To Be A Pinup
One of the great things about pin-up culture and lifestyle, is--much like car culture--it always starts with a personal experience or fascination and grows over time into a hobby and way of life. And not only are those inciting experiences unique and personal, but they are very dear to those involved in pin-up modeling (and their photographers, and their stylists, and their co-models, and their families…!) I can guarantee that anyone who has an interest in the atomic age can pinpoint what he or she loves about it, and when that love began. For me, it started with I Love Lucy (and the 50's scenes in Back to the Future) and exploded when I played Fallout: New Vegas.
But what is it? What does pin-up offer to all of us? Every experience is different, but what makes--or breaks--a pinup girl? I thought the best people to give the introductions to this lifestyle were the greats themselves, so I've pulled a few of my very favorite quotes from some famous pin-up models and classic sex symbols.
One thing that's so fascinating to me is the history of these women. We may think of pin-up modeling as very over-the-top cheese sauce (wide smiles, bright colors, happy expressions, flowers, cupcakes) but women who invented the style had a ton on their plates: two World Wars, the Red threat, a changing workplace and family dynamic, and in addition to transitioning America, many of these women suffered personal issues--Bettie Page was schizophrenic, Marlene Dietrich was an alcoholic, Jean Harlow was ridiculed and called a "loose" woman before her early death at 26 to kidney disease, Judy Garland died from an overdose. But what shines, what we remember, and what has stood the true test of time, are strong and fierce, beautiful and confident women who impacted the world in enormous ways, not just by taking great photographs. They were war heroes, entrepreneurs, human rights activists, visionaries.
So with that painted image of these amazing women in mind, here are their own words about their lifestyle, beliefs, and philosophy. Flirty, strong, feminine, sometimes shocking--never boring! This, from them, is what it is to be a pinup.
"Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often." Mae West
"I never was the girl next door." Bettie Page
"I like having my picture taken and being a glamorous person." Rita Hayworth
"Glamour is what I sell, it's my stock in trade." Marlene Dietrich
"I was always a rebel and probably could have got much farther had I changed my attitude. But when you think about it, I got pretty far without changing attitudes. I'm happier with that." Veronica Lake
"I wasn't trying to be anything. I was just myself." Bettie Page
"A 41-inch bust and a lot of perseverance will get you more than a cup of coffee - a lot more." Jayne Mansfield
"Courage and grace are a formidable mixture." Marlene Dietrich
"If you're going to do something wrong, do it big, because the punishment is the same either way." Jayne Mansfield
Well, that's all the bits of wisdom I have collected for today! Thanks for reading, and it would be great to read everyone's perspective of pin up! Feel free to leave a comment or check out the upcoming events.