Pin-Ups of the Past March 14, 2012 9:32 AMSubscribe
In our continuing series on pin-up girls of the past (previously and previously previously), this lady's costume was a source of some puzzlement. Welcome to the wonderful world of Poses Plastiques. This vaudeville and music hall form enjoyed at least equal popularity in the US as in the UK, though Stateside the performances were generally billed as "Living Statues". Originating in the 18th and earlier 19th century society pastime of recreating classical scenes and art in tableauxvivants, canny vaudeville and music hall promoters eventually monetized the concept by giving the people what they wanted--naked(ish) ladies, and lots of them.
The form survived well into the twentieth century in burlesque and vaudeville. Nude women posed "artistically" on the stage of London's Windmill Theatre throughout World War II. But what the Blitz couldn't shut down was finally swept away by competition from the less static nekkid performances made possible by laxer censorship on public nudity.