Pin up girl tattoos have long been an expression of beauty, sensuality and occasionally even a sign of female empowerment. Classic pin up models were often seen as the “ideal” of feminine beauty, and no matter what they did, they were always shown put perfectly together and never without sex appeal.
Many pin up girl tattoos feature a realistic depiction of some of the most famous models. Some people like to go as far back as the 1920’s for their pin up girl tattoos. These pictures were done in black and white, or sepia tones and often showed a wavy-haired girl in a variety of poses, often sheathed in lace or exotic costumes, or even almost entirely nude. Some, however, had props thrown in such as bubbles, parasols and feather boas. In the 1950’s, these images became more colorful, and the props wilder. Bettie Page is without a doubt the most well known and most often used pin up models. She was often shown in bold animal prints, or dark leather, and was placed in many scenes; lounging on a beach, posing in a theme park, or being tied up by another scantily clad model.
Most pin up girl tattoos, however, are illustrations. They are usually either recreations of the work of some of the better known pin up artists, or highly exaggerated cartoons. One of the most recognizable examples is the Varga Girl. Artist Alberto Vargas dedicated himself to glorifying a sensual image of womanhood. Pin up girl tattoos featuring this style show a long limbed, heavily hipped and bosomed woman in a variety of flouncy lingerie or costumes. Most of these women are seen simply posing; hands on one bent knee, with the other stretched out; lounging with her arms behind her head, or laying on her side with a smoldering look in her eyes and a hand framing her face. On the cartoon-ish side, these models tend to be of more outrageous bodily proportions, and are shown in a multitude of styles; angels and devils, robots, fairies and gunslingers, amongst others.
Pin up girls seem to have a multifold nature. They can be sweet and unassuming, sassy, smart and totally capable of whatever they do (as they are regularly shown doing a great number of things). But however they may be styled; they will always be an enduring symbol of beauty, lustiness and grace.