The History Of The Pin-Up And Everything About It
Back in the days, at the beginning of 20th century, there weren’t many ways to display and advertise sex symbols, other than a photograph and drawings. The origin of the word “Pin-Up” is the literate definition of memorable women that men would cut out of paper or a photograph and pin it up on the wall, locker, or a bunk.
Often it would be girls that were famous and well-known sex symbols. A perfect example of that is Marilyn Monroe, who was and still is a famous sex symbol from the ’50s and ’60s.
The main goal of the pinup girl was to transmit the sexual appeal or simple seductive flirting.
Pinup Taboo In The Early 20th century
Since the “Pinup” was taboo in the early 20th century, there was a code or slang that meant all the same things as a pinup. It was “Cheesecake pictures”, and it usually was a semi-nude or a nude photograph of a woman or some sex symbol.
The term “pin-up” first entered the English dictionary in 1941, but its practice is known since the 1890s.
Popularity Of Male Pinups
Although most pinup pictures were famous actresses and models, there were mentions of male pinups being famous too. As the word cheesecake was a thing for pinup photos, beefcake was the word for male pinups. James Dean and Jim Morrison were famous male pinups.
The Meaning Of Pin Up Girl Tattoos And Its Link To WW2
During the war, soldiers would carry a picture of a cartooned pinup girl in their pockets. It also reminded them of beautiful girls that performed for troops. It was their reminder of who they’re fighting for. They served to distract even for the tiniest moment and remind them of normal life and what would be waiting for them at home.
The Rise Of Feminism And The Never-ending Popularity Of Pinup Tattoos
In the beginning, the general thought of pinup girls was supported by women. It showed a healthy showcasing of women’s beauty and sexuality, and the downtrend of body-shaming and patriarchal terms.
Over time, there was another opinion contradicting the previous. This one was against the pinup culture explaining that it shows women as objects and nothing more. They thought it destroyed women’s dignity and lowered the standards of womanhood.
Nonetheless, pinup tattoo design will probably never fade in popularity. Even though the body shape and the allure can change over the years, the main idea will remain the same. Timelessness and aesthetically pleasing women that do not fear their sexuality but rather enjoy it.
40 Popular Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design Ideas
1. Classic Skirt-Up Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
A classic Moulin Rouge character blond girl with her skirt blown from underneath. A classic and to-the-point pinup tattoo. Not just black and white but with just enough colors to voice the style.
2. Bat Girl Pin Up Tattoo Design
This is a bit different pin-up tattoo. It still has a classical pin-up style momentum but with a twist. With a girl being in a bat suit it gives out an even perkier and edgier vibe.
3. Upside Down Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
A very interesting tattoo with the girl’s body covered in tattoos. She’s wearing a simple bodysuit and heels. The hairstyle is simple, it’s straight and voluminous. It shows the basic concept of how simple can a provocative look be.
4. Halloween Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
This is a great tattoo for Halloween lovers. An interesting twist to a pin-up design by adding a skeleton bodysuit. It makes the look a bit spookier and adds a spooky twist. Although the classic seductive vibe is still present
5. Linda Francis Pin Up Halloween Tattoo Design
This is an interesting version of another Halloween pin-up design. It’s a witchy version of Linda, a famous pinup burlesque model. It’s different than the usual designs but still very interesting.
6. Pin Up Housewife Tattoo Design
This is almost a classic pinup look. With the housewife doing her chores while being in a short fluffy dress, with a welcoming smile on her face. With the dress and the broom added to the mix, it’s uncommon and interesting.
7. Sailor Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
This is a classic sailor girl tattoo design with pinup style. With black 60’s hair and red lipstick, you can not miss the pinup style. She has flowers tattooed on her arm, as many sailors doo. With a classic red lip look and blushed cheeks, it’s a perfect sailor pinup tattoo.
8. More Pastel Pinup Girl Tattoo Design
This girl has a high society appearance with her umbrella and surrounding rich colors. Still, her makeup and hair are very pinup style. It’s a perfect representation of what was found seductive at the time, not necessarily naked skin, but a nice makeup style and a flirtatious look in the eyes.
