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28 Pin-up Girls
April 19, 2011 2:20 PM   Subscribe

28 Classic pin-ups and their photo references. [NSFW]
posted by stoneweaver (60 comments total) 72 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also here.
posted by plep at 2:24 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm fascinated by how often the artist is incredibly faithful in reproducing the model's figure (almost exactly in many of them) but feels much freer to editorialize in the facial features, helping them more closely resemble the ideal of the time.
posted by hermitosis at 2:24 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well that was cool, although I'll admit I only scrolled down half the page.

I thought it was odd that they were all pointing their toes down in the exact same weird, artificial manner. What is that supposed to emphasize?

Finally: wow we've created a weird culture around the female form in recent years.
posted by kavasa at 2:30 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gil Elvgren is just great.
posted by marxchivist at 2:34 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, these are great. Thanks for the find!

I thought it was odd that they were all pointing their toes down in the exact same weird, artificial manner. What is that supposed to emphasize?

I'd be inclined to think it's more of a result of the shoes in a lot of the pictures. Though, in pointing your toes, and flexing the calf muscles it gives more definition to the calves.
posted by meowf at 2:36 PM on April 19, 2011


I know it's sexist. I don't care. Gil Elvgren RULES.
posted by Scoo at 2:36 PM on April 19, 2011


You can find these tucked away in different places. Here's another one and this page has the "rare edition" library pose that's been my 404 page for a decade.
posted by jessamyn at 2:36 PM on April 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was great!
I've long admired the classic pinup artists as great illustrators, but, for whatever reason, it never occurred to me that they were working from specific photo poses. I should have known better, I guess. This is a great find.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:36 PM on April 19, 2011


Finally: wow we've created a weird culture around the female form in recent years.
recent years
Aren't most of these examples from the fifties?
posted by LogicalDash at 2:38 PM on April 19, 2011


I thought it was odd that they were all pointing their toes down in the exact same weird, artificial manner. What is that supposed to emphasize?

It's pretty much modeling 101. Pointing of the toes is more flattering to the appearance of the legs. It helps them look more elongated.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:38 PM on April 19, 2011


Finally: wow we've created a weird culture around the female form in recent years.
posted by hermitosis at 2:44 PM on April 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Somebody way back in the 80s told me that the weirdly pointed toes caused the metatarsals to flex in a way preferred by foot fetishists.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 2:48 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, surprisingly interesting. Thanks for the post.
posted by nickyskye at 2:49 PM on April 19, 2011


Those women actually HAD those legs. Jeepers.
posted by Faze at 2:50 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought it was odd that they were all pointing their toes down in the exact same weird, artificial manner. What is that supposed to emphasize?


I've wondered for awhile if there isn't some sort of tiny cult of foot fetishism around pin-ups and the men who drew them? Not only are they all pointing their feet, they all have high insteps, high arches, slender ankles - perfect feet for ballet - and some of them even wore pointe shoes
posted by ameliaaah at 2:51 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the words of Jimmy Durante, "Ha-cha-cha-cha!"
posted by Aquaman at 2:53 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


LEGS
posted by crunchland at 2:57 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Before there was photoshop, there was the pinup artist.
posted by localroger at 2:58 PM on April 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


why do women wear high heels? Ok. Now, place your foot squarely on the floor, lift one foot so that you point to the floor and are nearly touching the floor with your toes. Now with your hand, run your palm up and down the leg you have pointed with...now try it without pointing your foot and see the difference in the contour of your leg? in shot: you point your toes because you are not wearing high heels and your thigh and leg muscles are to be depicted.
posted by Postroad at 2:59 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've long admired the classic pinup artists as great illustrators, but, for whatever reason, it never occurred to me that they were working from specific photo poses. I should have known better, I guess.

