My minor in college was Rhetoric & Film Studies, which is the hippie liberal arts school equivalent to communications… but way more fun.
As someone who grew up reading People and could name every primetime television show that aired on major networks since 1989, you could say that pop culture is part of my diet. So when I got the opportunity to take a class called “Hollywood Stars” my senior year to finish up my minor, you bet I soaked up every bit of it!
We had a lesson one day that discussed characters of stars. Essentially, you’ll personalities like the cowboy, the girl next door, the macho man, the villain, and many others. My personal favorite: the pinup.
To define pinup would be like trying to define a common piece of every woman you’ve ever seen on the big screen… and every woman you’ve probably met.
We think of pinups as women who channel an era of yesteryear, who also play with the cheeky-ness of a sexual revolution over the horizon. The style transcends decades, reflecting the cutting edge of what it means to be a lady. Miss Manners expects us to be prim and proper, not a curl out of place… but there’s something about the pinup culture that encourages women to draw outside the lines. You know, be real.
Do you know of any woman who has ever stayed inside the lines? Besides nuns? We’re not perfect, but that is precisely what is so attractive about the woman, the pinup. In an imperfect way, the pinup can very well be the ideal woman in some eyes.
The pinup has been a mom, a wife, a single girl, a working woman, even a source of encouragement during tough times! If you ask me, the pinups won WWII. Enter the likes of Betty Grable. You’d fight like hell too if you could imagine coming home to a girl like her.
Lines don’t have curves and that’s why pinups don’t adhere to any particular body standard. Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, and still manages to reign supreme as one of the most beautiful women of all time. You’ll see me write more and more about this figure in pop culture history because I find it to be so important to see how skewed American body standards and modern-day feminism can be today. I can’t tell you how many women I know (myself included) talk themselves down, but find a whole new light of encouragement when embracing the vintage and voluptuous style of the pinup. I’ve met pinups twice my size, age and height that have totally rocked with self-confidence and remained to stay outside any line.
It’s definitely something to admire.