Your Grandpa’s Babes

by Brett & Kate McKay on October 21, 2008 · 135 comments

in Diversions, Travel & Leisure

Believe it or not, your grandpa is a red blooded male, just like you. And just like you, he appreciates the beauty of women. When he was your age, he snuck a peak at the latest cover girls on the newsstands or went to the movies to see the latest beauty grace the silver screen. Unlike you, your grandpa grew up in a time when women were women. Unfortunately, the women who get idolized by the media today look and act nothing like women. Today’s female celebrities have traded their womanly figure for sickly rail thin bodies, and they take pride in their promiscuous and skanky reputations. Your grandpa’s babes had curves and class.

So today we’d like to raise a toast to the women who caught the eye of our grandpas.

Vargas Girls

If your Grandpa flew a plane in the Big One, one of these lovely ladies probably graced the nose of his bomber. The Vargas Girls are the iconic pin-ups of Alberto Vargas. Vargas set the standard for pinup artists. He utilized a combination of watercolors and airbrush techniques to give his pinup girls their distinct soft look. While the Vargas Girls are definitely sexy, there was no nudity. Vargas understood the power of imagination.

When I was in high school, I had a Vargas Girl calendar hanging up in my room. One year when my grandpa was visiting us for Thanksgiving, he saw the calendar, took it down, and flipped through it reminiscing about his days as a soldier during WWII. I could see a faint smile on his lips and a twinkle in his eye as he did so.

Betty Grable

This gal had such amazing gams that her studio insured them for $1 million at Lloyds of London. Pictures of Ms. Grable and her famous legs were pinned up over the bunks of millions of GIs during WWII. Besides showing off her legs, Betty Grable was a leading lady in films like Moon over Miami and the aptly titled Pin Up Girl. Because of her beauty and her iconic pinup photo, she became the highest paid female star during the 1940s.

Grace Kelly

No woman epitomizes the combination of graceful beauty and undeniable talent like Grace Kelly. She starred in three Alfred Hitchcock films: To Catch a Thief, Dial M for Murder, and Rear Window. And she won an Oscar for her work with Bing Crosby in The Country Girl. Despite being such a winning leading lady, Grace Kelly left the movie industry when she married Prince Rainer III and became the Princess of Monaco.

Watch any film with Grace Kelly in it. Don’t be surprised if you catch your jaw dropping as you exclaim, “Damn! She is beautiful!” whenever she enters a scene.

Marilyn Monroe

Even 50 years after her tragic death, Marilyn Monroe still has a hold on the American psyche. People have been imitating Monroe’s iconic film and photo scenes for decades. Madonna’s “Material Girl” video? It’s just an updated version of Monroe’s rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentleman Prefer Blonds. Anna Nicole Smith? Just another not so good looking Marilyn lookalike. Try as they might, no woman today can hold a candle to Marilyn’s legend and mystery.

Gil Elvgren Girls

When our grandpas were overseas kicking butt and saving the free world, the girls they left waving from some porch helped inspire them. The pinup girls of Gil Elvgren represented the sweet and innocent “girl next door” that American GIs thought about and fought for. Women in Elvgren’s art are usually depicted in embarrassing, but sexily charming situations. Frequently, it’s a gust of wind that lifts her skirt up just enough to show a nice pair of legs.

Lauren Bacall

The mysterious woman. You’ve seen this type. Her sultry looks and come hither stare makes you want to know more about her. Lauren Bacall’s magnetic charm attracted millions of men throughout the 40s and 50s. Not only did Ms. Bacall have those sultry looks, she had that sexy raspy voice to match. Bacall is best known for teaming up with manly actor Humphrey Bogart in several films, including The Big Sleep and Dark Passage. Even a star like Bogart couldn’t resist Bacall’s allure; drawn to her stunning looks and charming personality, they ended up getting hitched in 1945.

Gibson Girl

The Gibson Girl was probably one of you great grandpa’s babes. The Gibson Girl was the creation of illustrator Charles Dana Gibson at the turn of the 20th Century. The Gibson Girl personified the ideal woman of the 19th and early 20th century. She was tall, slender, and big bosomed. Additionally, the Gibson Girl piled her long hair on her head to expose her graceful swan like neck. Back then, that was enough to get a gentleman’s heart pumping. The Gibson Girl was used to sell everything from saucers and tea cups to pillow covers and fans.

Doris Day

Doris Day was what the entertainment industry now calls the “Triple Threat.” She could sing, dance, and act. Most importantly she could do them all marvelously. The other secret weapon to her prolific career was her sweet girl next door looks. Studios took advantage of this and often portrayed her as a wholesome girl in romantic comedies. While Day acted in over 39 films, some of her more famous ones include Teacher’s Pet, Pillow Talk, and Young at Heart co-starring Frank Sinatra. Doris Day represented the innocent girl. The girl that every man wants to take home to mother and settle down with.

Rita Hayworth

What do you get when you combine a Spanish flamenco dancer and a Ziegfeld girl? Drop dead gorgeous Rita Hayworth, that’s what. The iconic pic in Life magazine showing Hayworth kneeling on her bed in a silk and lace nightgown made her another morale boosting pin-up girl during WWII.

Check out this clip from the film Gilda.

Hayworth’s discrete sex appeal shines through as she does a strip tease while singing Put the Blame on Mame. But here’s the deal: the only thing she takes off are her gloves. Yeah, that’s it! Yet it’s still incredibly sexy. Women of the 21st century, take note: it is possible to be sexy without being immodest and skanky. It’s all about attitude and the way you carry yourself.

Maureen O’Hara

When your grandpa went to go see a film starring manly actor John Wayne, they were probably also treated to the beautiful Maureen O’Hara. This red headed Irish lass, starred in five, count em, five John Wayne films: Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles, McLintock (which I saw countless times growing up because it’s my mom’s favorite movie), and Big Jake. She’s also famous for playing the mom in The Parent Trap; the original one. Not the crappy one with Lindsey Lohan. O’Hara’s characters were always strong willed and independent, which only added to her appeal.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr wasn’t just a pretty face who could act. This dame had a first rate head on her shoulders. She co-invented an early form of spread spectrum encoding. What is spread spectrum encoding you ask? You know that little do-hickey you call a cell phone? Or the wifi you use to read Art of Manliness while sipping your coffee? Spread spectrum encoding was the predecessor that made these technologies possible. When Miss Lamarr wasn’t busy inventing awesome technology, she was strutting her stuff in films like Samson and Delilah and Tortilla Flat.

Veronica Lake

Remember Jessica Rabbit’s trademark hair style? That whole bangs-covering-her-right-eye thing that somehow made a cartoon character sexy and mysterious? Well, guess what? A real life flesh and blood lady inspired that look and her name is Veronica Lake. Veronica Lake graced the silver screen in several popular 1940s films like Sullivan’s Travels and This Gun for Hire. This petite beauty (she stood only 4 ft. 11 in tall) also garnered a large fan base among American GIs who couldn’t get enough of the pin-up girl with a peekaboo hairstyle.