It's still happening.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:08 PM on April 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


The waists seem to be made narrower, as a general rule, and any bunching or hanging fabric near the waist is usually made from fitting.
posted by Grimgrin at 3:13 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm fascinated by how often the artist is incredibly faithful in reproducing the model's figure (almost exactly in many of them) but feels much freer to editorialize in the facial features, helping them more closely resemble the ideal of the time.

I thought that was interesting, too. Now take a look at the one where she's holding a dog, and compare the reference photo dog's face with the one in the drawing.
posted by FishBike at 3:20 PM on April 19, 2011


Whahaha uh legs er ah curves and homina herp a hip derp *spontaneously bursts into flames*
posted by loquacious at 3:26 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


D'oh! Knew there was something I was forgetting to post.
I'm seeing people try and recreate the classic pin-up look, at least in the rockabilly crowd. I'm not complaining.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:35 PM on April 19, 2011


The pose alterations are so subtle but are executed to great effect. I have a new appreciation for the talent of this man.
posted by En0rm0 at 3:47 PM on April 19, 2011


Keith Ferguson, the Austin blues bassist, had stuck a bunch of the old decals all over the Fabulous Thunderbirds' bus back in the 80's, and I fell in love with 'em. It seems like they were pretty rare, even then. Is there an online resource for the real 40's and 50's vintage pin-up decals? Google just gives me link farms and people hawking reproductions on ebay. I love the old ones, and will keep an eye out for them in junk stores -- I've got about 20 of 'em. I wish I knew more about the artists who did the decals though. It seems like some of them (haven't dug them out of the closet in a while) were Italian in origin.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:04 PM on April 19, 2011


Roasting marshmallows, water play: what's not to like?

But, as pretty as the paintings are, I would much rather have a Platonic or Erotic relationship with the young women in the photographs. They seem to know something about the world and its intricacies. Apparently, innocence is one of the most arousing aspects of the objects of the male gaze.

In the last few decades, the language of feminism has added weight to some undeniable core concepts about desire and inter-gender power relationships.
posted by kozad at 4:12 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hubba, hubba.
posted by Gelatin at 4:16 PM on April 19, 2011


I like the smiling ones so much better than the ones with the "oooh, I am tantalizingly about to get sort of naked" faces. The models for the pursed lips photos look like they're suffering from some terrible lockjaw.

Overall, very pretty. Male gaze/voyeurism aside (and that's admittedly a big aside), I really like the art style of the pictures. Recently stayed up way late turning some of my photos into 50s/pin-up style using a photoshop tutorial.

Feet are hard to draw. Them things be weird.
posted by efio at 4:49 PM on April 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Aren't most of these examples from the fifties?

Well yeah! Recent as in "since these were made". It's crazy to me that "the ideal" has changed so much in such a short span of time.

ameliaah - yeah! I was thinking "ballet shoes". I was also considering the whole calf definition angle, but then I didn't see much definition in the pictures? I guess maybe I'm looking for the same sort of muscular definition I see in male calves, and that generally doesn't happen with women.
posted by kavasa at 5:09 PM on April 19, 2011


Huh, so that's where the infamous myspace kissy-face came from.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:41 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, so that's where the infamous myspace kissy-face came from.

I think you are thinking of the Myspace "duck face." Kissy face and duck face are two different things.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:46 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have the Taschen collection of Gil Elvgren's work from which these model photos and resultant pinups (oil paintings!) were taken. If you like these, I recommend picking up up - it's a big, heavy coffee table edition that's almost tasteful.

hermitosis, in response to your comment on figure vs. face, Elvgren summed up his pinup formula as "a fifteen year-old's face on a twenty year-old's body." This probably explains his willingness to depart from reality in the finished product.

