Three Female Pin-up Artists

Boing Boing linked to an article about three women who worked in pin-up art. (While most of the images are tame enough to view at work, there are at least three drawings of fully nude women in the article, so it’s up to you) I was fascinated by this because it seems odd that women would want to contribute to the sexualization of women – at least under the narrative I grew up with. Interestingly enough, one of the artists is best known for the Coppertone Baby (which always reminds me of Miami Billboards)

Whether or not you click through to the article, I think this quote is pretty awesome:

“You find mistakes in the male paintings,” Phillips told me. “Elvgren’s got a famous painting where she’s got two left feet, and there are just these things that don’t fit every once in a while. The women never made those mistakes. I think they looked in the mirror a lot and they got things more right. The men tended to make the breasts larger, and they made the legs longer. The women tended to paint very proportionate women, more of a 36-26-36 look, whereas men would make them a little top-heavy.”

I think it makes sense for three reasons. 1) The men were trying to titillate so they drew what they wanted to see, whether it was realistic or not. Think of it as the original “Photoshopped girls”. 2) The women used themselves as models, giving themselves a perfect view of what a woman looks like 3) When it comes to the stuff like the two left feet – I’ve found that, in general, women are a LOT more detail oriented than men and able to spot little mistakes as well as take in more details which could then be drawn upon for the drawing.

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Author: Eric Mesa

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