Your Grandma

Image from kalidoskopia

Your grandma? That sweet little old lady that makes you cookies and sends you savings bonds for your birthday? You’re damn right. Your grandpa thought your grandma was a total babe. She was the babe of all babes. Think about it, Jack. If he didn’t think your grandma was a babe, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now. I’m sure the first time gramps saw your sweet little granny looking all cute and perky in her bobby socks and saddle shoes, he gave her the look over, thought “hubba hubba!” and immediately took her to the nearest soda fountain to sip Coca-Cola from one glass with two straws. And even as your grandma got wrinkly and saggy, she stayed beautiful and alluring in his eyes. So here’s to you grandma for being grandpa’s greatest babe.

If you’d like to see more of your grandpa’s pin-ups, check out these sites:

The Pin-up Page

Starlet Showcase

Any other of grandpas’s babes you think should have been on the list? Drop a line in the comment box and let us know.

{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matthew October 21, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Great list! The only criminal omission is Audrey Hepburn in my opinion.

2 kateanon October 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Love the Vargas girls, and Hedy Lamarr – I wanted to be her after seeing her in some of her films.

3 Will October 21, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Mae West!

Ida Lupino!

4 chaz October 22, 2008 at 2:27 am

wow. nothing like saying todays women are skinny skanks. nice way to respect women.
ever figured out that maybe women want to be thin because thats what they are told is attractive and acceptable from day one?

ever thought about how everyone is entitled to freedom of sexual expression – these people are making choices for themselves and YOU dont come into that equation?

And finally, has it ever occured to you that the so-called pervasive culture of sexual availability fostered among young women today stems largely from the way that women in the media are constantly sexually objectified and rated according to attractiveness and sexual availability? Girls are told that to be loved they must be sexy. BUT NOT TOO SEXY! In other words, LOOK f*ckable. But dont f*ck.

you are a stupid person. truly. and you will probably never understand the inherent IRONY of berating women for being ‘skanks and whores’ while simultaneously ogling them.

I dont expect this comment to stay up for long, nor do I expect anyone to have anything intelligent to say defending your incredibly demeaning and offensive opinions. There is nothing wrong with liking to look at beautiful women. But when you start to name call and act in a hypocritical way, thats another story.

5 James October 22, 2008 at 2:58 am

Anyone who digs these classic pinups would do well to check out the retro Pinup Calendar featuring the work of Gil Elvgren.

It’s more art than smut, more retro than dirty, and looks good on a wall.

6 Nick October 22, 2008 at 4:05 am

I’m with Chaz on this one. The first paragraph railing against modern women with “… sickly rail thin bodies, and … promiscuous and skanky reputations.” is inappropriate, especially given that you go on to list Marilyn Monroe who was Playboy’s first centerfold.

There’s no problem with today’s women. There’s a problem with your perception of them. Any one of these women on this list look and act no different than most women today.

7 devo October 22, 2008 at 4:11 am

Helooooo chaz and Nick… Do you really think that Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears has the same sort of charm, sexiness and allure as these women?

The point is that most celebrity women (not all, just a lot of them) these days seem to think that taking all their gear off, acting promiscuously and having very public breakdowns constitutes the norm. How very sad.

8 Sarge October 22, 2008 at 4:21 am

Two more that could added would have to to be Ann Margaret (wow! what a pair of legs there) and Sophia Loren, just all around classy. And as a true American man, I like my women to look womenly. That means curves.

Sarge, Out

9 Ted October 22, 2008 at 5:01 am

I think Chaz and Paul must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. None of these women were saints, but they also didn’t pass out drunk at clubs, go to jail for DUI, flash their hoo-hahs to tabloids, step out with girlfriends, and walk around like bags of bones. On the last point, yeah, there’s pressure to be thin, but there are Hollywood ladies who still buck that pressure, so I’m not sure its wise to give the others a pass and blame it all on the media and whatnot.

Great post, these lovely ladies were a great way to start my day.

10 Brian Solomon October 22, 2008 at 5:03 am


If you think that choices of sexual expression are made solely for ones’ self, without any regard to anyone else’s opinion, you’re fooling yourself. And any person, male of female, who says they fix themselves up a certain way with no regard to how the opposite sex views them is lying.

11 Julio October 22, 2008 at 5:26 am

@chaz, Paul, Brian, Ted
Although I have issues with the objectification of the female body of the pin-up phenomenon, I think that chaz and Paul miss most of the points in this article.
One, this blog entry criticizes the ongoing female body standard (” figure for sickly rail thin bodies”) which is objectively unhealthy and culturally evil — defines as ideal a nearly-impossible body structure. This observation is not offensive to women. In fact, this argument is part of today’s feminist discourse. Two, behavior, of apparent behavior (“they take pride in their promiscuous and skanky reputations”). This reflects an obvious cultural difference. Erotic representation, during the period the article describes, elaborates the myth of unattainability: “she’s gorgeous, but you cannot have her.” This myth empowers women: “you’ll have to do something extraordinary to have her.” Today’s representation’s move in the different opinion and, IMNSHO, disempower women.

12 Meg October 22, 2008 at 5:26 am

I agree with Matthew – Audrey Hepburn should definitely be on this list. She was thin, but she was the epitome of class and generosity. She is someone I’ve idolized my entire life and I think other young women should look up to her, too!

13 Eric B October 22, 2008 at 5:32 am

How about Betty Page?

14 (different) Paul October 22, 2008 at 6:18 am

Two points: First, I’ll have to dissent from Marilyn Monroe’s inclusion in the list; as a matter of historical fact, yes, she was a popular bombshell. But she was also trashy as they came in those days, more the foreshadowing of today’s celebrities than their antithesis.

Second, why hasn’t anybody mentioned Myrna Loy? She belongs way up in the classy knockout category along with Princess Grace.

15 Hou October 22, 2008 at 6:34 am

Class – today’s tabloid whores have none. anyone who believes that Brit, LiLo(Ho), or Paris has it obviously hasn’t a clue.

16 Gabe October 22, 2008 at 6:48 am

I am now more convinced than ever that I was born fifty years too late.

17 John October 22, 2008 at 6:52 am

Fay Wray is still a total babe after all these years. I didn’t hurt that King Kong had the hots for her, or that she was able to survive The Most Dangerous Game.


18 D October 22, 2008 at 7:08 am

Raquel Welch. A little too recent to be grandpa’s favorite, but dad sure did like her.

19 Claire October 22, 2008 at 7:23 am

Sorry, not a fan of this post. Sure, the women you listed here may have more style and curves than some of today’s celebrities, but objectification is objectification. And that’s not how manly men (should) treat women. And yes, while I disagree with the way many modern stars present themselves, they’re still women. They’re still people. Nothing is gained by calling them skanks, whores, and the like.

But maybe I’m just a humorless feminist.

That said, I thought your inclusion of Grandma on the list was sweet, and much more what I would have expected from this website. So keep up that good work.

20 Chris October 22, 2008 at 7:45 am

I think Chaz and Nick need to stop being so simpering and sycophantic in an attempt to white knight their way to getting in good with the female community. Most women don’t want some simpering, ball-less male. They want a man with class who can regard them as beautiful while still maintaining his masculinity. There’s not a problem with looking at an attractive woman and demeaning those who debase themselves like trash; I call it like I see it. After all, this website is the Art of Manliness last time I checked, not the Art of Emasculation.

