Your Week in Pin Up Issue 48: The Spring Break Edition

27 March 2017

Out Like a Lamb….

La Liz…

Elizabeth putting on lipstick in her dressing room on the set of A Little Night Music, Vienna, Austria, August 1976. Photo by Michael Musto for W.

Elizabeth Taylor died six years ago March 23rd. The photo tributes we saw on our Flipboard were amazing.

Peter Stackpole—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Free is Always a Good Price

Hundreds of vintage posters. Free. Download away.

You’re welcome.

The Birthday Girl

We all love Pearl Frusch.

You Can’t Stop Talking About Our Medium Post…

Lauren Dukoff for Harper’s Bazaar.

Because sexiness comes in all shapes and sizes.

…or Our Mardi Gras Feature

We love reposts.

This. Gif.



Your Week in Pin Up, Issue 46: The Coming in Like a Lion Edition


6 March 2017

You Know What They Say About March, Right?


Putting Men in Touch with Their Femmeselves

 Miss Julia slipping stockings on Bianca. Allyee Whaley/Miss Vera's Academy

Miss Julia slipping stockings on Bianca. Allyee Whaley/Miss Vera’s Academy

This NPR Story gave us all the feels.

From Black History Month…..



…To Women’s History Month


Woman’s Ambulance Transport Corps. San Diego, California c. 1943

Via the US National Archives.



Via Getty Images

This. GIF.


Ah, Tempest Storm.






Are Pin Ups Feminist? Why Yes, They Are.

Recently, I was talking about my interactive documentary project with some colleagues at the university where I teach. One of the women (a second-wave feminist generation) said something along the lines of,

Well, you know that many of these images would be considered problematic for women.

Why????, my brain screamed, as I politely attempted to talk with her about individual agency and the need to respect how a woman chooses to represent her body (the colleague is, after all, more senior than me).

Dapper small tv

Dapper Dan Doll, in a provocative pose that she designed herself.

Of course, I knew the answer. The women were posing in a sexual manner. They’re provocative and often wearing few – or sometimes no – clothes. The retro poses draw their inspiration an era when women were presumed to be repressed by the patriarchy, being gazed upon by men and taken (or drawn) by men. The kitschy, throwback pin up is clearly a woman repressed.

Oh. My. God.

The problem with this narrative is that it ignores not only the individual wants, motivations and desires of contemporary pin ups (and their often-female artistic collaborators), but it also ignores the feminist history of the pin up herself.

Burlesque postcard from the 1800s.

Burlesque postcard from the 1800s.

In part, I’m drawing from the research done by art historian Maria Elena Buszek, whose wonderful book Pin Up Grrrls traces the feminist and artistic evolution of the genre. According to Buszek, the pin up evolved in the mid-1800s as a type of calling card for burlesque performers, who were using the photographic based carte de visite to not only promote their acts but also to challenge the idea that a woman could only be either the Madonna or the whore. The burlesque artist hovered somewhere in between the two in a state that Buszek calls “awarishness”: consciously inserting their “improper” burlesque identities into the non-theatrical world.

Gibson girls. They're looking at a man under the magnifying glass.

Gibson girls. They’re looking at a man under the magnifying glass.

Buszek argues that subsequent iterations of the pin up would similarly challenge boundaries in a very feminist way. Gibson Girls of the turn of the 20th century? Advocates of the right to vote, whose images were used on both sides of the debate as either an argument for female liberation or an illustration of what would happen when girls go wild. Flappers of the 1920s? Ditto.


It’s when the 1940s roll around that the pin up begins to make her way into the hands of the average woman. During World War II she is increasingly making her way into the workforce in non-traditional female work, such as in the military or in factories.

George Petty Air Hostess. From VinMag.

George Petty Air Hostess. From VinMag.

Buszek found that these women began experimenting with do-it-yourself pin ups, not to share with boyfriends and husbands but to share with their friends.

They are doing it to capture their own audacity. There was something inherently dangerous and transgressive about what those images must have represented to young women.

Maria Elena Buszek


By the 1950s, pin up icons like Bettie Page and Marilyn Monroe were using their sexuality as a way to promote their images within popular culture. Yes, Page and Monroe, not necessarily the photographers behind the images. Scholar Kathryn N. Benzel traced how Monroe constructed poses, accessories, costumes and expressions within her images, forcing viewers “to contemplate an aesthetic form rather than a glamourized nude.” Page’s carefully cultivated persona, meanwhile, poked fun at the very genre itself. Buszek sees her as a counterpoint to the Playboy Playmate (who would also emerge during this era), a feminist alternative to the nonthreatening Bunny.


