A Year in Pin Up – 2017

Time for the annual best-of list. So here are the highlights for our 2017 Year in Pin Up.

Week. By. Week

Week 1: January 1-7

The week we learned about the man-eating singing mermaids musical film. #swoon

Week 2: January 8-14


This photo of Gypsy Rose Lee. Well, it was her birthday…..

Week 3: January 15-21

The week more than 3 million women around the U.S. marched against racism, sexism and bigotry.

Week 4: January 22-28


The week we lost Mary Tyler Moore. RIP.

Week 5: January 29-February 4


The week of Bang Bang Von Loola’s pirate adventures.

Week 6: February 5-11


That week of Mainbocher …


…and screenings in Illinois

Week 7: February 12-18

Circa 1950s. From vintagegal.tumblr.com.

Circa 1950s. From vintagegal.tumblr.com.

That week we sealed everything with a kiss.

Week 8: February 19-25

The week of Amazon Barbie.

Week 9: February 26-March 4

That week we worshiped Janelle Monae’s panniers.

And Emma Stone’s fringe.

Week 10: March 5-11

That week we were all about lifting women up.

Week 11: March 12-18

Our director with Ginger Rose.

The week of the screening in NoCo.

Week 12: March 19-25

Lauren Dukoff for Harper’s Bazaar.

That week we said sexiness comes from confidence.


Week 13: March 26-April 1

Miss Dotty DeMure by by JRM Photography (left) and Jill Kerswill Photography (right) via the Nylon Swish.

The week we put on our stockings.

Week 14: April 2-8

The week we discovered the Old Milwaukee pin up beer cans.

Week 15: April 9-15

The week we discovered burlesque mermaids.

Week 16: April 16-22


That week we were all about gender bending.

Because, makeup.


And princess dresses.

Oh, and tattoos.

Week 17: April 22-29

That week we closed out a film festival.

And won best documentary


Week 18: April 30-May 6

Rita Ora. Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

The week we swooned over this.

Oh, and did a little thing called a podcast….

Week 19: May 7-13


Bellocq. It was always Bellocq.

Week 20: May 14-20

Whitney Bell’s show “I Didn’t Ask For This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics.” Photo by Michael Mendoza for Vice.

The week of dick pics.

Week 21: May 21-27

A scene from a vigil outside the Town Hall in Manchester, England, on May 23.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

The week Ariana Grande became an unintentional symbol for people attempting to shut down the voices and empowerment of girls and young women.

We still ache for Manchester.

Week 22: May 28-June 3

Did you really need to ask?

Week 23: June 4-10

I still say the shorts would look hella better with flip flops.

Week 24: June 11-17

Angelique Noire by Tibrina Hobson/Getty

That week we celebrated black pin ups.

Week 25: June 18-24

The week boys at Exeter protested their uniforms…. by wearing skirts.

Week 26: June 25-July 1


Le clitoris – Animated Documentary (2016) from Lori Malépart-Traversy on Vimeo.

The week we discovered Le Clitoris

Week 27: July 2-8

The week we went vintage for July 4th.

Week 28: July 9-15

The week we saw I Love Lucy in color.

Week 29: July 16-22

June Rivas dressed in cosplay after her boss told her a headscarf and ponytail were “unprofessional.”

Because we’re all about cosplay… and fighting back against the system.

Week 30: July 23-29

When we met the Rolling Stones.

Week 31: July 30-August 5

Rose McGowan. Betty Boop. This made our week.

Week 32: August 6-12

Ashley Graham as seen in the New Yorker.

Two words: Ashley Graham.

Week 33: August 13-19

The back end of the pages and media files for the interactive online documentary for Pin Up! The Movie.

The week we launched our interactive documentary.

Week 34: August 20-26

Selena Gomez’s BTS of Fetish really caught your eye.

Week 35: August 27-September 2

Meet the LadyByrds. Girl band. Topless. #firsts

Week 36: September 3-9

*sigh* Paris Blues. With Louis Armstrong, Sydney Poitier and Paul Newman.

