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At the forefront of the pinup explosion in the 1940’s and 1950’s, there came with it the Women’s Rights Movement at a time where not only were women going to work, but they were also making statements about their femininity and sex appeal that empowered an entire population. 

The Golden Age of the pinup was during the time of World War II in the 1940’s and 1950’s. or the first time in history, the US military lifted sanctions of the creation and distribution of pinup pictures, magazines, and calendars in order to raise the morale of our servicemen that were in the frontlines of the war [i]. Manufactured by the thousands, beautiful images of women became centerfolds for pinup posters and other keepsakes that adorned servicemen’s lockers, the walls of barracks, and even the sides of aircraft. 

Despite the most notable names being primarily American women such as Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page, it didn’t stop women from creating their own iconic pinup figures within their prospective communities. Two of the most popular Latina pinups that paved the way for our modern Latina pinup beauties were Rita Hayworth and Raquel Welch. Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino, was half Spanish. Her father was from Castilleja de la Cuesta, a small town near Seville. Raquel Welch, born Jo Raquel Tejada, is half Bolivian. Her father was from La Paz. Changing their names to have a chance to enter Hollywood notariety is another story entirely, so I’ll keep it at that.

Fast forward to modern day, and we have our beloved household names that portray pinup style with grace, beauty, intelligence, class, and sex appeal. This empowering pinup movement has become something that has driven so many to embrace pinup style because it comes with a message of self-acceptance, independence, power, and liberation. 

What led me to embracing my own pinup style happened back some time in 2011 after one of my best friends found some pinup dresses online that she was certain I would love. She was right, of course. After that, I began learning more about pinup, its fashion, makeup, hair, and esthetic, and I began making my own vintage inspired accessories to accentuate my outfits. 

In 2013, I participated in my very first pinup contest and placed third as Miss Daisy of Motostatic. It was amazing to meet all of the beautiful ladies and learn that so many of them were participating in their first pinup contest at that time as well and were there to just have fun. Since then, my hobby of making accessories became a business since 2013. I have sponsored various pinup contests throughout the midwest for years with the goal of helping participants feel fabulous with my handmade products. 

With the noteworthy message of empowerment, pinup will likely continue to be an aesthetic that has great appeal to our communities, especially with the continuation of local organized pinup contests and events such as the notable Iola Car Show and Viva Las Vegas, which not only celebrate pinup style, but recognize it as a time for fun and iconic timeless fashion. 


Nixon, C. (2020, October 20). The Pin-Up Girls – A Brief History. Iconic Magazine Online. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://iconicmagazineonline.com/2020/05/18/a-brief-history-of-the-pin-up-girls/

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Jessica Montalvo
Jessica Maria Montalvo has dedicated her life to the diverse field of education for over 19 years. She knows the importance of cultural inclusivity and diversity, equity, and inclusion as a part of what she stands for as not only an educator, but a life-long learner as well. Jessica is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Indiana University, and from Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne with her teaching Certification for Secondary Education. Later she earned a Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana Tech in the global leadership program. Her passion for service has translated to her involvement in creative projects which include roles within an original musical theater production about mental illness written by James Wesley Williams, since its full-cast production opening premiere in 2014. She is also a producer for the recent film short, Grummy. Her greatest work of art is when she became a mother in 2020 to her beautiful baby girl, Lara Juliana Montalvo.