During the latter third of the 20th century it would be artists who would reclaim the pin up, often for very pointed commentary on the roles of women in society. But the look was also beginning to percolate in the rockabilly, new wave, and punk rock subcultures, where vintage style was often as much an economic choice as an aesthetic one. Debbie Harry of Blondie, Madonna, and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt (who’s been called “the ultimate 21st-century pin up” by Sefan Lindemann of Grazia magazine, largely due to her individual fashion-forward stylings) all adopted pin up stylings.


So what about those modern women I’ve been talking to in connection with my project? Well, here’s the interesting rub: the vast majority of them self-identify as feminists. This is fascinating to me because feminism in the mid-2010s often is fraught with a ton of negative baggage (evidence: any internet comment section about any feminist news item ever). And, the women are actively aping the aesthetic aspects of an era when female empowerment wasn’t exactly a buzzphrase. They adopt monikers that promise sexuality and submissiveness, like Delicious Ruckus or Ginger Rose.

But these same women tell fans on their social media accounts to unfollow them if they don’t support feminist issues. They post on issues ranging from pay equality to sexual reproductive freedoms. They bemoan injustices such as sexual bigotry or racism.

Evalette Bizou (left) and Coco Soleil by Nightlight Digital.

Evalette Bizou (left) and Coco Soleil by Nightlight Digital.

Evalette Bizou and Coco Soleil are examples of this modern feminist pin up. The two also share a burlesque act, and were photographed together in the image (above) taken by Nightlight Digital.

“We both strongly identify ourselves as feminist,” said Coco.
“Exactly,” Evalette said. “I strongly believe in equality, and have never been anything but a feminist.”
“All my friends, both male or female, are feminists,” Coco added.

Their feminist impulses come out in various ways. Model Delicious Ruckus and photographer Mitzi Valenzuela both consider the pin up community a type of sisterhood, where women support each other regardless of race, ethnicity, body size, sexual orientation or economic background. Both are involved with charity causes (Pinups for Charity for D-Ruck; Bombshells Against Bullying for Valenzuela). And both, like Page and Monroe, tightly controls their shoots, from the posing to the costuming.

Miss Rockwell Di Vil, photographed by Mitzi and Co. Photography.

Miss Rockwell Di Vil, photographed by Mitzi and Co. Photography.

And from this control comes something. The modern pin up looks back. Even in a highly sexualized pose, such as Valenzuela’s image of Miss Rockwell De Vil in a clawfoot tub (which is one of the promotional posters for the film), the model is catching the eye of the camera through almost-closed eyes. She’s aware – and in control – of how she is looked at.

Rockwell is like those burlesque performers from the 1800s. There’s a tension in her control of the image: and it’s empowering.

Housekeeping – and a thank you

Opposite in the title, but the right way here. Thank you so much for your support of our Seed&Spark. While we fell short to make it to the next round in the #UntoldStory challenge, we nonetheless raised more that $25K in cash and in-kind loans, and had 650 followers. That means we qualify for distribution on Seed&Spark. This is HUGE.


And there are some little housekeeping things we need to do.

We ran two challenges during the Seed&Spark. We asked gals in the film as well as those who are already in the interactive documentary to help us get followers – with each getting a prize depending upon how many invites turned into actual followers. But, uhm, counting? It’s really hard to know who a follower is when the social media names doesn’t match the person’s real name. And then it’s tough to know if the person is just voting for the model, or actually started following because of the pinup.

So we’re asking the gals to take a look at the leader board, and then let us know who they invited….

I-doc stars leaderboard. The pin up with the most invites turned into Seed&Spark followers  wins a full-magazine feature in Il Bellezza

I-doc stars leaderboard. The pin up with the most follows wins a full-magazine feature in Il Bellezza


#iwannabeastar runner up leader board. The pin up with the most accepted invites on Seed&Spark wins a role in the i-doc.

#iwannabeastar runner up leader board. The pin up with the most accepted invites on Seed&Spark wins a role in the i-doc.

Results will be posted by July 31st.

We Did It (Almost)

First,  the good news. We’re fully funded at 101% of our goal on Seed& Spark. and we have 600 followers. This is fabulous. I am overwhelmed.  It means we can approach Seed&Spark and seek distribution.

