Pinup, glamour, and ‘cheesecake’ began to gain popularity in the 1930s. It was a time when the image of a pretty girl flourished. Glamour photography has changed over time as the female form, portrayed in art and photography, became more provocative.
During World War II pin-up pictures of scantily clad movie stars were extremely popular among US servicemen. Whether it was a painted calendar, advertisement, or the photo pinups that the G.I.s pinned on their locker doors,and which later adorned the noses of their bomber planes in WW2.
Famous illustrators like Petty, Rolf Armstrong, and Gil Evgren began creating some of the most memorable, technically exquisite ´Americana` ever produced! Calendars, magazine covers and matchbooks became a personal view into the life of the girl next door.
However, until the 1950s, the use of glamour photography in advertising or men’s magazines was highly controversial or sometimes even illegal. Magazines featuring glamour photography were sometimes marketed as “art magazines” or “health magazines”.
Pinup art continued to grow in popularity, and sophistication through the 1950s. Movies were made about Pinup Artists and models, and most actresses of the time were considered pinups first then actresses. Marilyn Monroe was Earl Morans’ favorite model before and after she became a movie star! Numerous celebrities posed for pinup and glamour artists.
Playboy was instrumental in changing the world of glamour photography as the first magazine that focused on nude models and was targeted at the mainstream consumer. In December 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first edition of Playboy with Marilyn Monroe on the cover and nude photos of Monroe inside.
Monroe’s star status and charming personality helped to diminish the public outcry. When asked what she had on during the photoshoot, she replied “the radio”. After Playboy broke through, many magazines followed and this was instrumental in opening the market for the introduction of glamour photography into modern society.