9. Halloween Pin Up Tattoo Designs
This is a more contemporary pin-up style that became popular after the ’60s. With a classic hourglass body shape, and with different Halloween symbols, it’s the batgirl type of pin-up style.
10. Black And White Pin Up Hairstyle Design Tattoo
Hairstyles with a tie are the epitome of the pin-up look. With her straight face and flirtatious eyes, it screams confidence and style. Although it’s black and white, you can probably imagine her with a red lipstick look and a colorful hair tie.
11. Maid Pin-Up Design Tattoo
This is another classic design and perception of pin-up girls that were popular in the ’40s and ’50s. With a short maid uniform and a seductive flirtatious look.
12. Mermaid Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
This is an uncommon pin-up style. It’s also mostly done by sailors or seamen, hence why the girl is a mermaid. The man at sea would write tales about seductive mermaids and what better way to represent them, than with a classic pin-up style with a mermaid tail.
13. Sailor Moon Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
Sailor Moon is a character from Japanese superheroine anime. It’s a great idea if you are an anime lover and love the pin-up style. The two are combined into one in this tattoo, which is great and a bit different than what we usually see.
14. Playboy Pin Up Style Tattoo
This is a playboy-styled tattoo with pinup vibes. With the ears marking the playboy style, the bodysuit, and high heels, are the symbols of pin-up. A great combination.
15. Pin-Up Lady Tattoo Design
This tattoo is a perfect description of a classy lady that can be also seductive, two concepts that were quite separated at the time pin-up style was made up. With garters showing under her dress and red high heels, she is showing her more timid, seductive side.
16. Boy Pin Up Tattoo Design
Although boy pin-up designs weren’t at all that popular at the time pin-up was invented, they became more popular in recent years. This tattoo is a great portrayal of a male bartender with classic pin-up momentums. Quite original and different.
17. Classic Red Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
This is another great illustration of a classic pin-up girl tattoo that sailors would do. With two red flowers representing seduction, passion, and femininity.
18. Navy Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
This is a great navy or sailor pin-up girl tattoo. Sailor pinup tattoos are always recognizable by their navy hats. The red color is always added as a description of passion and fire. All her tattoos are symbols of a sailor’s life at sea. Classical and traditional sailor tattoo.
19. Gambling Pin Up Girl Tattoo
A classic pinup girl tattoo with some mentions of gambling with the dice. The tattoo illustrates a passion for gambling life and the seductive women. It also might be referred to as a bad girl tattoo design.
20. Dotty Pin Up Gambling Tattoo Design
This is another gambling tattoo design with some pinup traits. The goal is the same with a slight difference in the style. We see a lot more dotty dresses and outfits being linked to the original 50’s pinup style. With a red hair tie added, it’s a classic one.
21. Peacock Pin Up Girl Tattoo Design
This is a great representation of showgirls in pinup style. It was very popular to dress up in animal prints during burlesque shows at the time, and pin-up was almost always a part of it. With a simple black bodysuit, peacock wings, and feathers in the hair, it adds a twist and makes it more interesting.
22. Butterfly Mixed With Classic Pin Up Style
This tattoo is interesting since it doesn’t contain all classical pin-up style symbols. There are no heels and the outfit has a lot of hippie symbols like hearts and butterflies. Still, her makeup and hairstyle are a part of the classic pin-up style.
23. Japanese Pin Up Style Design
Another interesting tattoo with different styles mixed with pin-up style. The pinup concept can be different for some people, but the goal remains the same. This girl is a bit different than others, with her outfit and the book included. However, it’s still a depiction of seduction, just a different kind of seduction.
24. Black And White Sailor Girl Tattoo Design
Another classic sailor pinup tattoo design. Almost all sailor tattoos have some sea symbols tattooed on them. This one has a big twist with a shark alongside the girl, illustrating her bravery and ability to cope with various challenges that come her way.
25. Colorful Pinup Tattoo Design
This pinup tattoo design has a lot of classic pinup symbols, like the makeup, the garters, the heels, but also has a lot of colorful details. The hammer in her hand signifies her self-sufficiency, her strength, etc. You can personalize the tattoo depending on your situation and the reason behind it.
