Things are getting spooky around here as we approach Halloween. Between the last harvest and Halloween combining in the sky we’re getting the best of plenty and horror. It’s pumpkin carving season, and we’re sharpening our knives to make our very own Grapefruit Moon.
But then it’s back to thinking about costumes. Current Halloween eve attire can be traced back to pin ups from the 1940s and 1950s, when images of sexy nurses, librarians, and police offers permeated the culture. While pin up began around the turn of the century with New Orleans bordello babes, the contemporary image of pin up comes from the mid century ideals of feminine sexuality, the stocking wearing, bra exposing, lipsticked women who emerged from World War II oversea expectations of soldiers, who craved the idealized woman. To keep it interesting for the service men, pin ups were often themed, with punny titles meant to titillate the viewer. Here the ‘sexy secretary,’ ‘French maid,’ ‘bathing beauty,’ and ‘manhandled mechanic’ images where born, along with seasonal favorites of bad girl witches and cats.
What was popular then still holds true 70 years later, and tropes established during WWII trench culture are still the norm today, albeit with perhaps even less clothing and made of somewhat more dubious materials. And not just the tropes of Halloween, those sexy persona, but traditional ‘pin up’ style is a popular dress up choice on Halloween night. Do yourself a favor and find inspiration in our many pin up girls from the golden age of calendar art.