The Production Code and Continued Evolution of Cheesecake Pinup

The Production Code and Continued Evolution of Cheesecake Pinup

This is an interesting article on how the Motion Picture Production Code affected the evolution of cheesecake pinup, and (literally) changed the recipe. Along side captioned pictures of Clara Bow, Jean Harlow, and Marian Marsh, this short article reads:

“The Indigestible Cheesecake” Spurred by the post-World War I decline in morals, and enchanted by cheesecake, Hollywood went all out in its exploitation of the female form. Millions went to movies featuring “beautiful jazz babies, champagne baths, petting parties in the purple dawn … in a climax that makes you gasp.” Meanwhile, Hollywood’s private life was matching the movie advertising with scandal after scandal. And soon an outraged public was finding cheesecake, made in Hollywood, indigestible, and saying so loudly. The frightened movie moguls called in Will Hays, prim Postmaster General in Hardings cabinet, and “self-regulation” was under way. A Code was drawn: “… Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be used.” But the movie makers soon found ways of ignoring their own Code. ‘What the codemakers had not realized was that a woman strategically covered was far more provocative than one fully stripped. And the Code said nothing about peekaboo nudity; so, with the recipe changed, cheesecake went on selling.

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