Pin-up girls have been a fascination with men and women alike since Betty Grable’s famous portrait made its way around camps throughout World War II. While the Pin-up genre began in the late 19th Century (the Gibson Girl! Who knew?), it really hit its stride in the 1940s and ‘50s. Along with Grable, Bettie Page, Veronica Lake and Marilyn Monroe garnered attention with their sexy yet demure styles. The image of the Pin-up Girl changed throughout the decades (Raquel Welch in the ‘60s) but the retro look of the ‘40s and ’50s has made a huge comeback the past few years. Think Dita Von Teese, even Katy Perry. The look – the dark brunette hair in large Victory Rolls, the red, red lips, the accentuated brows and lashes – is popular among rockabilly girls, Hot Rod chicks and greasers. It all goes hand in hand, according to Mitzi Valenzuela of Mitzi and Co.
Mitzi has specialized in Pin-up photography for eight years. She is organizing the Trophy Queen Pin-up girl contest Saturday night at the Kragen O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show here at Fairplex.
“It’s a traditional show, a classy contest. It’s not a bear-it-all-to-win contest; it’s about what it was like in the past,” said Mitzi. The only difference may be a tattoo here or there.
Mitzi fell in love with the Pin-up look while studying photography. She started specializing in Pin-up photography and found that women were more comfortable with another woman shooting behind the camera. She loves the Hot Rod style that goes along with it and enjoys the cross-over of generations shared with the genre.
“A lot of people have parents and grandparents who grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s and they’ve passed down dresses and jewelry and shoes. Plus, there is a definite sex appeal to the look. Sometimes, with our busy schedules, working, raising kids, women forget what it’s like to be a woman. The whole Pin-up look is so classy. Women always get complimented on it.”
Plus, Mitzi said, the comeback of the look has been a boon for women entrepreneurs who’ve started their own businesses selling Pin-up era shoes and dresses and specializing in the hairstyles.
The Trophy Queen contest will be at 7 p.m. in the Suede Palace (building 10) at the Grand National Roadster Show. The Suede Palace features retro cars, War-time era rods and will be ringing with rockabilly music. Come out and holler for your favorite Pin-up girl. Grand National Roadster runs Friday through Sunday. There will be lots of cars, lots of celebs – don’t miss the Grand Daddy of them all. Check the website for full details.