A pin-up girl is a man’s ideal of the “perfect woman.” Men want to look at them and women want to look-like them. Pin-Up girls have been around since the 1890s but became most popular in the 1940s.
Pin-up girls represented everything an average woman in the street aspired to and reflected a glamorous side of life that seemed to be missing in the forties and fifties. These Images could be found almost anywhere; magazines, calendars, posters, newspapers, postcards or even in chromolithographs.
In World War II, pin-up photos and posters were plastered over walls and lockers in soldier’s barracks. This gave the servicemen a beautiful and sexy distraction from their all-male comrades as well as the war and possibilities of death.
Army Air Corps pilots developed “Nose art” that was painted on their fighter, bomber or cargo airlift planes. This “nose art” would consist of fierce animals such as tigers, eagles and sharks; but frequently you would find pin-up girls gracing the noses of U.S. aircraft. In 1941, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a jet that he decorated with a gorgeous pin-up of his wife, naming the plane “Glamorous Gynnis.”
As years passed, sexual harassment and exploitation of women became more aware and sought after to desist. Nose art was officially banned 30 years later by the United States Air Force. It wasn’t till 1998 that the nose art ban was lifted, but the vintage pin-up art vanished forever. It’s only seen now in museums depicting the lives of servicemen in ages gone by.
Pin-up art reached its hey-day during World War II, and art experts say that it will never quite be the same again.