A sexy pin up girl has that certain look that evokes images of Bettie Page and others from the 40’s and 50’s. The sexy pin up girl look is distinctive, sexy and projects femininity and a swagger and attitude that says “I am a sexy pin up girl” and you better get used to it.
Whenever I think of a pin up girl I think of a woman’s hair and the hairstyle that pin up girls wore and continue to wear today. Women of the era had hair, lots of hair and capturing the look requires imitating the hair do’s of the forties and fifties. Short hair is not really the look that pin ups had thus if you don’t have long hair you either have to go with extensions or emphasize other aspects of the look. Long hair with long flowing curls or a page boy cut are popular styles, often worn up is de rigueur for the look which is as much about looking feminine as anything.
Pin up girls were the quintessential naughty girls of the time although not overtly sexual. Bettie Page of course was a very naughty girl and has come to represent the naughty and nice combination that is the thing fantasies are made of. Remember pin up girls went with our boys to war. They were painted on the side of airplanes, boats and tanks. Men fantasized about these unattainable women who were rarely nude but dressed in the fashion of the day including one piece swimsuits and pencil skirts with back seam stockings and high heels. Don’t forget the bullet bras that gave women a weird silhouette as their breasts appeared to peak at the nipples. While being naughty they were also sexy and sensual in a subtle but unmistakable manner.
History is full of the pin up girl characters that were the sex pots of the day and included Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe and Mamie Van Doren and Jayne Mansfield. These women had full breasts, hips and curves and of course that was part of their appeal. No skinny, flat chested women allowed as the ideal female of the time had boobs, butts and womanly curves. These pin ups were immortalized by the likes of Vargas the painter/cartoonist who created some of the most memorable pin ups of the era. There were many others, too numerous to mention that created images of the “ideal” woman and the idea caught on.
Like many things the pin up girl died out for one reason or another but fortunately it has come back in a new and perhaps improved way. The pin ups of the past were not big on tattoos as the subject was taboo and women with tattoos were not exactly encouraged. What has emerged now is the pin up with even more sex appeal, tattoos, piercings and a style that suggests the past but shorter, tighter and with more attitude as you would expect of todays more assertive and self confident, gorgeous women.
Thanks, in large part to the revival of burlesque larger and larger numbers of women have joined the reemergence of the pin up girl explosion and we are so glad they have. The combination of lingerie of the past, vintage clothing, vaudeville and burlesque the pin up girl today stands out in a great way. Burlesque and its origins have encouraged many women to assert themselves and their talent to come forward on stage in too numerous burlesque troupes throughout the world. Burlesque has always had elements of the strip tease, music, comedy and variety performers including fire breathers and now suspension artists to make it an entertaining evening with something for every adult. Burlesque is so much more than a woman taking off her clothes though although true to the era she may end up with a pair of pasties and panties as opposed to exposed breasts and a g-string. The distinction would be obvious once you attend a performance and if you do you will almost surely be a regular attendee.
Lingerie from the 40’s has been updated and rightfully so as vintage lingerie while attractive to may is far different from today’s styles. Vintage lingerie was in muted tones, ultra feminine and well, boring to many. Pin up girls of today pretty much have to wear contemporary lingerie as sexy lingerie was not created for the most part. There is not much demand for the lingerie of the 40’s and 50’s and it is doubtful there will be in the future. Sexy garter belts , nylons or stockings and high heels may be the ensemble of lingerie truly relegated to the era and today’s pin up girl surely will require more in the way of lingerie to suit her tastes.
Being a pin up girl is more than being pretty, fashionable and feminine. We have briefly discussed the clothes, hair, attitude and more but there is clearly more to it than that. A girl’s make up is part of the package and red lipstick is a requirement, although other colors as long as they are vivid is alright. Pastels are not really part of the outfit. As mentioned, tattoos are part of the ensemble and whatever the reasons women love tattoos, men love them and while not a requirement certainly they have established themselves firmly. Pin up girls are here to stay and are a standard of beauty that celebrates a wider variety of women regardless of weight, height and body images. There do not seem to be any artificial standards of what woman, hair color, body piercings or any other factor apply. All women need apply and the community of pin up girls seems to be growing daily.