A pin-up girl
is a woman
whose pulchritude would entice one to place a picture of her on a wall
. The term was first attested to in English
; however the practice is documented as going back at least to the 1890s
. The "pin up" images could be cut out of magazines
, or be from postcard
, etc. Such photos often appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of "pin-up girls" were mass produced.
One of the most popular early pin-up girls was Betty Grable, a poster of whom was ubiquitous in the lockers of GIs during World War II.
Many "pin ups" were photographs of celebrities who were considered sex symbols. Others were artwork, often depicting idealized versions of what some thought particularly a beautiful or attractive woman should look like.
An early example of the latter type was the Gibson girl, drawn by Charles Dana Gibson. The genre also gave rise to several well-known artists specializing in the field, including Alberto Vargas and George Petty, and numerous lesser artists such as Art Frahm.