Ever wonder why you are so drawn to the pinup esthetic?

As each year passes and see how much my life is surrounded by pinup culture, I am becoming more and more aware of my influences for loving this look. That it wasn't just because of old Hollywood stars that I tacked on my walls, but that it started much earlier than that. Infact, I was more drawn to it not because of those tinsel town beauties but because of actually drawings ( nice play on words, right?) .


I was raised with pretty much Walt Disney and Jim Henson as my babysitters. And the older I get, the more I'm reminded how much they impacted me.

Recently, my lovely boyfriend Huy surprised me with a figurine. It's a a sculpture of a Fred Moore drawing, a "Freddie Girl".

Fred Moore was one of Walt Disney's original animators, he help guide the team of Disney animators which ended up giving Disney that classic 'look' that we are all familiar with.

Looking at this Freddie Girl ( which I might add might be my favorite gift , ever!)  reminded me how much as little girl when watching those cartoons I would always perk up when a classically drawn 'girl' would appear. Her hair, makeup, wardrobe, and of course silhouette was always so beautiful to me. From random female background characters to Disney princesses, I wanted to look like that. They seemed so effortlessly put together, simple but alluring. Men would do anything for them, birds wanted to help them get ready in the morning- sounds ideal to me!

My overall passion for vintage, music, and clothes I credit to my grandparents and their long talks that I adored, but when it comes to the art of the pin up and my love for this look, I must say , it was a man and a mouse who really did the brainwashing <3

What was your original influence to pinup?

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Comment by Jessica Maria Montalvo on November 8, 2012 at 7:07pm

50's music was and is my guilty pleasure, my passion. My mom would ALWAYS, and I do mean, ALWAYS, listen to the oldies radio station. She would sing her heart out while she washed dishes, cooked, cleaned, you name it. She would sing songs like "Who Put The Bop" or "To Know Him is To Love Him." Every 50's song imagineable. My twin sister and I came very late in life, we were unexpected, really. My dad made my mom get her tubes tied, burned, crimped, and she prayed for us...and we popped out 13 years later. lol SO...with that said, we grew up with the things that my parents loved when they were young and the fashion that they were used to when they were young. My mom was always nostalgic when it came to the 50's. It became engrained in my spirit, which then became a lifestyle. I think this is why I love Nick Waterhouse's music so much. He offers the public what I believe to be real music. lol!  Also, my sister and I would always watch Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on TCM, and I Love Lucy, Donna Read. Just thinking about it, I guess we just grew up in a 50's household, literally! LOL! I should find pictures! LOL!

P.S. I really love that figurine! What an awesome gift!!

Comment by Devyn Beth on November 8, 2012 at 7:45pm

I've always love the style of the 40s and 50s.... when I was just a little girl my favorite movies were  The Wizard of Oz, Blue Hawaii (Elvis!!,)  and Grease.  In Jr. High, when everyone else was listening to Nirvana I was listening to the oldie's station.   My body shape is way more Marilyn than it is any super model of today, and the pinup style just fits me better.. body and soul! 

Comment by Brandi Shuey on November 8, 2012 at 8:21pm

That little "Freddie Girl" figurine is SOOO cute! I want one for my room! :) Your guy deserves serious points for that one ;)

I guess without really thinking about it, I've had the inspiration there through out my life. I was always a girly girl. Always loved all things glamorous. When I was little, I would tie satin sheets around my waist and pretend it was a long beautiful gown. lol I wrote a blog (which can be found in my blog posts on here if you haven't read it already) about my fashion evolution, so that was something that grew over the years into what it is today :) As far as music I love all genres but yes, growing up I had a heavy dose of 50's/60's/70's pop courtesy of my Dad :) It was also the soulful/jazzy songs on the radio that would help soothe me to sleep when I couldn't since I was little.

I suppose if we all stop and think about it, we all have some retro or pinup something in our back-rounds :)

Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on November 12, 2012 at 8:48pm

First of all, this is an AMAZING idea for a blog post, thank you so much for starting it. Second, that is an absolutely beautiful picture of Mr. Moore's "Freedie Girl" figurine, your boyfriend really sounds like a great and thoughtful guy to have gotten you something that represents such a beautiful memory from your childhood.

I honestly can't say that I know about Mr. Moore, but just by looking at his figurine it's easy to see that he was a talented artist, and I can really see how his style and his fellow artists at Disney could leave such an impression on his fans :)

Now as for my original influence... well the oldest influence that I can remember would have to be none other than Ms. Betty Boop! She is just a little doll who enjoys being a girly girl, wiggling, giggling and having the time of her life in the process. I used to have really short hair when I was younger, and I really loved how adorable hers looked growing up, and she always had the best outfits to wear getting no shortage of whistles in the process.