Devil's Rancher, buy the book and take it to your local copy shop (not Kinko's, they won't do this unless you have express written permission from the copyright holder). Pick your favorite pinups and have them color-copied, printed on decal material, and voila! I did this but had it printed on a magnetic sheet that I trimmed and slapped on my Vespa.
posted by Mendl at 6:05 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


This one's my favorite, as the artist replaced the model's head. Presumably with her own head from another photo, but who knows?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:27 PM on April 19, 2011


I'm fascinated by how often the artist is incredibly faithful in reproducing the model's figure (almost exactly in many of them)

Really? Because to me almost all of them got thinner.
posted by JanetLand at 7:10 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


"a fifteen year-old's face on a twenty year-old's body." This probably explains his willingness to depart from reality in the finished product.

That IS interesting, and creepy. Now that I've read that, I can't not see in the art. I love pinup art, despite its many social negatives, but I am really creeped out now looking at image after image and realizing they are neotenized. They're the faces of children on the bodies of women.
posted by Miko at 7:29 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because to me almost all of them got thinner.

Quite true. Check out the woman with the puppy, the woman before the vanity mirror with the white towel, the woman popping popcorn, and the suntan-lotion woman with the goose or whatever it is startling her.

A lot of these look like the same woman.

Also, short hair always gets longer - never the other way around!
posted by Miko at 7:34 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


The camera apparently adds 20 pounds and 20 years.
posted by gottabefunky at 7:35 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


we've created a weird culture around the female form in recent years.
You don't say - Life-Size Barbie.
posted by unliteral at 7:40 PM on April 19, 2011


>I'm fascinated by how often the artist is incredibly faithful in reproducing the model's figure (almost exactly in many of them) but feels much freer to editorialize in the facial features, helping them more closely resemble the ideal of the time.<

Affirmative. I’ve always been a fan, but I’m surprised at how much more attractive the women in the original pictures are than the finished products. It’s like the girls in the paintings don’t have real faces.
posted by bongo_x at 8:30 PM on April 19, 2011


Who is the model who appears in most of the pictures?
posted by peep at 8:35 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are great.

As to the final products: I kind of want to live in their world. Eating chocolate, building a dog house, going on safari! It might be weird that your clothes were frequently falling off, but not if you're that happy about it!
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:51 PM on April 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought it was odd that they were all pointing their toes down in the exact same weird, artificial manner.

Nude modelling trick. It elongates the body and makes it easier to pull the stomach taut and stick the chest out, as well as making human legs (which being flexy bags of meat can look anything from stout to twiglike) the idealized shape.

From personal experience in front of a camera, when posing you suck your gut in, relax your lower face and forehead, point your toes, arch your back and pop your eyes as wide as possible without moving your eyebrows past "happy" position. Pouts are way easier to do than smiles because you want a mask face- real mirth is liable to pouch up your face into a grimace just as the shutter clicks because real smiles move the face in reaction to what made you happy. Try not to throw your head up or you'll get way too much nostril, don't tuck down or your chin doubles. Keeping a happy non-gargoyle face and proper contractions in your core is kinda like rubbing your head and patting your stomach.

None of this is "real", and you are selling lies, but I think that it's rare for any human cultural to make accurate depictions of humans without staging, editing or posing part of their mainstream art.
posted by Phalene at 8:54 PM on April 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


When I got to image #19, I heard my mother's voice in my head, saying "Legs up to her nose!"
posted by Lexica at 8:58 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I cannot believe the discussion has gotten this far without a single mention of the word "celery". Previously.
posted by tigrrrlily at 9:00 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Elvgren summed up his pinup formula as "a fifteen year-old's face on a twenty year-old's body."

Here's the famous face -- your imagination can fill in the rest.
posted by cenoxo at 9:03 PM on April 19, 2011


They're the faces of children on the bodies of women.

15 does not really equal "children." Different people mature physically and sexually at different ages. The famous dancer/actress Ann Miller, for example, was dancing as a nightclub performer when she was only 13, passing for 18 in order to keep her job.
posted by hermitosis at 9:29 PM on April 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


15 does not really equal "children."