Week 37: September 10-16

Weegee (Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography via Getty Images)

Weegee + movie theaters + infrared + 1940s = photographic gold.

Week 38: September 17-23

Al Brule, September 1941

We KNEW you really liked #CalendarWednesday.

Week 39: September 24-30

Ernest Chiriaka 1954

Like really really liked Calendar Wednesday.

Week 40: October 1-7

THIS. From AJ+ on Facebook.

Week 41: October 8-14

Courtesy Messy Nessy Chic.

The week of Friday the 13th. During October. And five places where you don’t want to get stuck.

Week 42: October 14-21

Melanie Greensmith of Wheels and Dollbaby. Photo: Steven Siewert

The week Wheels and Dollbaby called it quits.

Week 43: October 22-28

Carrie Fisher. The Last Jedi. Why General Leia is important. #imnotcryingyourecrying

Week 44: October 29-November 4

This seasonal gif.

Week 45: November 5-11

The week we celebrated Veteran’s Day, and remembered the women who served in the US Navy as WAVES.

Week 46: November 12-18

Esther García López / TetraTheRipper

The week we were reminded why it’s so important for an artist to get credit for her work.

Week 47: November 19-25

Because who doesn’t need Prince roller skates?

Week 48: November 26-December 2

Rita Heyworth. The Bee Gees. ‘Nuf said.

Week 49: December 3-9

Just watch. It’s mesmerizing.

Week 50: December 10-16

Meet the girl behind Alice in Wonderland.

Week 51: December 17-23

I’m looking for the sequel: revenge of the model.

Week 52: December 24-30

That week we (FINALLY) released our “Girls Like That” music video.














A Year in Pin Up 2016

Time for the annual best-of list. So here are the highlights for our 2016 Year in Pin Up.

Week. By. Week.

Week 1: January 1-7


The week we started our Instagram casting call for features in our interactive documentary.

Week 2: January 8-14

Some of pin ups (and director Kathleen Ryan and Producer David Staton) at the Albuquerque Film Festival

Some of pin ups (and director Kathleen Ryan and Producer David Staton) at the Albuquerque Film Festival

File this one under film festivals. Albuquerque Film Festival and Comic Con. Good times.

Week 3: January 15-22



Week 4: January 22-27


Our kind of Super Bowl.

Week 5: January 28-February 3


This GIF.

Week 6: February 4-10

Director Kathleen M. Ryan by Sheila Broderick Photography.

Director Kathleen M. Ryan by Sheila Broderick Photography.

A feature about the film in the University of Oregon Alumni Magazine. Love it!

Week 7: February 11-17


Did you see us at the Dirty Show?

Week 8: February 18-24


Pin up knows no age boundaries. Via Sabine Reichel and Beate Pilgreen

Week 9: February 25-March 3

From top left: Pinup Sunshine, Ria Fend, Serenity Pinup and Kitty Mansfield, our February i-doc winners.

From top left: Pinup Sunshine, Ria Fend, Serenity Pinup and Kitty Mansfield, our February i-doc winners.

That time we had four winners in our Instagram #iwannabeastar contest. Yes, it was that close.

Week 10: March 4-10


That week we went viral.

Week 11: March 11-17


The last of our Kickstarter premiums went out to their homes. The house seemed so much emptier.

Week 12: March 18-24


That dance. From the classic Metropolis.

Week 13: March 25-31

2016-04-30 15.58.12

Ethnografilm in Paris. Ooh la la.

2016-04-30 15.57.58

Week 14: April 1-7

2016-04-09 09.35.47

The week Scarlette Saint Clair SMASHED our previous Instagram voting records.

Week 15: April 8-14

2016-04-10 01.11.43

Palm Beach International Film Festival with Art of the Pin Up Girl.

2016-04-10 11.39.25-1

Week 16: April 15-21

2016-04-30 15.56.28

Viva Las Vegas. Oh, and we met Elvis too.

2016-04-30 15.56.18

Week 17 April 22-28


That week we went viral. Again.