Even today just watching one of her old cartoons (especially her PRE-Hays Code cartoons) always makes me smile even when I'm feeling down. Betty you are a doll even after all these years :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZIoJtoxCmE

A more recent pinup inspiration would definitely have to be Mr. Gil Elvgren, a pinup girl's favourite pinup artist. He always found a way to draw women in flattering, whimsical and stunningly beautiful ways. Their hair was always done, their outfits were always gorgeous, and they had personalities that somehow just leapt off of the canvas.

I mean, how could you NOT want to be one of the women in his illustrations? Whether they're sliding down their staircase railing, getting your dress caught in a laundry press or standing up a swing like you're just a big kid at heart :)


Comment by Erica Monique Bass on November 14, 2012 at 1:10pm

My Original influence was YOU! I saw you wearing the Lizbeth in red dress (yep, the one in my profile picture) after my bf bought it for me while I was recuperating in the hospital. 

I appreciated the contributions that Eartha Kitt and Dorothy Dandridge did for the black community and the silver screen but I never really focused on their look until after I received the Lizbeth dress and saw the photo of you in it. It was then that I started to research black pinups :)

Comment by Lindsey Durden on November 14, 2012 at 1:32pm

I think my love for the 50's was always inside me waiting to come out. I was obsessed with Grease when I was 7 or 8 and watched it everyday when I cam home from school. And I always loved listening to my grandparents oldies tapes. Then when I was 14 I fell in love with Elvis. And that was it. I loved the way the girls looked who he were in his movies and who he was photograhed with in the 50's. I wanted to look like one of "Elvis's girls". So I started looking for vintage clothing and that's when I discovered the rockabilly/pin-up scene. That was when I was 16, I'm 20 now and I finally feel like I've perfected my look and found my style. But I can still see those original influences.

Comment by Mary Hoover on November 14, 2012 at 4:21pm

Being raised by my grandmother helped to influence my love of the 40's and 50's style. Her closet was filled with the latest fashion of that era. It also didn't hurt that she happened to be a sales girl at the local Buffums in Long Beach during that time as well... the woman knew how to dress! Although she had long retired after I came to live with her, it was the highlight of my youth to play dress up with all her clothes, shoes and fashion accessories! Disney definitely added to my love of the female figure, as well as the old Hollywood movies I grew up watching, and the musicians of the era as well. It was an era where a woman was a woman, the clothes were fashionable yet flattering... & sexy but still classy. The vintage look will always be a staple in my wardrobe. When I found PUG, I knew I found a keeper. Thank you for keeping this 40 something mother of 3 fashionable & sexy... my husband thanks you also!  ;)

Comment by Michelle Pia on November 14, 2012 at 5:01pm

I Love these blogs and reading what people share :) I have to say Miss Piggy influenced me alot as a child toward fashion. I was on a muppet marathon this weekend, and noticing just how stylish Miss Piggy always was in the films, My grandmother was also an influence as a child she would always love to do my hair in pretty and older fashions.  She would also love to teach all the grandchildren  to dance usually to older music. I remember once we were dancing to "rock around the clock". My mom also influenced me in fashion as a child she owned a Boutique of women's and children's clothing. I remember being in a fashion show she held at her store as a little girl. My bestie in college her grandmother grew up with Ava Gardner in North Carolina. Yes the Ava Gardner and I remember visiting my friend and seeing Ava pic's from growing up. It was really nice to see the history. Also lately I've become more aware of my great aunt Gloria Romero I have in the Philippines who is an actress there. I have a lovely picture of her my mom and aunt together that I cherish. I've discovered her pictures from the 50's and seeing her style and knowing she is a relative of mine is very nice and inspiring. She is still alive today. Here is a link to some current and older pics of her https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gloria-Romero/102048996273?sk=photos... I would love to have a shoot someday inspired with her in mind.

Comment by Coca on November 16, 2012 at 4:03pm

My initial introduction to "pinups" came from a grandmother and great aunt. I always had "issues" aka "curves" that required everything to be taken in at the waist, especially if it was a dress. I remember one time I "complained" to my grandmother about my waist being the smallest part of my upper body. Well my great aunt over heard the conversation and said that my grandmother had a killer body like Lena Horne when she was my age. My grandmother laughed about it but stated her body was no where near mine. She said I had fuller breast, slimmer legs, longer torso, the perfect bootie, round hips, killer thighs and much, much taller than what she was (she was barely 5" and I'm 5'8").  She went on to introduce me to Lena, Dorothy, Eartha and Marilyn. She told me she remember women used to wear girdles, stuff their bras etc to have curvier bodies like these women. She said men would say they wanted a woman with a "Coca Cola body"- meaning at the time the Coca Cola bottle had a curvy shape like a woman's body. She called me "Coca" from that day forward. In seeing these gorgeous women, it truly helped me to open my eyes on embracing my natural curves, that I have been blessed with. 

Comment by Chavonne Rudd on July 30, 2013 at 3:27am

I think my influence has always been Jessica Rabbit from who framed roger rabbit. Her voice and sex appeal was beautiful, then I liked Dita Von Teese and it developed from there.

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