Pin-up girl

From Academic Kids

A pin-up girl is a woman whose physical attractiveness would entice one to place a picture of her on a wall. The term was first attested to in English in 1941; however the practice is documented back at least to the 1890s. The “pin up” images could be cut out of magazines or newspapers, or be from postcard or chromo-lithographs, and so on. Such photos often appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of “pin-up girls” were mass produced.

Many “pin ups” were photographs of celebrities who were considered sex symbols. One of the most popular early pin-up girls was Betty Grable. Her poster was ubiquitous in the lockers of GIs during World War II. Others pin-ups were artwork, often depicting idealized versions of what some thought particularly a beautiful or attractive woman should look like. An early example of the latter type was the Gibson girl, drawn by Charles Dana Gibson. The genre also gave rise to several well-known artists specializing in the field, including Alberto Vargas and George Petty, and numerous lesser artists such as Art Frahm.

The term “cheesecake” was for a time synonymous with “pin-up photo”. The earliest documented print usage of this sense of “cheesecake” is in 1934 [1] (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=c&p=10), predating “pin-up”, although anecdotes say the phrase was in spoken slang some 20 years earlier, originally in the phrase (said of a pretty woman) “better than cheesecake”.

These days men can be considered “pin ups” as well and there are male equivalents of attractive and sexy actors such as Brad Pitt or numerous male models. The counterpart term to “cheesecake” is “beefcake”.

See also

External links

fr:Pin-up

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