Week 18: April 29-May 5


RIP Prince. This GIF helped us remember everything we loved about you.

Week 19: May 6-12

2016-05-09 10.31.01

Scarlette only held her crown for a few weeks when Fifi Von Tassel stole it away. Most Instragram votes in a week for our #IWannaBeAStar contest. At least to date…

Week 20: May 13-19

Screenshot 2016-05-22 18.44.57

That time we shot a music video and this happened.

Week 21: May 20-26

Screenshot 2016-05-22 18.45.27

This photo. #ALeagueofTheirOwn #RubyRydell

Week 22: May 27-June 2


That week we started crowdfunding on Marilyn’s birthday.

Week 23: June 3-9

Girls Like That (Pin Up 6) Teaser from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

“Girls Like Us” teaser, part one. Full music video coming soon. We swear.

Week 24: June 10-16

Cafe Racer, 1960s.

Cafe Racer, 1960s.

Bad ass women on motorcycles. Via Dangerous Minds.

Week 25: June 17-23

Girls Like That (Pin Up 6) Teaser (the Car Show Version) from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

More shenanigans. Yes, yes, we know…

Week 26: June 24- 30

The Millie Michelle from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

The week we introduced one of our i-doc stars, The Millie Michelle.

Week 27: July 1-7


We had NO IDEA we were screening in India as part of Ethnografilm… until we saw this news story.

Week 28: July 8-14

screenshot-2016-12-24-15-29-55 screenshot-2016-12-24-15-30-03

The week we got listed at a highlight at Comic Con by the Huffington Post.

Week 29: July 15-21

By Frank Larson

By Frank Larson

The treasure trove of photos of New York in the 1950s… found in an attic. By Frank Larson, courtesy Creative Boom

Week 30: July 22-28

Photo by Michael Dooley

Photo by Michael Dooley

COMIC CON!!!!  Post-screening panel with photographer Mitzi Valenzuela and models Bang Bang Von Loola, Sydney Ralston, and Ashleeta in front of director Kathleen Ryan.

Week 31: July 29-August 4

Miss Merry Lou, #iwannabeastar finalist

Miss Merry Lou, #iwannabeastar finalist

The #iwannabeastar contestant who BLEW UP Facebook. Maybe we should make room for her in the film?

Week 32: August 5-11


Alberto Vargas calendar girl, c. 1948.

Week 33: August 12-18


Yes, please.

Week 34: August 19-25


The week we got some British sexiness at Sexhibition.

Week 35: August 26-September 1


The modern child as a Dutch Masters painting. Via Imagur.


Oh, and the whole burkini-ban/indecency thing. Via PBS.

Week 36: September 2-8


The week we screened at Woodstock.

Week 37: September 9-15


Rosie at 95. Via People Magazine.

Week 38: September 16-22

The week Ruby’s Musings video blogged for us up and down the California Coast.

Week 39: September 23-29


We shared a number of photos from the 1940s World Fair via the New York Public Library this year, wrapping up with this one of the Prettiest Leg Contest.

Week 40: September 30-October 6


Photo by Kevin Owens Imagery.

Sami Lee Schaefer, who turned into a good friend and a great interview. Our September #iwannabeastar winner.

Week 41: October 7-13


Halloween. Horror movie GIF style.

Week 42: October 14-20


By OC Wonderland Studios

Halloween. K Von Spun Style

Week 43: October 21-27


Halloween. Vintage style.

Week 44: October 28-November 3


Halloween.  Catwoman style.

Week 45: November 4-10


When pin ups came together in the wake of the US election to fight racism, sexism and biogtry. Don’t let the 1960s-era photo fool you.. these gals are standing for their rights, and are looking good doing it.

Week 46: November 11-17


Words to live by. Via Undocumedia.

Week 47: November 18-24


Bill Randall, November 1959 calendar.  Go, Team!

Week 48: November 25-December 1


RIP Mrs. Brady. You know Florence Henderson was a ’50s pin up before she became “a lovely lady,” right?

