all women are easy(or atleast in my city) and thats not cool. We are people too.

Woman need to discover Woman POWER! Embrace yourself, be who you are, not what society tells you to be. I always went away from the pack and was conciderd ugly for many years(I wore vintage clothing, no makeup, extreme hair, was into art, spoke German)

But when I moved to Europe, then to Asia, they concidered me beautiful. Then I relized that you need to believe in yourself.

But back to the mag.

I think they were trying to state woman power, its a more powerful, classy type of beauty. It hints at senuality, without screaming sex. Its like be control of your body.

well thats my 2 cents.

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I agree with you as far as what they wree created for, and how they are now, but there are a lot of old pin up girls from the 40's that I'm IN LOVE WITH because they WEREN'T like betty paige with a 17 inch waiste, and they weren't skinny, they were curey AND FAT [fat being a description, not an insult] and they wore the clothes because they were trying to show people that they could be damn sexy and still be larger. You don't have to be skinny to be sexy, though I suppose it does help. and I have to go but when I get home I will finish my argument... except I'm not arguing with you at all. I have to give you some names [I can't remember them at the moment] and they are AMAZING. Like, lopesided boobs and stretch markes and etc etc.

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i like pin up girls
and i wanted to post some of the history behind them and why so many ppl like the vintage pinups
and another thing you said you dont think pin up girls represent real woman well maybe not the ones today with al the air brushing and what not but im pretty sure back when monroe was doing pin up they didnt have all that techy pic stuff so it did represent real woman and i am not saying this because im a small girl because im not i gots me some jelly rolls lol but the difference between girls now and then is all the gluton and crap they put in foods that make it easy to gain weight and im sorry but ppl are lazyer now too maybe if we walked to the corner store more instead of getting into the car to drive 2 minutes maybe we would all be in better shape and im not dising anyone i am lazy to lol aand guilty of the same things and yes some ppl maybe have some genitic factors that make them naturally heavier then others but im saying their was alot less obeas ppl in the 1920s -1950s compared to now and ppl can look better its just harder to do it because of all the modern conveiences so maybe girls like that dont exist in this day and age because we are lazyer and have buses and washing machines etc etc

A pin-up girl or pin-up model is a model whose mass-produced pictures see wide appeal as pop culture. Pin-ups are intended for informal display. Pin-up girls are often glamour models, fashion models, and actresses.

Pin-up may also refer to drawings, paintings and other illustrations done in emulation of these photos (see the List of pinup artists). The term was first attested to in English in 1941; however the practice is documented back at least to the 1890s. The pin up images could be cut out of magazines or newspapers, or be from postcard or chromo-lithographs, and so on. Such photos often appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of pin-up girls were mass-produced.

Many pin ups were photographs of celebrities who were considered sex symbols. One of the most popular early pin-up girls was Betty Grable. Her poster was ubiquitous in the lockers of G.I.s during World War II. Other pin-ups were artwork, often depicting idealized versions of what some thought a particularly beautiful or attractive woman should look like. An early example of the latter type was the Gibson girl, drawn by Charles Dana Gibson. The genre also gave rise to several well-known artists specializing in the field, including Alberto Vargas and George Petty, and numerous lesser artists such as Art Frahm.

The term "cheesecake" is synonymous with pin-up photo. The earliest documented print usage of this sense of cheesecake is in 1934 [1], predating pin-up, although anecdotes say the phrase was in spoken slang some 20 years earlier, originally in the phrase (said of a pretty woman) "better than cheesecake". In the 1950s, for example, there was a magazine called Cheesecake that had a young Marilyn Monroe in a yellow bikini on its cover in 1953

A Brief history of Pinup Art

When or where did it all begin? The “art” of seduction. Pinup, glamour, and cheesecake as we generally think of it today began to gain popularity in the 1930’s. It was a time when the image of a pretty girl flourished. Whether it was a painted calendar; advertisement; or the photo pinups of Rita, Betty or Esther that the G.I.’s adorned their footlockers with. Pinup was a uniquely American art form.

