The patriotic charm of pinup models posing in photos wearing sailor girl garb is not a new idea, but it has been embraced by a whole new generation of pinup models and photographers who are keeping the all American pinup sailor girl image alive.
The origins of pinup gals donning army duds can be traced to WWII, and the practice of GIs hanging pictures of sexy girls (“pinning them up”) in their lockers to keep them company overseas, and painting them on the sides of their fighter planes. As a show of support, the models began dressing in patriotic sailor or army outfits. The creation of the USO in the forties saw the formation of the infamous camp shows, at which performers and sex symbols from Hollywood, such as Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, and later, Marilyn Monroe, would make appearances to brighten the spirits of the troops. This tradition continues, and you can still find gorgeous gals in sailor suits singing and dancing and bringing a little fun to the fighting men and women of the US military.
Modern pinup girls might be edgier and have more tattoos than their predecessors, but they embrace the hair, makeup, and clothing styles of the forties and fifties. Most stay true to the “good girl” style of pose and dress in the tradition of early cheesecake pinup photography, just like the photos that hung in those GI’s lockers. The idea behind traditional pinup modeling is not to be trashy or overly-provocative, but to embody a cute and sexy girl next door look. Add to it a sailor girl or army girl outfit and you’ve got something a GI from any generation would love. Contemporary fashion designers have rediscovered the sexy charm of the military-inspired looks of the forties and fifties pinup culture, making it possible for models and photographers to continue to create patriotic imagery for our boys overseas with sailor girl suits, sailor dresses, shipmate costumes, first mate outfits, and army costumes.
These days, a patriotic show of support is important to a lot of Americans. With our country at war with two nations, many of our bravest and boldest have been deployed to dangerous and remote parts of the world. Pinup girls who want to show their support are sending photographs and calendars to troops fighting in foreign lands. One pinup model that sends frequent care packages to the troops often dresses up in sailor and army girl costumes and sends the photos to US army bases overseas. She has created a large and appreciative fan base and her donation operation has grown to be one of the largest of its kind created by a pinup model.
The tradition of the American patriotic pinup model will never go out of style. As long as there is a soldier being deployed to distant, dangerous lands, a photo of a pinup girl in a cute sailor girl dress, smiling only to him and saluting his bravery, will always have a place… pinned up on his wall.