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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pinup Photography

The pinup photography of modern times would probably seem vulgar in comparison to the pinup photography made popular in the 1940s. Venerable actresses considered silver screen goddesses find themselves supplanted by punk rockers, gangster rappers, disheveled pre-teens and the occasional feature actor. While taste has certainly changed in six decades, the differences between the pinup photography of the World War II era and today are far more profound.

The climate of the world that first popularized pinup photography was filled with violence and outright war. Millions of men from around the world served their respective countries often desperately far from home and hearth. Uncertainty, fear and constant worry stood side-by-side with these soldiers and their families back home, day in and day out. In war, there are no guarantees and the war was real and unmistakable. For that generation fighting this war, pinups were a relief of pressure, a golden idea, a dream, and a possibility that existed no matter where they were stationed or how terrible the conditions.

Modern pinup photography fulfills a far less complex need. Instead of a reminder of home or inspiration for survival, pinups today are about dreams and unrequited feelings. Much like the posters of the 80s and 90s, pinups feature pop stars, rock stars, rappers and actors. Pre-teens and teenagers decorate their rooms, notebooks and lockers with these icons of pop culture.

The images are as much about crushes on the person featured in the picture to wanting to emulate them. Modern pinup photography received a major boost with the Internet. Pinups appear all over the information superhighway in the form of jpegs and gifs. Downloadable in a few seconds and easily printed out, access has never been so available.

In the 90s, actress Teri Hatcher experienced a revival of the sensation felt by the 40s screen goddesses' pinup photography. More than a million people all over the country and around the world downloaded one image of Hatcher. Hatcher's photograph received a level of attention that not even her career could match. Modern pinup photography, revolutionized by the Internet is now available to portable devices such as PDAs and cell phones.

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