Betty Grable, in what may be the most iconic pinup image of all time. –Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Though its origins can be traced further back, it was WWII that really put pinups on the map. The pinup was a reminder to troops of what awaited back home, and as us men go, served as the ultimate motivator to the male psyche– T&A. What can I say, we are simple creatures. Maybe you see it as an objectification of women, but the fact is it kept soldier’s morale up in dark, harrowing and uncertain times. It also served to launch the careers of many a young Hollywood starlet.
It’s an art form expressed through performance, photography, fashion, music, tattoos, etc., that is with us to this day. It’s taken a decidedly more alternative bent in recent years with the popularity of Bettie Page, Dita Von Teese, Suicide Girls, etc., all of which have helped to keep pinup fanaticism front and center. Long live the pinup.
May 18th, 1944 — A variation of the old Police Gazette, that used to keep customers happy in grandfather’s day, is this collection of pinup cuties adorning the wall of this barber shop at a U.S. Marine Base in the Pacific. Barber Joseph J. Perino, a Marine Corporal from New Orleans, Louisiana, and a veteran of Guadalcanal, here trims the locks of a customer, who uses the interim for a “dream on the house.” — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
Nov 23rd, 1943 — Here are members of the B-24 Liberator Bomber “Miss Giving” credited with making the longest flight mission from Australia while on photographic reconnaissance over a Japanese Oil producing city last October. The Ship fought its way through intense anti-aircraft fire and was intercepted by approximately nine enemy fighters, downing four of them in battle. One engine was knocked out, but the plane returned to its base without injury to any crew members. Left to right, front: S/Sgt. Aloysius Ziober, Chicago, Ill., Gunner; Capt. Jack Banks, Portland, Ore., Pilot; 2nd Lt. John Calhoun, Wenona, Ill., co-pilot; 1st Lt. Robert MacFarland, Philadelphia, navigator; 1stLt. Clinton McMillan, Chicago, Bombardier; Back Row: T/Sgt. James Ressguard, Seattle, radio-man; Sgt. Donald J. Ford, Kansas City, gunner; Sgt. James Murphy, Elkhardt, Ind., gunner; T/Sgt. Phileman Blais, — Image by © Bettmann/Corbis