1940s, Art, Beauty, Culture, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Pin-Ups Killed Hitler


Among my favorite WWII books that I keep on hand is United We Stand by Richard J. Perry. It’s full of brightly-colored 1940s images, and you know that’s my bag. Unless otherwise noted, all of today’s images come from this book. While I don’t go in for the nudity in many pin-ups, I do appreciate the artistry, skill, and the motive for hanging them–which was to inspire the GIs. (Incidentally, did you know GI stood for “Government Issue”?)

If it were up to me, all pin-ups would keep their clothes on, and wind would not be constantly blowing their skirts up. They might also not look so surprised about the blustery weather. But I admit when I was young, I thought the Vargas girls were just beautiful. I had no idea they served any purpose other than looking pretty.

Upon whichever end of the spectrum you stand, in this world of rampant internet porn and the demise of the iconic Playboy, it’s hard to argue against the fact that pin-up girls made our boys want to stay alive. They helped win the war. Whether it was on the nose or side of the plane…UnitedWeStand007…or when they smoked (which was often)…


or on the walls at nightfall…UnitedWeStand003

…these pin-ups reminded our fighting men of home, of their girlfriends, of the home front. Sweet, innocent-looking but scantily clad, hourglass-figured, predominantly wavy-haired young white women. Clean women for dirty thoughts.

I can’t explain it; I’m XX. Women don’t respond to visual stimuli in the manner that men do. We can turn away. We can frankly be bored by it. In fact, I’d wager that if women were doing the fighting, it would be posters of chocolate and wine on the walls. Damn the enemy who takes my freedom to eat dark chocolate pecan delights and sip Riesling! Or maybe the posters would include Matthew McConaughey holding chocolate and wine. But he’d still be wearing pants.


Well, maybe not. In any event, we’d be more realistic about it. We wouldn’t pretend paper boys looked like this. Extra, extra, my clothes are falling off, and I’m in stilettos!


Or that petty officers looked like this.


But if it worked, it worked. Whatever keeps your eye on the prize. Defeat the enemy and come home to touch naked women. Surely the Axis boys had pin-ups, too. Maybe it just came down to which side had the best pin-ups?

Even German hospitals knew what was effective medicine.


The image of Marika Rokk, famed music star in Nazi Germany, may have helped this wounded German soldier heal. But they still lost.

Like it or not, right or wrong, men like attractive naked women. That’s how they’re hardwired, so there’s no point in faulting that. Look at the interior cabin of any semi truck today. By comparison, WWII pin-ups (whether art or photography) would seem tame. I bet it’s pretty raunchy in that cab. It would probably gross me out. But that’s the price of freedom. And thank God for freedom.




8 thoughts on “Pin-Ups Killed Hitler”

  1. Yep men and women respond to different visual stimuli and in different ways. I don’t think the pin ups I have seen from that era are nearly as bad as the “pin ups” from today. I believe the stars kept their clothes on. Revealing and or suggestive yes but I can’t imagine Rita Hayworth or Bette Grable posing buck nekkid. Maybe I have been looking at the wrong ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Now I’m not against a naked body. The body is not something to be ashamed of. But I imagine Hayworth and Grable didn’t pose like Kim K popping champagne with a glass on her bum. To each his own…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t mistake me. I think the so called pin ups today are both rude and lewd. I like the old school pin ups and the Vargas Girls because they have an allure and a subtle suggestiveness. No one could say anything about the Kardashians is subtle

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My Dad liked Rita Hayworth and Brigid Bardot. My Mom was funny, didn’t mind the photos of women in scantily clad postures. I guess she figured Dad didn’t have a chance to get one of those women. Lol. I sure liked her confidence which I didn’t inherit so well, Kerbey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess that makes sense. Rita and Brigitte were beautiful. I would feel insecure if my husband them on the wall, though. I guess I lack confidence, too! My granddad still had a pic of Hedy Lamarr up on his wall until May, when he passed away. I can’t imagine putting up pics of men on my walls as an adult, but then again, I did just see the pic of John Stamos’ tush on facebook, and that was quite a sight. Ha!


Observation and Interpretation:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s