Time may change me… November 13 2013, 0 Comments
I think it’s imperative that, even years and years on, we immortalise and recognize the beautiful women of time gone by and remember what made them so stunning and spectacular. On too many occasions I see people as young as myself idolising and aspiring to be the next Miley Cyrus or the next Rihanna. Not because of their success, but because they crave their attitude or image. At best, on the occasion, I see someone numbly upload a picture of Marilyn Monroe substituted by a quote she most probably didn’t say – ladies, lest us not forget she married Arthur Miller, arguably one of the most dazzling playwrights and essayists known in theatre and literature; explore some of his quotes instead.
How about we stray away from the women in the public eye and delve back into the classic exquisiteness that represented women as a form of tasteful desire. This is a post of hullabaloo that might not appeal to anyone, nevertheless, I think that in the modernised times we’re struggling through, we need more than just a Dita Von Teese (who is just as magnificent clothed as she is in her lingerie – which is more than can be said for the frankly disturbing images I saw of Miley Cyrus’ behind slipping through her tight latex shorts at an award show).
All my perhaps biased and personal ranting above leads me to the core of this blog post. I’ve decided to hoard together a few of my beloved and most notable ladies from the past, going all the way from 1910 (yes, there have been bombshells since then) up until the 2010’s where I’ll bring to light the fine-looking rarities in modern music.
1910 – Fernande Barrey
It’s a weird and wonderful thing that the pin-up style of beauty came from over a hundred years ago, ten years before my still fabulous great nana was born. The voluptuousFernande Barrey was the Audrey Hepburn of her time; gifted with a stunning full figure that became iconic in France. Fernande lead a colourful life that perhaps isn’t the most inspiration (meeting a gentleman whom she married thirteen days later, earning as a prostitute) but her more plus sized curves are something that were and will continue to be desired by men and women (another thing, she was an avid bisexual, you go girl!)
1920 – Josephine Baker
Acclaimed by Ernest Hemingway as being “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw”, the mind numbing Josephine Baker was an absolute icon. Noted as being the first African-American woman to star in a motion picture, to integrate in an American concert hall and being noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement (to only list a few of her credible achievements), Josephine is what we would now call an ‘all rounder’. Going from living in the streets at the age of twelve, Josephine made it on the stage and into the hearts of men all around the world.
1930 – Mae West
This option may have some bias behind it. There are numerous iconic ladies from the 1930’s however, as my middle name is Mae, it seemed fitting to pick this blonde bombshell. Mae West shows that good things can too come in small packages; in her dinky five foot length Mae West still maintained a curved silhouette, long legs and a naturally enticing face. Mae West was the subject of controversy in her time due to censorship; however she grew old gracefully and was still as elegant at her oldest age in her eighties.
1940 – Esther Williams
The year in which pin ups really began to emerge in ‘cheesecake’ images. Along with the 1950’s, it was the debatably the climax of the pin up scene. It would be nearly criminal not
to select Esther Williams, who we sadly lost this year. Esther was a beautiful water baby, gracefully illuminating the film world with her kind face and figure. Her glamorous beauty was carried throughout her life and, even after retiring from films, she continued her love and passion of the water by becoming a business woman – the beauty and the brains.
1950 - Bettie Page
On par with the 1940’s over the difficulty to select just one beautiful woman to continue my insight through the ages, however I have settled with the more than stunning Bettie Page –
once again with the middle name Mae! Debatably the reason why girls like me prance around in their lingerie with their jet black hair and bangs, Bettie Page’s title is correctly “the Queen of pin up”. With her 35 inch waist and 36 inch bust, Bettie’s erotic and glamorous body is one that is universally recognized; paired with her naturally ravishing face. One of my ultimate favourites and that goes without saying.
1960 – June Wilkinson
The year which signified the rise of the likes of Twiggy, however I’ve decided that we focus more on the well endowed June Wilkinson. This blossom was snapped up by Hugh Hefner, and although she was never an official playmate, her curvy figure blessed the spread of Playboy magazine countless times – and it’s easy to comprehend why.
1970 – Julie Newmar
Following the 1960’s, the pin-up esque looks slowly evaporated as more and more Playboy stars emerged. Perhaps not as classy as the likes of Mae West, though still at this time the magazines primarily featured curvy, natural looking women (despite their dyed hair!). Julie Newmar also takes the leads as, on top of her Playboy feature, she played Catwoman in the1960’s Batman series – the perfect role played by the perfect lass. Julie’s faultless, full lips and brows are what many women strive for today. Julie’s iddy biddy waist yet jam-packed figure just shows that slender doesn’t always mean too skinny, just as being curvy doesn’t make someone ‘fat’; everyone’s body shape is sculpted like a piece of art.
1980 – Tawny Kitaen
The rise of the iconic Madonna; but also the fiery redhead that is Tawny Kitaen. This may be my rock and roll side as Tawny appeared in numerous band videos, for the likes of Whitesnake. Everyone feels a stab of envy as she rolled around on the bonnets of two Jaguars wearing a white negligee. Like many of the ladies I’ve posted on my list today, she didn’t live the perfect life by any standards – especially in her later years – but her stunning ginger locks separate her from the other women in my favourites; an iconic look.
1990’s – Carmen Electra
The year of me! The 90’s saw a rise in Pamela Anderson’s breasts on the front covers of magazines – furthermore my list here showing the development from pin up to borderline pornography (though undoubtable a few, rare women still kept the beautiful, curvy pin up look). It’s getting harder and harder to pick women now, as there is a certain loss of class seen from the late 1970’s. However, I have chosen the very iconic Carmen Electra. There was no denying that in her Baywatch days, she wasn’t the desire of every young male watching the television show. Even with her more explicit nature now, Carmen has always support a more ‘full’ figure rather than conforming to what the media what to see and that’s an area I can idolise.
2000 – Bernie Dexter
Finally, a little less Playboy and a little bit more pinup! The burlesque style began surfacing again and gave us the likes of the iconic Dita Von Teese. We have Loulou von Brochwitz, Heidi Van Horne and my favourite Bernie Dexter. Bernie incorporates the 1950’s black hair and bangs that we’ve missed for the last 20 or so years. Bernie preserves the classic look we all know and love with her curved figure, rolled hair and luscious smile. A true and thorough modern pin up idol!
Now who can we have?
Bringing up to the modern day it’s rare to see pin up gems rise. After the classic pin up look fizzled during the late 1900’s, it is slowly crawling its way back into fashion with stars such as Lana Del Ray and Marina and The Diamonds (pictured) bringing back the classy style we know and love. I hope my blog post and not only guided people through the life of this iconic style; it’s rise, it’s brief fall and it’s slow comeback, but I also hope I have showed that there are other women to idolise besides the ones MTV may show and magazines may airbrush. Women with smiling faces, full figures and daring attitudes are even more so beautiful than the ones we tend to see partying in their music videos. Keep this wonderful style alive and embrace it – wear your tight dresses, bake your cupcakes and paint your lips red! Rebel against what is seen to be the norm and bring the past back into the present.
Who's your fave?
Signed off, a little pin-up wannabe.