21 Rob October 22, 2008 at 7:46 am

I think Audrey Hepburn was beyond classy, and beautiful to boot, but to me she’s so classy, that she can’t be a babe….I just can’t see myself going in for the kiss with her. I think she would slap me.

22 Jenna October 22, 2008 at 7:57 am


Chaz, while I agree with you

23 Hou October 22, 2008 at 7:59 am

Women commenters are welcome but why would any woman read a site on “the art of manliness”. Well I guess there are some women who like flannel and mullet haircuts are more manly than many men. lol…..

24 IL Padrone October 22, 2008 at 8:13 am

There is really no one to blame for the perception of The Crack Pack (Paris, Lindsay, Britney and Kim Kardashian) but themselves. Plenty of their contemporaries that have taken a decidedly smarter path: Scarlet Johansson, Rachel Bilson, and Megan Fox to name a few. And while they may, or may not be your taste, the fact is they keep some of their private lives private to an extent.

The women mentioned in the post were all the Grand Dames of their era, but we don’t know what went on behind closed doors… we know a bit about Marylin because she was with some of the most prolific men in history… but even still… WE DON”T REALLY KNOW THE DEAL. And frankly I don’t care… I enjoy the mythos created by the photos above… and I enjoy REAL, STILL LIVING women built like Veronica Lake, Marylin Monroe and Sophia Loren in the past or Monica Bellucci, Marishka Hargitay, and Scarlett Johansson of today. I enjoy looking at and being with women… and thats really all this is about… the admiration of beauty of a particular era… each one has them… be sure to check out a few of my favorites at : /Extended%20Weekend%20Women

These ladies make you want have a 3 day (or 5 day) weekend every weekend!

25 Wayne October 22, 2008 at 8:18 am

You said it! LMAO!!

26 Wayne October 22, 2008 at 8:19 am

The crack pack!! LMAO!!! It just keeps getting better!

27 Timinator October 22, 2008 at 8:26 am

Jeez Chaz, you may want to re-read what was written above the article again, buddy! What was written, was that “Today’s female CELEBRITIES have traded their womanly figure for sickly rail thin bodies, and they take pride in their promiscuous and skanky reputations”……there’s nothing there about women in general! It’s dead on. Look at morons like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and countless others. They have traded their natural femininity and beauty, all to be splashed all over the media, regardless of how they look or act.
The comments made by the poster were only “offensive” to you because you allow them to be offensive to you. Nobody can “make” you feel anything that you don’t want yourself to feel. That being said, it would appear that you are the one with some major issues as far as all of this is concerned.
Attacking someone for their opinion and going so far as to call someone “stupid” for expressing that opinion, ironically enough, is “stupid”. (look up “freedom of speech”, while you’re at it)
Try not to tread into areas that you think you can orate about. You’re not good enough at it quite yet. (also guessing you’re not a woman)

28 Mike Kallish October 22, 2008 at 8:29 am

I heard that actress Hedy Lamarr was a trophy wife to a Nazi industrialist who forced her to sit in during his meetings with top military brass. When new encoding signals were discussed, Lamarr listened quietly, carefully and retained the information. Then, when she ran from her marriage, to Sweden I believe, she brought the secrets with her, and offered them to the allies. So whether she became a co-inventor or an agent for the Allies, she became our heroine. An early film (name?) shows her to advantage in an underwater sequence. Mercy!

29 Lico October 22, 2008 at 8:40 am

Call me a very old man if you want but the Gibson girl is my kind of woman!

30 Richard October 22, 2008 at 8:52 am

@ Ted: Sadly , Marylin did pass out drunk

31 Jason October 22, 2008 at 9:00 am

Betty Page.

32 cubiclegangsta October 22, 2008 at 9:02 am

@ chaz, asshats, et all.

Why are you here?

Is AoM not about looking to the past for the improvement of the present and future? Specifically, that modern man (and in this case, woman) has lost a bit of substance?

You are on a site that frequently discusses the male “gender role” and what makes a person manly. Conversely, this post in particular, is about what makes a person, womanly.

So, my suggestion to you is, “suck it up, walk it off, and quite your belly-aching”.


33 Zulu October 22, 2008 at 9:19 am

It’s a shame that certain individuals responding to this article completely miss the point and use it as an opportunity to blindly spew misguided venom as opposed to offering an intelligent solution.
My wife loved reading this article; she is a very beautiful curvaceous woman and was happy to finally hear men publicly speak up for women who look like her.
She is also tired of a great deal of women in the public eye living up to unhealthy stereotypes that can lead to Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and a number of other psychosomatic disorders…and though some may see this as a freedom of sexual expression, it is clearly not a healthy choice by any means for self or as a role model for young females.
The article is not a general comment on all female celebrities; it specifically addresses “the women who get idolized by the media today who have traded their womanly figure for sickly rail thin bodies, and they take pride in their promiscuous and skanky reputations.”
Many would argue that the media is responsible and that many women arrive at an unhealthy state because they are told to, or pressured to be excessively thin.
I am an African American who was raised in the south and spent every day of my childhood exposed to the media and unhealthy surroundings; you can only imagine the negative stereotypes that I was constantly told I should live up to…I did not accept them!
This article could pertain to any person, male or female, who has exercised their right and made a personal choice to live an unhealthy physical and mental life.
I suppose it’s not PC to hit a problem like this point blank without beating around the bush; but my wife and I are glad you took off the kid gloves on this one.
The underlying point is, thick or thin all women are beautiful and avoiding an extreme one way or the other is a healthy choice.

Be well,

34 Alec Corday October 22, 2008 at 9:48 am

Perfect list! Yes, there are a few name worthy missing, but IMHO these ones here top the list!

Oh look, its Hedy Lamarr…”


35 Claire October 22, 2008 at 9:51 am

Originally Posted By HouWomen commenters are welcome but why would any woman read a site on “the art of manliness”. Well I guess there are some women who like flannel and mullet haircuts are more manly than many men. lol…..

Wow, that’s me to a T! How did you know? I’m also a lumberjack in my spare time.

Except, you know, not.

Honestly, I try not to rise to bait like that, but I would like to point out that there is a woman who WRITES for AoM. What do you make of that?

36 Brett October 22, 2008 at 10:12 am

@Zulu – Wow. Great comment, sir. Thank you for your reasoned and well thought out argument. You are definitely a gentleman. I agree its sad that today’s celebrities are giving such bad examples to young women. People can argue that celebrities shouldn’t be role models to young people. I agree. But I’m not naive enough to think that they won’t have an influence on young people no matter how much you try to shelter your child. I hope we as men can help women feel better and more comfortable about themselves and how they look.

@Hou – Women are more than welcome at Art of Manliness and are encouraged to comment. Your butch comment was uncalled for and not very gentlemanly.

@John – Fay Wray is another winner. Good call.

@(different) Paul -Re: Marilyn- point taken. Re: Myrna Loy- I had no idea who she was. Just googled her and you are correct sir. A very classy gal.

