I recently happened upon this great Pin-Up Tattoo blog, inadvertently rekindling my love of the sultry images upon which the tats are based. I kinda forgot about pin-ups (a.k.a. cheesecake) for awhile, but now I can't stop looking at em! Pin-ups got their name during WWI and II when soldiers would tack photos of scantily clad, seductively posed women up in their bunks for some company on those lonely nights. Shortly thereafter artists such as Alberto Vargas and Gil Elvgren started making illustrations based on these types of photos, resulting in stunningly realistic and wall-worthy pin-up prints. Then one day some particularly lonely lad got sick of waiting till lights-out to be close to his imaginary lover and decided to get her image indelibly inked on his skin. Although the first pin-up tattoo probably didn't raise any...ahem...one's attention, or drop any jaws, the ones we see nowadays are like freakin' wearable softcore porn. Seriously -they're mind-blowingly realistic, and often very, very...hot.
Modern pin-up tattoos range from photo-realistic renderings of classic pin-up images to new school sexy zombies with blood-soaked tee-shirts. Each seems to reflect the particular tastes of its wearer, featuring the qualities that make up his or her ideal fantasy woman. Every pin-up is different, proving that contrary to the beliefs of Mattel and Vogue, there is no one "ideal female form." Now, the idea of pin-up tattoos as actually beneficial to womankind may seem a bit ass-backwards, but in my opinion, it's true! The same goes for the original pin-ups themselves, as they helped usher in an era of women who actually felt comfortable with their sexuality for once. Pin-ups sent the message that it was finally ok to be sexy and damn proud of it! Some may argue that "lewd" photos of women portray us as "sex objects" whose sole purpose is to provide men with pleasure. Pish posh, I say. As a wise woman once said "As long as I am an erotic subject, I am not averse to being an erotic object." Plus, these days, guys aren't the only ones who are utilizing the "male gaze" to ogle the ladies. I know that when I'm out with my girlfriends we always scope out the girls in the room. Hot legs...great hair...look at that ass! We're just admiring, and who doesn't (even if secretly) long to be admired? In my opinion, pin-ups are simply another way to show one's appreciation for the female form and women in general. Some guys even opt to have custom pin-ups based on their real-life female counterparts inked as an ode to their old lady. Way more romantic than a name tat, that's for sure!
Now, I can say that I've definitely thought about getting a pin-up tattoo in the past, especially after discovering some stunning modern pin-up images a few years back. To me, the idea of getting a pin-up tattoo has always seemed so natural. I am indeed bisexual, and would love to have a seductive lil' ink kitten gracing my skin. But when I really truly consider actually getting such a tat...I can't help but wonder how it'll come off, especially to the elder generations.
My mom would absolutely hate me for getting a pin-up. I think she'd see it as pornographic, even if the girl wasn't naked, simply because as a female I *shouldn't* find women sexually attractive. Now, she has no idea that I'm bi. I don't feel it's necessary to explain this part of my life to her, mainly because I don't think I'll ever settle down with a girl. Also, it would absolutely freak her out. She's pretty liberal-minded, but totally and completely against gay marriage and homosexuality in general. I don't think she'd be able to even comprehend why I would get a pin-up tat. It would totally blow her mind to bits. And it's not just her - while older lady folk seem to love my calla lily tattoo, I doubt they would even acknowledge a pin-up tat, opting instead to discuss its utter vulgarity behind my back. Getting a pin-up tat is just not a ladylike thing to do!
Ok, one last point. As I sat in my jacuzzi (jealous?) last night contemplating sporting a pin-up tat, I realized that, no matter the particular image, having such a tat would accord perfectly with my personal views on the modern woman. I wear sneakers with skirts. I swear like a drunken sailor. I love dirtbikes and anime. And yes, obvi, I have tats and piercings. I'm not the typical girl, and I think that my adherence to the things in life that I love despite what others may think would be topped off nicely by a pin-up tat. Early pin-ups helped bust down barriers that kept women from loving their bodies, and many girls from my generation are decking themselves out in...well...whatever they want! These days, the ideal woman is a woman who loves and is true to herself.
So, although some pin-up tats are just plain raunchy, in general I think they're a-ok. After all, sometime's all you need is a little T&A to get you through your day!