The 50’s look is still popular among many crossdressers today as it reminds us of a time when women were more feminine in their appearance. From Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable to June Cleaver, American women had that look that was found most desirable. The 50’s pin up girls were without a doubt the most glamorous women of the century.
Having been raised in the 50’s, it was a time that I remember well; a better time when America was the world’s image for family values and glamour girls. And there wasn’t a better artist for these images then Gil Elvgren. In an era before digital photo editing and Photoshop, Elvgren airbrushed his girls with a stroke of a paint brush to possess an unattainable image of beauty. He is considered the most important pin-up and glamour artist during the 20th century. His major influences were people like Howard Chandler Christy, and Charles Dana Gibson.
His ability to transform these beautiful women into fantasy images of women with nothing but his paint brush was unprecedented. Elvgren’s work, however beautiful they may be, is truly a celebration of the female form. Elvgren had great commercial success. His clients ranged from top companies like Coca-Cola to Sealy Mattress Company to General Electric. I’m sure he was paid very well by these companies.
Elvgren Girls were always the same: “someone with a “high forehead, eyes set wide apart, small ears, pert nose, great hair, full but not overblown breasts, nice legs and hands, a pinched-in waist and natural grace and poise”. All of his models were trimmed at the waist, padded for curves and coiffed to “perfection”
In order to achieve his pin-up visions, Elvgren implored male fantasies and posed his real-life models in the exact positions he wanted them. One could argue that the male fantasies in the 1950s might not be in line with today’s male fantasies. Nonetheless, Elvgren would then photograph his models and then use the black and white shots as references for the technicolor, larger than life paintings he created.
Although he chose the most beautiful women to model for his pin-ups, the finished product almost always turned out to be an unattainable image catered towards American men. So meet the real women behind these classic PinUp Paintings with this selection of before (photo) and after (paintings). More before and after shots can be seen in this original article.
Perhaps not all women of the 50s were this glamorous, but feminine they definitely were. Peruse our albums of Vintage Crossdressers in the Lounge.
Love that vintage look, then check out these stores in the Boutique who offer that vintage look, both real vintage and that updated vintage chic look