@Meg – Dang! Audrey Hepburn. I totally forgot about her. She was definitely a classy lady. And I hope this post didn’t come off as “only curvy women are attractive.” We like all women, in all shapes and sizes. We just think its sad that many women today are making themselves sick trying to get to an impossible ideal. So if God gave you a thin frame or some curves, work it. Men are attracted to women who are comfortable in their own skins.

Originally Posted By Julio Erotic representation, during the period the article describes, elaborates the myth of unattainability: “she’s gorgeous, but you cannot have her.” This myth empowers women: “you’ll have to do something extraordinary to have her.” Today’s representation’s move in the different opinion and, IMNSHO, disempower women.

Good point. It used to be men tried to make themselves better to earn the love of a woman. Now, sadly women today will doing anything to get the attention of men. Need examples? Girls Gone Wild and the hook up culture on campus. In many cases, men don’t have to do anything today to get the girl. Sad.

37 Brett October 22, 2008 at 10:13 am

@Claire -Looks like we were calling out Hou at the same time. :)

38 BRZ October 22, 2008 at 10:43 am

All the above ladies are lovely but Veronica Lake literally made me say “Woa” and then I thought “Jessica Rabbit”! Stunning!

My favorite picture of Marilyn is actually a set of three I saw as a small poster. Marilyn is dressed in a sweater, outside, and has very little if any makeup on. It really shows her natural cuteness/beauty!

Also, the Gibson Girl is tops!

39 N October 22, 2008 at 10:48 am

This looks to me like retro porn. Whether women today are skinny and women of old were curvaceous is irrelevant. Women who looked like Britney Spears couldn’t have become pinup models back then and women of back then can’t become pinup models now with those figures. The point is that both of them are pinup models in their own times.

My grandfather didn’t ogle at pinups. He thought it was unmanly to do so and I think he’s right.

This blog extols being faithful and devoted to ones wife etc. and in one of it’s articles (rightly) criticises people who are addicted to porn. This article it seems to me runs counter to that and tarnishes the otherwise nice feel of this blog.

40 Chris October 22, 2008 at 10:56 am

@Brett – I think excluding Audrey Hepburn is entirely correct; she was certainly never a sexpot or sex fantasy in the way that, say, the equally graceful Grace Kelly or equally kittenish Doris Day or equally noble Lauren Bacall managed to be.

I would, however, have included a lady who my dad still to this day refers to as “the speecy-a-spicy-a meatball”: the vampishly sultry Sophia Loren.

41 mmmark October 22, 2008 at 11:25 am

Regarding Doris Day’s reputation, Oscar Levant once said “I knew Doris Day BEFORE she was a virgin.”

And Grace Kelly slept with everyone, including the Shah of Iran, Gary Cooper, director Fred Zinneman, Clark Gable, Ray Milland (broke up his marriage), Bing Crosby (while he was married), Tony Curtis, Marlon Brando, David Niven, and William Holden.

42 Khani-Jo October 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm


Everyday, women put on make up, high heels, and clothes that make us feel sexy. Don’t we do this to make ourselves feel good but also in the hopes that someone will notice us? I think that we can’t really avoid what most people would call “objectifying women” unless we all start to wear veils over our faces and robes.
I think that as long as we are treated with respect and act in a way that demands respect, then we can overcome what some would call being objectified. We are sexual beings and to think that any of us are never going to look at another human and picture them in a sexual way is ludicrous! I say there’s nothing wrong with being sexy as long as you do it with class. The women pictured here all seemed to do that very well in my opinion!

43 Preston October 22, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Agree with N. There is nothing particularly ‘manly’ about pinups, or objectifying women. It may be ‘male’ but so are quite a few behaviors that are otherwise unmanly, and get called out here on occasion.

The images aren’t explicit in the context of today’s media environment, but this is irrelevant to me as a reader of this blog. Dumb, juvenile and boring.

44 Lico October 22, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Call me an old man if you want but the Gibson girl is my kind of woman!

45 anon October 22, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Ok, ok, I get it .. everything was better in the past.

46 April Braswell October 22, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I LOVED this post so much,

Amen to curvy fabulous sexy feminine women. And I like how you have some variety showing. I also love Vargas’ work. What woman wouldn’t love to look like one them? They were so curvy, hot, sexy WOMEN.

It really is true. It is part of my work as a Dating and Relationship Coach, predominately to women >40, that I am encouraging them to dress in a sexy classy manner to learn to appeal to men’s eyes. We can get SO competent that we lose our womanly appeal.

Not Maureen O’Hara! I always loved her movies and hold her as a role model. She was a wonderful actress and her movie that my family watches so often we can quote it…..”The Quiet Man.” “Wipe your feet!”

Thank you for the reminder that for a culture to inculcate Wonderful Manliness, so we to balance it, promote womanliness in women.

Another wonderful post!

All the best,

April Braswell
Online Dating and Relationship Expert

47 Brett October 22, 2008 at 1:46 pm


I think its possible to admire the beauty of a woman without “objectifying” her. Objectifying a woman takes away her personhood, because you’re using her as a tool. But I don’t think anyone’s getting their rocks off to Betty Grable. We’re just noting that she’s a good looking dame. Anyone who’s not asexual does this everyday. At work, at school, we notice when someone is attractive. How did you meet you wife or girlfriend? Surely you noticed she was attractive to you. Does that mean you objectified her in that moment? There’s nothing wrong with taking note of a beautiful woman. You just shouldn’t lust after her or start fantasizing about her or something like that.

48 Christine the Soccer Mom October 22, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Hedy Lammar? Wasn’t she in Blazing Saddles?


Great list. Especially Grandma. Perfect ending.

49 Thomas October 22, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I have to agree with Claire, N and Preston here: objectification of women is evil, and the pin-ups of yore are not to be looked up to simply because they are somehow more “classy” than today’s. These vintage pin-ups sought to induce lust in men just as much as our modern equivalents, and there’s truly nothing manly about offending against chastity and the virtue of temperance, quite the contrary.

50 Britt October 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Veronica Lake was HOT. I saw her in a movie wherein she was wearing this shear satin dress, tight where it needed to be tight, loose where being loose didn’t affect the view, and man, she was a HOT gal.

51 Britt October 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm

@chaz – Wow.

Just Wow.

I am amazed.

Why are you on this website again? Why is it wrong for a person to appreciate a lovely lady or a handsome man?

Why does the media do what they do, when clearly many people do not buy into their impressions of the world? Why is Paris Hilton a role model for many young women today?

This article has almost nothing to do with your rant… Perhaps you should read it again, this time, slowly, because obviously you missed the point so you need to read for comprehension…

English not your first language? If so, then perhaps that is why you drew incorrect conclusions in so much of your argument.

52 Prudence McPrude October 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Well, if I ever! How dare you make me look at these beautiful women! I’m going to have to go confess to my priest and do 10 Hail Marys. The nerve of you all putting such filth on the internet. I’ve never seen so many bare clavicles and knees in my entire life.