Painted pin up of interactive online documentary star Kitty Mansfield, by Seed&Spark follower Petja Heiskanen, aka PinUpDrawings.

But for the bad news: unless we reach at least 250 more followers between now and 9pm PT tonight (July 1st), it’s not looking good for us to advance to the finals of the Untold Story crowdfund challenge.


The Millie Michelle, on location in Las Vegas. She’s one of the new models featured in our interactive documentary. We’re hoping to shoot on location with all of our i-doc stars.

When I first started working on this story, I never dreamed I’d still be immersed in all things pin up three years later. But what I found was simply following the fabulous ladies I met in Los Angeles and California wouldn’t fully tell the story of the modern pin up. So I began finding women in the Pacific Northwest, South and Midwest of the United States. Models from Canada, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, and Singapore. This is a global culture, and in the online interactive documentary I’m hoping to tell that story.


Bang Bang Von Loola and director Kathleen Ryan on why the interactive documentary is so important.

But here’s the problem. We have 600 followers as of right now. The top five films each have more than 900 followers. We’re not in the top ten. And Seed&Spark and Project Greenlight Digital are only advancing the top 10 films to the next round, based on followers.

We’re followers of most of these other films. We want them to do well. But also we want our fair shot.  And the potential $20K in matching funds would help me pay for music licensing for distribution, and travel to all these locations (domestic and abroad) to tell the story of the pin up.

Miss Mozzy Dee explains what Pin Up! The Movie means to her. She’s hoping for a role in the online documentary.

If each person who reads this blog followed the campaign and then helped us to find just ONE new follower, we would be well on our way to the finals. So please, in these last few hours before the Untold Story challenge ends, help us out. Any followers who join between now and 9pm PT tonight will count. And we have some great free gifts as a thanks.


Kathleen Ryan


Screenings and Travel

Yesterday was all about our feature on Colorado Public Radio. We headed down to the studios to talk about the film and our upcoming screenings.

And we did this little pre-record right before we went in.

Bang Bang Von Loola on Pin Up! The Movie from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

But I thought a calendar would be interesting so you can see what we’re up to in the coming weeks and months.



  • July 9, 2pm. Tiki Kon, Portland, OR. We’ll be part of the Music and Symposium series there. Tickets ARE spendy ($63), but it includes three days of entertainment. And the screening includes a conversation with some of our behind-the-scenes crew and the models who are in our interactive documentary.
  • July 22, 7:15pm. Comic-Con International, San Diego, CA. There are two ways to see us at Comic-Con. The first is to have a badge for Comic-Con, and they’ve been sold out since last year. The second is to get our red carpet package on our Seed&Spark. You can walk the red carpet with us, plus get some drinks afterwards with the cast and crew.
  • August 21. SexhibitionUK, Manchester, England. Perfect spot. And maybe we’ll see Ria Fend there????


Location Confirmed, but No Date Yet

  • Denver, September 2016. Drive in theater screening, you say? Benefit for Pin Ups For Charity, you say? Sign us up!
  • Florida, Fall 2016. We really want to do a double date with our friend at Art of the Pin Up Girl – and they do too! We’re talking late fall or early winter because, well, we may be wanting to escape snow in our neck of the woods then!
  • St. Louis, MO, Fall 2016. We’ve got a great group of pin up gals there who are organizing to bring a screening to town.
  • Texas, Fall, 2016. We’re in talks with some friends in El Paso to have a screening there – and we hear that the movie theater is FABULOUS.
  • Sweden, July 2017. We’re working with the brains behind Pinups and Kustoms to arrange a screening or two in Scandinavia.
  • Australia, 2017. Ditto with the folks at Adore Pin Up. Can’t wait for our first trip down under!
  • Mexico, 2017. Ditto (again) with the folks at Risque Pinups. It’ll be a fiesta with car clubs and vintage fans!


We’ve also submitted to the following film festivals. This is always a crap shoot, but we HAVE had luck with the comic con genre (batting 1000, as they say in baseball).



Our Weekend!

Goofing around with (from top left) Delicious Ruckus, Miss May Hem, Director Kathleen Ryan, Ginger Rose and Devin "Gatsby" James at the Colorado screening of Pin Up! The Movie.

