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The History of the Pin-Up Girl

Recently, I was able to go along on a photo shoot for the 2013 Food Truck Festivals of New England’s calendar featuring pin-up girls posing with the trucks! All proceeds are going to benefit Community Servings which provides hot meals to people living  with HIV.

The History of the Pin-Up Model:

The classic pin-up girl is as American as apple pie!  During World War II, an era when women’s sexual self-awareness emerged – so did the rise of the pin-up girl! G.I.s across the USA who were away at training camp filled their walls with pin-up models like Betty Grable, Bettie Page, and Esther Williams.  Marilyn Monroe even started as a pin-up model and was a favorite glamour girl of Earl Moran, a famous pin-up artist.


Betty Grable


Marilyn Monroe

Beautiful women were portrayed in print for years but it wasn’t until 1932, when Esquire magazine published drawings of Varga Girls and “girlie” cartoons that women were praised for their beauty and seductive manners and less on their sexuality.  Their images captured America’s fascination and were even considered a sign of good luck for the patriots during WWII and of course, a reminder of what they were fighting for back home!


The “Vargas Girls”

Classically trained illustrators like George Petty, Rolf Armstrong, and Art Frahm created some of the most memorable “Americana” pin-up work.  The images of the bombshells would be cut out of newspapers, magazines and advertisements and due to high demand, posters, paintings, calendars and photographs were mass produced to feed the country’s appetite of the curvaceous All-American women.

Art Frahm “Pin-ups”

The pin-up girl is an American art form that is not lost on today’s generation.  Popular celebrities are constantly transformed into pin-up models in current issues of magazines and their “look” still inspires entertainers like the Pussycat Dolls, Dita Von Teese and even the costume stylist of the hit television show, Mad Men.


                                                 Dita Von Teese

 The pin-up girl is the classic embodiment of pop culture trend that started small and now is a recognized icon! We wish the same for The Food Trucks Festivals of New England.  The food truck craze is sweeping the nation – started small and now rapidly growing! Looking forward to seeing final prints from the photo shoot – stay tuned to the blog for more sneak peeks on how the calendar is turning out!

- Caitlin & Savath, Food Truck Festivals of New England