Any “real” woman should be wearing a skirt that goes down to her ankles. The fabric should not hug close to the body either. And how dare you make that sweet old grandma into a sex object. Of course, she probably deserves it with her wearing those leg hugging stockings.

And any “real” man should never recognize the beauty in women. Once you do, you’re on the path to necking and petting which of course leads to Communism. Manly men are completely asexual, like me, Prudence McPrude.

I hope you all take this filth down. Your mother would be ashamed.

Respectfully yours,

Prudence McPrude

53 RealMan October 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

You know, the thing that I take away from seeing pin-ups from yesteryear is that those women actually looked like women. Granted, some of them were younger women. Today, however, girls as young as 15 and even younger are showcased as sexual objects.

54 amy October 22, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I am going to have to agree with N as well.

Human beings are going to find one another attractive for a number of reasons, physical and otherwise, a fortunate fact of which I know the AoM writers are aware. I see no problem with wanting to look appealing or finding someone else’s looks appealing. However, I think we get into a very dangerous territory when we allow certain people, from celebrities to spouses, to become sex objects. The danger is that while being sexually attracted to someone with whom there is a mutual understanding, a relationship we might say, is a profound way to form a connection, being sexually attracted to an object is isolating. A man who pressures his spouse to have sex with him rather than (as you put so nicely, Brett) doing his best to make her WANT to have sex with him is treating his wife as a sexual object, not a sexual partner. I have given this topic a great deal of thought as I work as a hospital responder for a rape crisis center; I am the advocate who assists the victims through the unpleasant forensic rape evidence collection. I believe that rape happens in our culture (as it does, monstrously, in most, if not all, cultures). I have concluded that the natural desire to sexually connect with someone, something over which we have no real control, is often perverted into wanting to sexually objectify someone, an act over which we and we alone have total control. I recognize that there is a far, far cry between a brutal gang rape (not as infrequent an act as I wish I could report) and putting up a cutesy pinup calendar, but in all honesty I think they are simply different points along a single continuum. Pressuring one’s own wife to have sex may be a lesser offense than using violent porn which may again be a distant cousin to committing brutal acts of sexual degradation one’s self, but I think, at their core, they are the same (and, in fact, it may be worse to pressure your wife than objectify a stranger; you didn’t make any vows about honoring or cherishing the stranger…). All of these acts are about having power over another’s sexuality. And even if, as with most of the examples in this article, the women are placing themselves in a position to be objectified, choosing to view them as sexual objects, even just to take a sexually-charged look, is an act of perpetration. While I know I am a member of a small minority who share my views, I genuinely do not feel I am blowing anything out of proportion or being hysterical. Underlying cultural values inform all of our decisions and we can only be responsible citizens if we are willing to challenge our own knee-jerk responses. Even the sexual ones.

I am not here to say anyone who has sexually objectified another person is a rapist. I am sure, in our culture, we have all been duped into thinking this sort of behavior is acceptable, or even manly (or womanly, I suppose). But I have to say, I think sexual objectification in any of its forms is dangerous.

Additionally, I would be careful about describing curvy women as healthy and very slim women as sickly. I am a bit overweight myself, but I have read some compelling research that indicates that very thin (men AND) women live longer and suffer from fewer degenerative diseases. With the exceptions of bona fide eating disorders, which are not relevant to the general population (especially an increasingly obese general population) thinner=healthier. Sorry guys. I like my big butt and I cannot lie, but if my curves are going to land me in the hospital one day they may not be worth it.

55 RealMan October 22, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Well, you are not trying to make a living as a 1920-1940s starlet either.

56 Kate October 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm

“Additionally, I would be careful about describing curvy women as healthy and very slim women as sickly. I am a bit overweight myself, but I have read some compelling research that indicates that very thin (men AND) women live longer and suffer from fewer degenerative diseases.”

There’s actually many compelling studies that show that being slightly overweight is quite healthy and that being very thin is correlated with a higher mortality:

57 B October 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Agree with N, and several others here…

Brett–It’s safe to say the majority of today’s gentlemen are struggling with Internet porn. I’m sure you’ve read the statistics about what a huge industry it is these days.

So when an article like this appears on a usually “safe” men’s website, it inadvertently acts as an invitation to start clicking around and go further. It whets the appetite, so to speak.

Sight-based stimulation is very, very powerful.

Addiction counselors would back me up on this one. It’s sort of like if you’re writing a book for people struggling with their weight, you don’t want to describe the food their missing out on.

Wooo–remember those donuts, yeah, the ones with the sprinkles on top. Oooh, bet you could just taste one now….

Just my 2 cents anyway. Thanks for your usually great blog, though. It’s one of the most classy out there!

58 Frank October 22, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Well, I liked this article.

Of course, I’m not surprised that everyone was coming out of the woodwork to rail about objectification and all that other stuff. This is 2008 and my goodness, if we can’t get offended and go on and on about our agendas, why then we’re not living up to our righteous indignation!

These women, were, for the most part, entertainers, and the objective of being an entertainer is to entertain.

It was not my grandfather that was in the Big One but my Dad. And given some of the stuff these guys went through, if they wanted to have a few moments to forget about being in a war, so be it.

I’ve seen lots of women in Playboy, but let me tell you, in my opinion, none of them hold a candle to Rita Hayworth…

The best part about all of these pics? They leave something to the imagination….

59 Buster October 22, 2008 at 4:33 pm

How about Gypsy Rose Lee, Dorothy Dandridge, Ava Gardner, Bridgitt bardot, Ingrid Bergman, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Greta Garbo, Sofia Loren….

60 The Baltimore Babe October 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I am about to swoon.

61 Chris R October 22, 2008 at 5:43 pm

I can’t believe Audrey Hepburn wasn’t on the list. Otherwise, it’s a solid one.

62 amy October 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Hi @kate

The study I referred to is commonly referred to as The China Study and is thoroughly explained in the book by the same name. The China Study is the largest nutrition study to date including 800 million participants and 600,000 researchers. I know that it’s possible to find statistics to back up just about any opinion, so I don’t expect anyone here to simply take my word for it, but I think the issue merits some looking into.

I failed to make my real point which is that female bodies, whether large or small, can be sexually attractive. I don’t think it is any more appropriate to deride thin women while vaunting those with curvier figures any more than it is appropriate (though it is certainly more common) to voice opposite opinions. At the end of the day, a female body is a housing unit for a female soul, which is the true prize and the source of truly satisfying romantic feelings, as I’m confident we all agree.

63 mookie October 22, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Marlene Dietrich blows em all out of the water! (except maybe Lauren Bacall). Don’t believe me? Check out Blue Angels-

64 Spoon October 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

I’m sorry, but I’ve got to agree with many of the others who have objected to this post.

My main objection involves the inconsistency of this post when compared with other posts on the site that pull no punches denouncing pornography.

Now some may disagree with me, but I don’t really see much difference between some of these photos (and, I’ll admit, after a few photos, I just scrolled down to the comments to see if anyone else was having the same reaction as me) and softcore pornography, and the very top image (which is, unfortunately, on the main page of the site currently) is the worst!

I think that, to any red-blooded male, it is obvious that the pin-ups of yore were intended to entice men just as much as pornography is today. While they may seem tamer today, these images were the pornography of older generations.