Although beautiful women had been portrayed in print for years by the likes of Armstrong, Christy and wasn’t until Esquire magazine began publishing George Petty’s humorous one panel cartoons of out of this world girls being ogled, and propositioned by unlikely suitors, that the die was struck, and America's fascination with pinup took off like a rocket.

Classically trained illustrators like Petty, Rolf Armstrong, and Gil Evgren began creating some of the most memorable, technically exquisite “Americana” ever produced! Calendars; magazine covers; mutoscopes; and matchbooks became a personal view into the private lives of the girl next door. Pinup art continued to grow in popularity, and sophistication through the 1950’s.

There were magazine articles featuring the country's favorite artists, who through their depictions of these enticing beauties, had become household names. Pinups were everywhere! During WWII, in some cases they were a soldiers only link to their world back home. Movies were made about Pinup Artists and models…and most actresses of the time were considered pinups first then actresses. Marilyn Monroe was Earl Morans' favorite model before and after she became a movie star! Numerous celebrities throughout the last 75 years have posed for pinup and glamour artists.

However, by 1960 the classic “painted” pinup was all but dead. Either the public was asking for more, or publishers became aware of what they could produce and sell. Pinup Art became inappropriately lost within the sea of the sex industry. Paintings of attractive seductive women became increasingly more realistic, and explicit. Apparently in an attempt to compete with the photographs that were more an expression of the publics' fascination with nudity, than creativity or beauty.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of pinup art being produced today is not supported by years of study and hard work. The great pinup and glamour artist, Bradshaw Crandell, once said that he "deplored unskilled painting over innacurate drawing." Worse yet is the "pinup artist" that feels an Artograph, projector, or a traced photograph is the key to a good painting. Who's to say that this is wrong? It is however, a sure sign of the lazy and unskilled student of art. There are a few, a small handful, that feel the measure of an artist is to be able to actually draw and paint. When it comes to pinup art, this is truly the challenge to all who follow.

We have come full circle. Pinup art has been re-discovered, and introduced to new generations of people around the world. Books and related images are being published about the great artists of the past. Original paintings are highly sought after, and commanding sale prices that reach into the ten of thousands of dollars! This wonderful American art form hasn’t received this much attention, or enjoyed as much popularity since it’s heyday from the 30’s to the 50’s. Everything old is new again

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Actually, when I get some more tats. I'm going to try out for Suicide Girls. (=

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hey you sexy thing lol

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I honestly didn't really know about these pin up girls, until I read this post but I've seen a couple of pictures in snippets. I don't really like the look of them, some of them look a bit slutty to me. But well, if you like them, then good for you and if you don't then that's okay too!

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It's times like this I wish this board had quotes.

"I think they were trying to state woman power, its a more powerful, classy type of beauty. It hints at senuality, without screaming sex. Its like be control of your body." Said Michelle G

Yeah, I think they might be trying to state that too- but I don't think that's healthy. I don't think it's powerful, I don't think it's classy. It doesn't just hint at sexuality- it's full on sex. I'm no Mary Whitehouse, but all there is to it is sex. All the clothes worn are tight to emphasis breasts, waists and hips. There's no way it's not entirely sex.

"but there are a lot of old pin up girls from the 40's that I'm IN LOVE WITH because they WEREN'T like betty paige with a 17 inch waiste, and they weren't skinny, they were curey AND FAT" said DIS.AR.RAY

Ok, so you like them because they're fat. I get that that's good for you, I get that it's good for everybody- but it's because of the pin-up craze of skinnies and such that they have to lower themsevles to such a level to tell people that they're sexy. They shouldn't have to.

"You don't have to be skinny to be sexy, though I suppose it does help." said DIS.AR.RAY

Don't say that- being sexy has nothing to do with how many clothes you're wearing, how much sex you're suggesting or you're weight. Being sexy is all about having confidence in yourself- and it's the sex industry that's taking that confidence away from you.