26. Kitty Cat Pinup Tattoo Design
With cat ears and scratches on her face, this tattoo is different from the usual pinup-styled tattoo. With karma spelled on her arm, it can signify that she, herself, is karma and therefore showcase her as badass and strong. Although her hand gestures make her seem innocent, her scratches tell a different story. Very interesting and amusing tattoo.
27. Pinup Style Tattoo Without The Girl
This is a different tattoo than the usual. There is no girl but the sewing machine signifies a need for sewing dresses and outfits in general, which was common in the last century, with some details and red color, it’s the illusion of a pin-up style.
28. Betty Boop Pinup Style Tattoo
Betty Boop is a famous cartoon character that represented pinup style at the time. With her classic red dress, lipstick, and an hourglass figure with her legs up in the air, it’s a perfect depiction of a popular feminine sex symbol.
29. Fierce Americana Pinup Tattoo Design
This is a classical representation of feminism’s rise. It showed previously sexualized pinup girls being strong and self-sufficient. It gave hope to women at the time and showed that they don’t have to look a certain way in order to be found sexy, nor that if they are sexualized, that they cannot be brave and strong.
30. Vintage Pinup Girl Tattoo Design
This is a vintage black and white tattoo. Since back then you didn’t have naked ladies everywhere, they found a way to sexualize different kinds of everyday jobs women did.
31. Curvy Pinup Tattoo Design
Girls that people usually considered pinup girls, had hourglass body shapes but were still slim and fit. This was a way to show appreciation for curvier women and making sure to advertise that curves don’t need to stop you from being sexy and seductive. It’s all in the attitude.
32. Curvy Serving Pinup Girl Tattoo Design
This is a curvy pinup girl sitting on a barrel with a glass of whiskey in her hand. It can easily be a German type of pinup girl. They always varied from country to country, having specific details added to the tattoo that showcase appreciation of their home country and its landmarks, like beer is for Germany.
33. Princess Aurora Pinup Tattoo Design
Aurora is the princess from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty cartoon. Here she is in pinup style, with her dress being cropped and more revealing. It’s a great way of showcasing classical elegance and softness and turn it into something edgier and seductive.
34. The Angel And The Devil Pinup Tattoo Design
This is a contrast between good and bad, the devil and the angel. The angel’s body is covered with a white cloth, while the devils’ body isn’t. The devil here has all characteristics of a classic vintage pinup girl, while the angles represent the sole opposite.
35. Military Pinup Girl Design
This is a classic WW2 pinup girl tattoo that soldiers used to have. It was a classic way of remembering what they were fighting for and to whom are they were coming home to. It showed support and appreciation.
36. Hawaiian Pinup Girl Tattoo Design
Hawaiian girls have always been presented as these warm welcoming women in bathing suits with flowers all around them. Small effort is needed to make them more pinup styled. With some red lipstick and classic makeup, you’re already there.
37. Classic Grey And White Pinup Design Tattoo
This is a classic pinup girl. With her icy flirty look and a serious face, her lips plucked, it’s a classic seductive picture. Flowers are always added to appreciate women’s softness and passion, without it being the main thing.
38. Marilyn Monroe Pinup Girl Tattoo Design
Marilyn Monroe rose to fame in the ’50s with the rise of Pop culture. She was and still is a famous sex symbol. She was considered beautiful and seductive. Her famous curly hair and red lipstick is a staple timeless look. A great tattoo with a lot of details.
39. Cartoon Merilyn Monroe Pinup Design Tattoo
This tattoo is a cartoon version of Merilyn Monroe, known as a sex symbol pinup girl. This is a simpler tattoo with little detail but just enough to showcase that classic pinup girl style.
40. Fun And Games Pinup Girl Tattoo Design
This is a great pinup girl tattoo in a different environment. She’s surrounded by booze, fun, and games. It can be described as either the good or the bad environment. Either she is in charge and manipulates the fun and the games, or she is being manipulated and drowning in it.