65 devo October 22, 2008 at 7:39 pm

@spoon (and others)

Pornography??? Puhleeeze! Do you really think any of these pictures constitutes pornography?

I seriously suggest you take a walk out of your monastery/church/temple/cult and check out what real pornography is. Then go down to your local newagent and pick up any of those crappy tabloid magazines and compare the pictures in there to those on this site and let me know which are waaaay worse.

Go back to your sanitised, dull sites with pictures of nuns etc., and leave me to enjoy looking at stunningly beautiful women…

BTW: As for those that mention how ‘men in society’ are demanding women be rail thin and anorexic – I call your bluff. Nearly every single editor of every single women’s magazine in my country is *female*.

66 Jeff N. October 22, 2008 at 7:52 pm

I thought this post was great. I don’t understand all the stick in the muds who say this objectifies women. Lighten up will ya! Women are beautiful. Why can’t we appreciate it now and then?

@ devo- Took the words right out of my mouth. I’m sure spoon would still get his underwear all in a bunch if this post was called “Your Great great great great great great great great grandpa’s Babes” and consisted of classical paintings of nude women taken from the Renaissance and Baroque period. But I guess paintings of naked women with come hither stares isn’t porn as long as their 1) over 400 years old and 2) painted on some church ceiling. Then it’s art and a way to “admire the beauty of the human figure which God created.”

67 Beowulf87 October 22, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Well, I almost always agree with AoM blog posts, but this one I’m going to have to say that I honestly don’t agree. I’m not “mad” and am not going to leave the site forever, go on a rant, blah blah blah, but I have to say that I really don’t have a liking for anything “pin-up” or anything else of the sort.

It has to do with my Christian beliefs I suppose. Are men designed to be attracted to women? NO DUH! But this style is just not my own style.

No hard feelings, of course. :-)


68 Oscar Lopez October 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm

all of these women are gorgeous, but the post lacks variety. Maybe it’s a culture thing, but I’m wondering where the pinups of girls of the Sir Mixalot variety are

69 B. Wilde October 22, 2008 at 8:10 pm

It’s amazing how the more things change, the more they remain the same. I love the twist you give to the post at the end by anchoring it back to relationships. What a great reminder you give we manly-men.

70 Dustin Boston October 22, 2008 at 10:39 pm

@Brett and Kate, with respect – I’m disappointed that you posted this. It was thorough and well written as always, but I agree with the others who expressed their concern.

I’ll be frank. I may have a hypersensitivity to porn. Maybe I am just being paranoid. But tomorrow my wife is going to see that I read a post called Classic Pin-up Girls. While she may not object to the content she may ask herself, “if he was willing to click that link, what else is he willing to click on?” (Before anyone flames me, I know I could delete it from my history–the point is that I shouldn’t have to.)

I am disappointed because until now the site has been squeaky clean. There has not been any questionable content. Nothing has even come close to the line. Sure there have been posts that address men’s issues such as sex and adultery, but an entire post to admiring sultry pictures of beautiful women?

Regarding the post itself: these pictures would not have been paraded as “above reproach” in their time. They would have been risque just as they are now.

Last point. For the sake of your continued good reputation I would recommend taking down this post. I’ve been blogging for a long time and I know that it’s against the “code,” but I just don’t see how this will fare well for you.

71 devo October 22, 2008 at 11:00 pm


“admiring sultry pictures of beautiful women” (your own words)…….and that constitutes *pornography* to you??!! Did I miss the naked and/or sexually explicit pictures in this post somewhere?

I suggest that you actively _show_ your wife this post. I know _my_ wife loved it. Her only disappointment was that Audrey Hepburn, one of her favourite actresses, was missing from the list.

Perhaps you need to have a deep and meaningful discussion with your wife. Are there unresolved jealousy or self esteem issues there? I don’t want to seem presumptuous or confrontational, it is just that in my line of work, whenever there is an over reaction to a situation, there are internal insecurities or issues which amplify the situation at hand.

72 Time Tracker October 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

Nice compilation, and great story telling. :)

I 3rd the marlene dietrich vote!

73 rengal October 23, 2008 at 1:28 am

This wife loved this post. Admiring beauty (including sensual beauty) and looking at porn are different things. Linking what is attractive or sensual, necessarily with sexuality (and low/base sexuality at that) is a logical fallacy that just hurts my brain. Stop it, and go put your energies towards developing a healthier sexuality.

Best part of the article: Grandma. Bravo! Real men love their own women, yes they do.

74 Kate October 23, 2008 at 1:49 am

As a woman I object to the criticism that the women picture above are in any way “pornographic” I think such a label says far more about the commenter’s perception of women that it does about the pictures themselves. The need to highly sexualize this kind of post does more in my mind to objectify women than the pictures themselves. For it leads to the idea that it is women who lead poor innocent men to have lustful thoughts. Men are the victims and women are the sultry temptresses.

If I had compiled a list of the “10 Most Dashingly Handsome Men of the Silver Screen” and the photos featured the likes of James Dean with his shirt off, I highly doubt that female commenters would have cried out that the photos constituted porn. Why? Because women have not been raised to use men as an excuse for their impure thoughts. Men are raised to think that since they are more “visual” creatures, than they cannot help themselves in the sight of beautiful women. Yet the problem is not the scantily clad women, but the man’s inability not to sexualize every woman he sees. Brett has not ever and does not dabble in any kind of porn. And looking at these women as he compiled the post did not lead him to have impure thoughts, fantasize about taking off Veronica Lake’s clothing, or lead him to click to hard-core porn sites. He can simply look at them and think “Well, that’s a beautiful looking lady.” And its because he has a healthy view of women. They’re not all sexual booby traps waiting to steal his virtue.

I have to wonder if some of these commenters also object to and strenuously avoid nude art and sculpture from the Renaissance or other classic art ? Would they not go see an exhibit of Rodin because it might turn them on? If so, again I would argue that such an attitude would say more about their perception of women as sexual objects than it would about the art itself.

75 Bob from Norway October 23, 2008 at 2:59 am

First of all, although this certainly qualifies as objectifying women, I believe Kate is right – it’s not pornography. Grace Kelly’s head shot is not porn! I’m not saying one thing is okay, and the other is not, just that these are two different things and not the same. Still, making this out to be pornography says alot about those who do, and does not describe these pictures in any way.

Second, these are all beautiful pictures! :-)

Third, they are all white… Isn’t that a bit strange? I’m not an expert on this time period in any way, but I would asume that someone like Grace Kelly’s friend Josephine Baker got a few hearts pumping back in the day!

Keep up the good work!

PS: Trashing today’s female celebrities was uncalled for I think, and totally unnecessary.

76 Charlie October 23, 2008 at 5:44 am

Sexiest. AoM post. EVAR!

77 PJ_Normz October 23, 2008 at 5:49 am

Sullivan’s Travels (1952) is one of my favorite films of all time. Veronica Lake is stunning in it.

I have to say, being that I am an avid movie buff, it is great to see you bringing up some amazing stars from yesteryear…

One question: No Ava Gardner?