"back when monroe was doing pin up they didnt have all that techy pic stuff" said corrie W

They didn't have photoshop, no, but they did have different ways of airbrushing. you can work wonders in the dark room.

"alot less obeas ppl in the 1920s -1950s " said corrie W

Yes, there's a lot more obese people nowadays, but takeaway the super obese people as an abnormality of age, and we're basically the same size. The average waist of a woman in the 1950s was 32".

Thanks for the history lesson on pin up girls. I think we all know what I mean though. And yeah Betty Grable. We all know that photograph, her in a swim suit, looking back all coy. Why can't she be fully clothed, facing forward and smiling nicely?

Thanks for the history but to me it's irrelevant. What I mean by pin up girls are for example that one from snippets, dita von teese, betty paige... Collectively they demoralise women and help men develop a low opinion of women, that all we are is sex objects.

"Actually, when I get some more tats. I'm going to try out for Suicide Girls. (=" said Tara M

Why would you do that? for the money? for the glory? to feel sexy? It's clear to me from your av that your man finds you sexy- isn't that enough? If you need money, would you not feel better and more proud of yourself if you earnt it whilst keeping your dignity? Also- what happens if they say no- then how will you feel?

"But well, if you like them, then good for you and if you don't then that's okay too!" Said Shivi

If we were talking about something harmless- like I don't know, apples, then yes that applies. But Pin Up Girls and any other women who allow themselves to be portrayed provocatively aren't harmless. By doing that, it directly effects all other women. The world is sexist - that's how it goes. It's up to us to see that and to help the situation by not allowing us to be treated like objects.

I think a lot of people have missed my main point - I was more worried about the sexual objectification.

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I don't think anyone forces these women to dress like that, and be photographed, or become sexual objects, and I know that when I dress up in tight clothes, boots and make-up I feel good about myself. I don't feel bad about myself the rest of the time, but it's as if I'm showing myself just how good I can look. 99% of the time I'm in jeans and a t-shirt, and sometimes I get too used to that normality. I don't feel unatractive, just boring and It's not for men, my boyfriend doesn't even like me with make-up, it's just like dressing up for the day, a bit of drama and fun.

If I was to dress up in that stuff, then someone was to airbrush it and make it into a poster or something, I wouldn't care if it was being used round the world as sexual objectification, as I wouldn't even see it as being myself. I don't know if that's part of the problem or not, but I'd just see it as a face, not a reflection of my personality.

As a photographer, it doesn't bother me when I see pictures of airbrushed women looking perfect - I know that there is no model in the world that doesn't have their own hang-ups and flaws, concealed by great lighting most of the time. It's strange - I'm opposed to extreme airbrushing, and yet people expect me to do it because they are far too curious, and want to see just how easy it is to turn a model into a perfection. they don't want to be someone else, it's more like highlighting what you have. You could also go to the other extreme - when these models are snapped without makeup, its all over women's mags and the internet "look at blah blah blah without her makeup on!! hideous!" and apparently this is supposed to help women with low self-esteem realise that not everyone is perfect, and feel better about themselves. I personally find that more worrying. Why do they need conclusive proof to realise that supermodels are normal before they can feel good about themselves?

I think in this day and age, if you look at a super-skinny perfect model and think "I have to be like her to be considered normal or hot" then there are more issues there than the models in the photos. Most men who deserve attention realise that it's fake and don't desire it at all.

No idea if I've missed your point Roma, I'm not arguing with you personally, just having a good old rant lol Happy

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i think we were all having a good ol rant.

But Roma I did not miss your point.

I think everyone has good arguments.

for a history of pin ups go here

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No, I know you didn't.

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No money no glory, Skrew that shit. Because I think it's kick ass that people find girls with tatts sexy. I happen to think so. And MY HUBBY happens to think it is cool as well. So, I would be doing it for me, and my husband no one else. I find nothing wrong with feeling sexy what's it to you? I find that people that are uptight about things like this don't have a really good body image. Calm down. No one attacked you for your oppinion now your getting all pissy.

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