Week 49: December 2-8


The weekend our Seed&Spark backer Christian D. Orr and his date Nicol went to the 1940s Ball. Thanks to Sheila Broderick Photography and Cha Cha Romero for making the night magical.

Week 50: December 9-13


Our #BestNine via Instagram.

Week 51: December 14-20

A Christmas Twist. Thanks, Si Cranstoun.

Week 52: December 21-31

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actresses Debbie Reynolds (L) and Carrie Fisher pose in the press room at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Actresses Debbie Reynolds (L) and Carrie Fisher pose in the press room at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

On Tuesday December 27th actress Carrie Fisher died. Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, posted this on Facebook:

Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carries Mother

Just over 24 hours later, Reynolds died after suffering a stroke. She was 84.

I’ll always remember her in one of my favorite films, Singing in the Rain. A even though this year had some brutal twists and turns, this clip from the movie gives me the strength to enter 2017 with optimism. Thank you, Carrie’s Mother, for sharing your gift with us.

We’ll see you in 2017.

Six Reasons Not to Let Contests Define Us

  Or, Six More Things I’ve Learned From Pin Ups

Hypocrite alert here. I’m just going to start out with that disclaimer.

dmsbtsFrom the pin up contest I judged over the summer

I’ve entered approximately 30 film festivals for Pin Up! The Movie. In the course of making the doc, I filmed three pin up contests. I’ve judged a pin up contest. A contest inspired me to start working on the film. And I’m doing online contests for the film’s Instagram.

So I’m not going to say that contests don’t mean anything.


But I’ve been watching from the sidelines as the semi-finalists were announced this week for the Miss Viva Las Vegas pin up contest (a contest I filmed in 2014). I’ve seen the reactions – the over-the-moon joy for the gals who were the judges’ choice to move on (six women) to the “get out the vote” attitude for the 50 or so who are trying to be part of the remaining six selected by public vote. And then there are those who didn’t make it to either list, some of whom are terribly worthy. Disappointed? You could say that.

So what have I learned… and what have my pin up friends taught me?

1. “Contests don’t define who I am as a pin up, or who I am as a person.” Via the awesomesocks Dapper Dan Doll. Amen, sister.

Dapper Dan Doll 8

Dapper Dan Doll by Donigan Artworks

2. You have no way of knowing what “they” actually want. I got a note today from a film festival who wanted to know if I had a shorter version of the film, because their programming is so tight that the current hour-and-a-half running time would preclude its acceptance. That’s good to know (yes, I’m still in the running). But that sort of outreach is rare. Which means….

3. Sometimes, decisions are made for really lousy reasons. As an outsider in what is an often-behind-closed-doors process, you have no idea why that bright, shining star got the golden ticket and you’re stuck with rocks. Which means….


4. Quality can fall by the wayside… through no fault of your own. Maybe it’s just the wrong fit for you. Or the organizer’s best friend’s sister’s cousin was your competition. Or you’re wearing the white skirt rather than the black one. You don’t know.


5. Sometimes decisions are real head-scratchers. My film was rejected by a woman’s film festival because they only accept films on women’s issues made by female directors. I guess the feminist history of the pin up directed by a woman named Kathleen doesn’t count.  anigif_enhanced-8142-1391412891-14

6. Know you’ve done the best you can… and accept anything else as a bonus. Pollyanna-ish? Maybe. But it’s also a way to keep your sanity, and your faith in yourself. As my friend Kat Stroud wrote,

While our validation shouldn’t stem from the validation of others, sometimes, having someone shut down any negative self-talk in your head is the push you need to acknowledge just how absurd the negative self-talk is to begin with.

Kat Stroud on set with Mitzi & Co.

Kat Stroud on set with Mitzi & Co.

Look, you’ll see me bragging when we get into our next fest, lobbying for my pals to get into or win pin up contests, and holding contests to try to find fun new faces.


But in the long run? I’m trying to remember WWDS (What Would Dapper Say).

Let’s make that a trending hashtag, whaddya say? #WWDS

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