78 hugh jameson October 23, 2008 at 6:01 am

The one you missed that really wets my whistle is Barbra Stanwyck. That twinkle in her eye along with great gams, gorgous face, and ample bussoms, whew!!!

79 the one and only true kevin October 23, 2008 at 6:24 am

I don’t understand why all the Jesus freaks are getting upset about this post. This site isn’t the Art of “Christian” Manliness. So to expect everything to be in line with your world view is pretty lame.

And to all you sickos who say these images are porn. How do you all function in day to day living? I mean seriously? What do you when you have an attractive waitress wait on you? Do you avoid looking at her completely because she might cause you to look at internet porn when you get home? How do you watch movies and television shows with beautiful women in it? Do you have to tie your hands to the couch so you don’t start rubbing one out?

I agree with Kate. If you can’t admire the beauty of a woman without whacking off or going on an internet porn binge, the problem is YOU. Pornography “addiction” is not a disease. It’s a lack of will power and a twisted view of sexuality that causes you to look at porn. By calling it an addiction or disease you shirk any responsibility for your problem, because after all how can it be your fault if it’s a disease you’re battling with? Man up, take responsibility for yourself, and quit blaming beautiful women on your pathetic porn problem.

80 the one and only true kevin October 23, 2008 at 6:26 am

Oh and the post was fantastic! Such classic beauties! My wife loved it. Our only gripe is that Fay Wray didn’t make the list.

81 Uberhack October 23, 2008 at 7:29 am

@Alec Corday

Hahahahah, nice!
I can’t help but think of Blazing Saddles every time I see the name Hedy Lamarr.
Harvey Korman = brilliant.

82 P October 23, 2008 at 8:13 am

To the one and only kevin …

Pornography addiction is not simply a matter of will power.

Looking at pornography messes with the chemicals in your brain: it releases too much dopamine, similar to any sort of buzz that’s attained from imbibing in a substance.

Studies have shown that pornography is more addicitive than cocaine.

The problem today is that pornography is way more prevalent than in Grandpa’s day. Even 10 years ago, you had to go to the corner liquor store to buy a girlie magazine. These days, it’s only one mouse-click away.

Many men–and this has nothing to do with their religion or lack of it–are seeking to avoid pornography. They know of its destructive power. They don’t want to mess with pornography because that’s not characteristic of the men that they want to be–and that’s admirable.

The problem today is that pornography “finds” you–via sneeky Internet tacticts.

That’s why this blog post has the potential to be dangerous. No, these women are not pornographic, but they act as the first step to crank up the dompamine centers in the brain to start craving that rush.

From there, it’s a very quick click to harder stuff.

And that’s why I think this blog post was in poor taste–it’s insensative to the MANY men out there who are seeking to avoid pornography at all costs.

Thanks for your time in listening.

83 the one and only true kevin October 23, 2008 at 9:14 am

@P – So let me see if I understand you. Even kooking at beautiful women leads down the path to becoming a porn addict? If that’s the case, how do these “addicts” function in daily life? There are beautiful sexy women all over the place. They’re at you school, your work, the coffee shop, etc. Do you want these women to stop wearing makeup and put on sackcloths because a few pathetic schleps will make a bee line to porno sites?

Again, if men have this problem, they are pathetic. Plain and simple. You are not your brain chemicals. Trying to shift the blame of porno addiction to brain chemicals is just another sad example of society’s shift to codling people to death.

Porn is for losers. If a man can’t control his own passions and actions by avoiding porn, they’re a loser. I have no sympathy for these whinny men who can’t get a hold of themselves. Instead of being told “It’s okay big guy. You just need to seek some counseling and talk about your feelings about why you look at porn,” they need swift kick in the ass.

84 P October 23, 2008 at 9:56 am


Absolutely! Men need to take ownership of their own actions. Absolutely. It is completely inexcusable to shift the blame onto anything except a person’s self.

However, what I’m saying is that once a man has any sort of propensity toward pornography, to “just say no” to porn is not simply a matter of the will any more than “just say no to crack” is a matter of the will for someone with a propensity toward crack.

An addiction is a matter of a chemical imbalance that’s caused by the choices a person makes. Once that chemical imbalance has taken place, a person’s logic and determination is skewed. Have you ever tried to give up smoking cigarrettes? You’ll know what I mean. Sure, it’s a matter of the will, but the longings created by a chemical imbalance in the brain are much more intense than normal.

So, no … I’m not trying to say that looking at beautiful girls leads to a pornography addiction. But for people who are trying to avoid pornography–and there are plenty of guys out there who are–then looking at pictures of scantily-clad women will trigger the first rush of chemicals that prompts the cravings that prompts going one step further.

Kevin, my biggest point of agreement with you is this–your line, “Porn is for losers.” Absolutely as men we do not need this in our lives. If anyone is struggling with porn out there–man up, get help, and stop going to this crutch to satisfy your cravings. Porn is a complete destroyer of all that’s good.

We all have a choice in this matter.

But once your brain is addled by porn, the choice will be much more harder for you.

85 Wayne October 23, 2008 at 9:56 am

If they were fully clothed, but still very beautiful, would it still be “porn”?
Do any of you females that dissapprove wear makeup? If so, why? Do you want to be objectified? If you don’t want to be, then do you go out of your way to look UNattractive? If any of the women shown were wearing Burkas (minus the veil), they would still be georgeous. If noticing beauty is objectification, then the muslim extremists are correct, you must be covered from head to toe, because I find a long, thin neck very sexy. Same goes for eyes and mouth…and hair. Sexy.

86 Wayne October 23, 2008 at 10:29 am

FYI, I’m a Jesus freak. The hard core, came back from the dead type.
I loves me some Jesus, wouldn’t be caught dead without Him.

87 N October 23, 2008 at 10:34 am

The point I think is quite simple. If you’re ‘for’ the pinups in this post, you also have to be ‘for’ the pinup girls of today (Britney Spears et. al). There might be some minor differences (I prefer my pinup girls curvaceous rather than skinny etc.) but the point is that you’re ‘for’ pinups. You can also have an intellectual debate on whether it’s empowering women or objectifying them, whether it’s immoral or not to admire feminine beauty etc. but the bottom line is that pinups are as a rule instruments that use sexuality to promote a certain idea or product. The models that pose for them are not posing because they’re intelligent or well read or educated. They’re made up and put on the pictures to appeal to the common denominator. They emotions that every man (and woman) have which can be turned on and used to achieve the aim of the person who designed the pinup. Call me a sceptic but I find it hard to believe that Hefner started Playboy to liberate women from the oppressed horror that was their life.

I’m not taking a religious or moral stance here so all the strawman accusations about being Jesus freaks are non sequiturs. The complaint I have is intellectual duplicity. Either you are for or against pinups (old or new, retro or modern, skinny or curvaceous are all non issues).

My Grandpa is not really for pinups and putting my Grandma in the same list as one which has an actress and soft porn model like Marilyn Monroe is not something he’d take kindly too.

The man has reached the evening of his life and is admiring the sunset. Rest assured that if he were younger and stronger and someone went to him with a list like this, he’d give that person a *real* lesson in manliness. One that they wouldn’t forget in a jiffy.

