Where was modeling going in the 1950s, and what would future fashion trends hold? The main point of this article seemed to point out the sheer diversity of pinup models and beautiful women. An interesting picture was one of Rita Hayworth without makeup, and then made up. One of her movies, “An Affair in Trinidad”, was chosen by the National Photographers Association as “the sexiest and most provocative motion picture still ever made”.
By the early 1950s, beauty and publicity had become almost ridiculous, as evidenced by the crowning of Potato Queens (Marilyn Monroe), National Soybean Queen (and Miss Missouri), Sourkraut Queen, Queen Pickle.
Did you know that the first Miss America was 5 foot 1, weighed 108lbs, had a 30 inch bust, 25 inch waist, 32 inch hips and brown hair with blue eyes? In comparison, Evelyn Ay, the 1954 winner, measured: 5’8, 132lbs, 37-24-36. Here is a chart and a picture to demonstrate the perfect female form of the 1950s, as decided by Vincent Trotta, a Miss Universe judge. He claimed that it was proportion, so a woman could be taller or shorter, just proportional.
This article claims that Annette Kellerman was groundbreaking in making more practical swimwear acceptable… and did you know that shorts for women were invented in the 1930s?
The article covers women’s baseball with interesting pictures showing women’s baseball teams from World War I and the 1950s (including pictures of Ruth Engle and Doris Sams), and also pictures of figure skaters and golfers to contrast fashion trends of the first part of the 20th century.
This first article about the history of women in sports seems to claim that women are 2 inches taller (in 1953) than they were in 1850 because they’re free to exercise and play sports!
Wow. What a cool series of pinup and burlesque star history!
I’m not sure if there’s much of a point to the words in these pages, but the pictures show the history of fashion and burlesque with pictures including
These next few pages of old pictures are a history of chorus girls and showing skin on stage, from Can Can girls, to to Mae West, to the Zigfield Follies, and the Rockettes.
Here’s an interesting history of pinups in advertising! Showing pictures of billboards from the 1800s-1950s, with a focus on pretty girls in beer advertisements.
The next page shows samples of pretty women used to advertise books and, the latest thing, record album covers. Even classical music “moves off the shelves” faster when an attractive woman is pictured on it!
Here is an interesting history of tobacco advertisements using pretty women and pinups as bait, and to gain broader social acceptance of smoking cigarettes! To explain changes in tobacco advertising, you have to take a historical perspective, which this article explains best. Briefly the history of tobacco ads (according to this 1953 article):
Here is illustrated how two marketing companies used cheesecake pinup, double entendre, and sexual innuendo to sell mens shirts and bed sheets.
Here are shown some lingerie and shapewear ads from the 1800s-1950s. The chemise replaced the corset cover by 1918, although shape wear was still worn in the 1920s to achieve that stylish “boyish” form. The inflatable bra of the 1950s replaced the “Victoria” bosom pad of 1879… such changes in lingerie styles and advertisements!
Advertising to women, by attractive women! Here are some shapewear and corset ads, with a historical perspective. Gilda Grey and “other famous actresses” endorsing a fat reducing cream in 1923. Gypsy Rose Lee endorsing an electric shaver. Warner Brother’s Coraline Corsets of the 1880s(the corset alone was enough to sell it), versus the more straight fronted corseted shape of 1900 (this advertisement with pretty women) in an ad for Armorside Corsets. Finally, an ad for the “modern” 1950s girdle with stockings and garters which flattened both front and bottom, and could be best illustrated in a photograph.
Enjoy these pinup pictures of Marilyn Monroe, declared “The All American Pinup” by the 1953 issue of Cheesecake – An American Phenomenon. Jane Russell said that “Marilyn is the most female girl I know”, and her only flaws were “a slight thickness behind the knees”.
The next page declares that “American business will spend close to $1,000,000,000 in advertising alone. At least one out of every three advertisements will feature a girl, who is bound to be pretty, shapely, and appealing.
Pinups thru out history have been used to sell everything from cosmetics to real estate. Sometimes, they had their origins in the scandalous worlds of peepshows and erotica. The scandalous Gilda Grey, famous for popularizing The Shimmy with her signature song The Shimmy Shewabble, helped sell a reducing cream in 1923. In 1925 she did the shimmy after a meeting to interest buyers in buying Coral Gables properties in Florida. The Shimmy, for which Gilda Grey was famous for, reportedly could be danced properly only with great difficulty and was considered primarily an exhibition dance. Similarly, the Cat Dance by Lilly Christine, had its origins in the realms of peepshows, but she crossed over into mainstream pinup model popularity and helped sell products.