From my advanced years, you could show me photos of 15-, 18- and 20-year-olds in bikinis and unless there were braces or some other clue I probably couldn't tell the difference among them. Lord knows it's tough enough to go to a bar these days and wonder why they're letting the 13-year-olds in, when it dawns on me they're actually at least 21.
posted by maxwelton at 11:21 PM on April 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Am I seeing things, or are their heads in a lot of these made slightly bigger in proportion to their bodies as well?
posted by lucidium at 3:18 AM on April 20, 2011


I found it fascinating how the faces were so idealized. Not many of the paintings looked like the models, who I thought had really great, interesting faces.

And no celery, tigrrrlily, because their underwear is still on. The celery magically appears as the underpants pop out from under the skirt. Sunlight+underpants=celery.
posted by Mcable at 12:50 PM on April 20, 2011


The weird thing is that that actually really happened to my maternal grandmother. She was a young woman living in Los Angeles (pronounced loess ANG-gless in the weird (to modern ears) halfway-between-Spanish-and-English phase the pronunciation was in at the time for Anglos), and one day was waiting at the bus stop for the bus to arrive. It got to the stop and the passengers had started boarding when she felt a *snap!* around her waist. "Now, you have to understand, dear," she told me, "this was back when panties weren't made from elastic fabric. The only elastic was around the waist, and that was what snapped. So there was nothing holding them up."

My 10-year-old (and easily mortified) self boggled at her. "What did you do, Grandma?"

"Well, dear, there was nothing holding them up, was there?" she said. "So I just put my heels together," she demonstrated for me, "then stepped out of my panties and up onto the bus."

My grandma kicked ass in her own quiet way.
posted by Lexica at 8:00 PM on April 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


From my advanced years, you could show me photos of 15-, 18- and 20-year-olds in bikinis and unless there were braces or some other clue I probably couldn't tell the difference among them

I definitely can. If you spend any significant time around teenage girls and young women, you can. 15 is really quite young, and you can perceive the difference in these childlike, puffy illustrated faces and the real faces of the models. Otherwise, why change them? If teens looked just like adult women, it wouldn't be necessary. Most people are just accustomed to seeing "women" younger than 18 in the media presented as adults. Many fashion magazine cover models today are quite young.

15 does not really equal "children."

Wrll, they're adolescents, whereas you could argue that 'children' connotes pre-adolescents, but that also means they're not adult women like the ones in the actual photos. And in our society today, the law and convention treat them, appropriately, as children until the age of 18. That was not the case not too long ago, but it is the case now, and for good reason.
posted by Miko at 8:24 PM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The weird thing is that that actually really happened to my maternal grandmother.

This happened to a lot of people. One of my friends has a story about it happening to her on a Manhattan street as she was arriving at her theatre stage-managing job on the first day. It was just a reality of the materials of the time.
posted by Miko at 8:25 PM on April 20, 2011


If you spend any significant time around teenage girls and young women, you can.

I think my wife would be against me researching this, so I'll take your word for it. And I suppose I'm conditioned not by actual 15-year-olds, but Hollywood 15-year-olds.
posted by maxwelton at 2:57 AM on April 21, 2011


@Peep: the model seems to be Janet Rae.
posted by Jaloux Saboteur at 3:10 AM on April 21, 2011


I think my wife would be against me researching this,

heh.
posted by Miko at 6:25 AM on April 21, 2011


Kissy face and duck face are two different things.

Citation needed.
posted by Aquaman at 8:33 AM on April 21, 2011


Kissy face and duck face are two different things.

Citation needed.


This is a classic example of duck face
. Duck face is a combination of a pout and a kissy face which results in what you see above. Kissy face and duck face are two different things. This has been a thing for quite some time and there's been such a backlash about it that hate sites exist like this one. Most of the photos on that site are duck faces, but I see a few kissy faces in there too.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:56 PM on April 21, 2011


God, that's weird.
posted by Miko at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2011


From photo to illustration the women seem to grow more hair while baring more skin.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:18 PM on April 22, 2011


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