Goofing around with (from top left) Delicious Ruckus, Miss May Hem, Director Kathleen Ryan, Ginger Rose and Devin “Gatsby” James at the Colorado screening of Pin Up! The Movie.

We were with our friends Devin “Gatsby” James, Delicious Ruckus, Dapper Dan Doll, Miss May Hem, Ginger Rose, Meghi Misfit, June Palmer XOXO and more. We attended two 1940s Ball events: the Pin Ups for Charity car show and the screening of Pin Up! The Movie. We also shot a music video.

During our (very hot) music video shoot. With (from left) Devin "Gatsby" James, Delicious Ruckus and Dapper Dan Doll.

During our (very hot) music video shoot. With (from left) Devin “Gatsby” James, Delicious Ruckus and Dapper Dan Doll.

Such a good time.

We even were able to cast one of our new interactive documentary stars. Meet Vanda Miss Paradise, an Indonesian (!!!) pin up who’s now making her home in Colorado. And who says pin up isn’t global?

Selfie time! The top three in the Pin Ups for Charity swimsuit pin up contest. From left, Vicki Doll (2nd Place), Sherry Pie (3rd Place), and Vanda Miss Paradise (1st Place). Vanda Miss Paradise made her own swimsuit. She'll also be featured in our online interactive documentary.

Selfie time! The top three in the Pin Ups for Charity swimsuit pin up contest. From left, Vicki Doll (2nd Place), Sherry Pie (3rd Place), and Vanda Miss Paradise (1st Place). Vanda Miss Paradise made her own swimsuit. She’ll also be featured in our online interactive documentary.

We’ve got some videos of the shenanigans that we’ll post in the coming days (teaser: Devin with a hula hoop, Dapper and D-Ruck dancing cheek to … uh … boob?). But for now we’re hoping these photos will do.

Our Schedule

June 18th


  • noon-3pm: Pin Ups for Charity Car Show, as part of the 1940s Ball Weekender. We’re judging the pin up contest – and the winner will be cast in a role in our online interactive documentary.
  • 4pm-???: 1940s Ball. Come see us at the Pin Ups for Charity booth – and meet film stars Dapper Dan Doll and Delicious Ruckus, as well as i-doc star Ruby Red Pinup. Everything we sell benefits our Seed&Spark. #BeABacker

June 19th


  • Oh, just a little thing like our Colorado premiere. 10:15 am. Did we mention that it’s also Father’s Day?  Hmm, last minute gift anyone?


No, this isn’t an ad inserted by WordPress. It’s an inside joke… watch ’til the end and you’ll get it too.

Why You Should Follow Us.

So Seed&Spark has a really cool incentive. And it all hinges on followers.

Remind you, this program is just for filmmakers. Not the person selling the coolest ice cooler. Not your neighbor who needs money to help save her puppy who may or may not have gotten bit by a bat (this is a heartbreaking crowdfund going on right now).

And they offer wonderful incentives for filmmakers who reach two milestones: gathering 500 followers and getting the greenlight (or reaching 80% of the goal).


They call it the Filmmaker Gift Box.

I can hear your question now:

The feature film is already done. Why on earth do you need a Filmmaker Gift Box????

Oh, there are reasons…


  • I don’t know if you saw the photo of the G-Technology Drive on our wish list. These things are amazing – I have a drive of theirs already which I love and HD filmmaking means you can always need more storage. A 1TB drive comes in the Gift Box. Considering I have one drive apparently on its last legs, this could come in very handy.
  • There’s this über cool encorder that turns my phone or iPad into a field monitor. Would be very nice to have with my new camera.
  • A one-year subscription to a music licensing service. Take a look at our wish list. I need this. I so need this.
  • Consultations with a film attorney, Seed&Spark distribution experts, and a PR and marketing film. Necessary on so many levels.
  • Free film festival submissions. This is worth $500 at least – probably more – and helps contribute to our Pin Up World Domination strategy. Screenshot 2016-06-13 15.42.48
  • $2,500 off rental of the theaters at Mann’s Chinese. Maybe we need another special LA screening??? netflix
  • Did I forget to mention the $20K bonus we qualify to compete for if we make the 500 followers/80% of our ask threshhold? Or the potential distribution on Netflix, iTunes and more?



Here’s the thing: It doesn’t take any money to help the film to qualify for this. It just takes a follow on our Seed&Spark. And that’s totally free.


And the benefit is that it means I can better bring the story of the pin up to you.

#BeABacker #ZeroDollars