I repeat what I said, this post runs counter to many of the others that I’ve read here and I feel that it has detracted from its theme.

88 Wayne October 23, 2008 at 10:37 am

And as long as I’m ranting, aren’t the authors of this blog “Christian manliness” types (albeit of the LDS persuasion, but still) also?

89 Not a Pansy October 23, 2008 at 11:38 am


I thought this was the “Art of Manliness,” not the “Art of Victimhood”

You comment pretty much sums up what is wrong with manliness today. Everything is a disease, an addiction. Porn is as addicting as crack? How preposterous. I just googled “porn is as addicting as cocaine” and didn’t find any studies to back up such a claim. What kind of withdrawal do porn addicts go through when they stop looking at porn? Do their wieners start shaking and sweating? It’s like fatties who say they are addicted to food. Help! Even a picture of chocolate cake sends me into a binge. Gambling is addictive! Sex is addictive! Email is addictive! They’re clinical problems caused by chemical imbalances! Chemical imbalances that no one can prove…but they’re there! Get real. The problem with men today is that they’ve abdicated personal responsibility and the jettisoned the notion of self-control.

If these pictures can cause a man to fall off the porn wagon, how does he live his life? If this post is in “poor taste” than is the beach in poor taste? The mall? School? I mean if these pics send a man over the edge than seeing women at the beach in bikinis must send him into a catatonic state. He should perhaps never leave the house. Should the whole world tailor themselves to help this man’s addiction? Should shows on television carry a warning “Women in swimsuits ahead!” Should the porn-addicted man ask for a homely waitress at a restaurant so that he doesn’t get that chemical rush of addiction when a hot one takes his order?

If a man really does feel addicted to porn that he should cultivate a self-control that can stomach being out and about in normal life. I know alcoholics that can be at social gatherings in which alcohol is served and they don’t run screaming from the building. And they certainly wouldn’t criticize their host for serving alcohol at an event he attended. He understands that the world is not going to change for him, he has to change himself to deal with the world.

90 the one and only true kevin October 23, 2008 at 12:06 pm

@Not a Pansy – A man after my own kind. Great analogy with the alcoholics being able to attend parties with alcohol and not wigging out. I guess women better stop being so darn sexy because it’s “insensitive” to dudes with a pathetic porn problem. (How’s that for alliteration?)

91 Dusty October 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm

“I know it when I see it.” — Justice Potter Stewart

If the Supreme Court of the United States can’t really define pornography, I suspect nobody here will, either. I think most of the “disappointed” commenters are being overly sensitive. But it might be instructive to know what Grandma thought about the women in those pictures, and the pictures themselves.

Aside from that the truth is that the line will be in different places for different people. I relate it to alcoholism. If you struggle with drinking, you shouldn’t be around it. That doesn’t mean another person out in public having a glass of wine should be held to your standard. There are health benefits to an occasional glass of wine. Conversely, you wouldn’t bring a bottle of wine over for dinner when visiting your alcoholic friend. This blog is a public forum (i.e. a restaurant in that analogy).

This post doesn’t overtly sexualize women. More than anything, it draws attention to the difference between the appreciation of beauty and innuendo in the past… and many of today’s far less subtle tendencies. While pornography addiction and over-sexualization is one of America’s great problems, I would venture to guess that a solution that involves men being taught to not appreciate beautiful women would not work, either. In fact, that kind of unhealthy repression is what leads a lot of men TO pornography.

92 Francisca Ruddock October 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

As a women, I was thrilled to stumble upon this site. I know that Ava Gardener was a real favourite of my Grandfathers :-)
It’s so nice to see real, beautiful women on here. Glamour has gone and been replaced by trash IMHO. As for porn, it comes in all forms and all beauty eventually leads to sex! Where’s the harm in that?? LOL Isn’t that why we are all here from our Grandfathers……. If it portrayed in a subtle way, all the better to teach our children. Less is more and glamour wins!

I will certainly encourage my daughters to look more like this than Ms Spears!

I think Lana Turner should be here too tho chaps.


93 P October 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm

To Not a Pansy, Kevin, and others:

Please understand I’m not writing these things to make you angry.

First, I think the metaphor of this blog site being similar to a restaurant breaks down because, although this is a public forum, Brett has previously made a strong case for this blog being the antithesis of typical men’s forums such as Maxim magazine, etc. This is a “specialized” restaurant, if anything.

Second, there’s a good study, among many, about the affects of pornography and health at:

The authors list 3 myths about this subject:
1) That obsession with porn is due to a character defect.
2) That there’s no scientific evidence that porn is addictive.
3) That those who suggest porn is harmful are anti-sex and/or religious extremists.

I encourage you to read the full article.

What’s the bottom line here?

Are these pictures that Brett posted really all that harmful?

No, not to a normal, well-adjusted, beauty-loving man.

But … yes, perhaps, if a man is struggling with pornography. And how many men is that these days? If we read the statistics about the prevalence of porn today, it’s probably a lot of men in this camp. It’s probably a lot of readers of this blog, for that matter.

So should all media sites be extra sensative about putting provocative material on?

No. If you’re Playboy or Maxim or Girls Gone Wild, then do whatever you want.

But if you run a website that’s previously shown a leaning toward conservatism and traditional values, such as this website, then maybe some extra sensitivity is required. That’s not being a pansy. It’s just being gentlemanly.

Thanks for the good thoughts everyone–we’re getting some really good thinking going on here. –P

94 Spoon October 23, 2008 at 1:13 pm

@N: Thank you, you made the point I was trying to make better than I was able to (I’m just going to fall back on the excuse it was a late night and I was tired).

However, I do still stand by my “pornography” statements, though I will clarify: I was thinking more along the lines of softcore pornography. This seems to be something many people misunderstood (though, it also sounds like those who responded to me didn’t bother to read much of my comment).

Regardless, I would like to ask that the “pro-pinup” people, if they wish to argue the point, please actually make an argument, rather than throwing around ad hominem and baseless accusations (I won’t be here to argue for the next few days—full weekend—, but it would at least make the site more pleasant).

95 Brett October 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm


I’m not following your argument.

“The point I think is quite simple. If you’re ‘for’ the pinups in this post, you also have to be ‘for’ the pinup girls of today (Britney Spears et. al).”

First of all how does one follow the other? That’s like saying that if you liked horror movies of the 50′s you must like the horror movies of today. But someone might like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and yet detest the gruesomeness of “Saw.”

Your argument also breaks down because there are not “pin-ups” today. The pin-up was a type of image which has passed. There are no tasteful pics of Britney Spears modestly dressed and looking classy for men to hang on their wall. The pin-ups of yesteryear are nothing like the spreads found in today’s magazines.

“There might be some minor differences (I prefer my pinup girls curvaceous rather than skinny etc.) but the point is that you’re ‘for’ pinups.”
“Either you are for or against pinups (old or new, retro or modern, skinny or curvaceous are all non issues).”

I don’t understand your “for” and against” language. What does it mean to be “for” pin-ups? That I’m a pin-up proponent? And what does that mean? I did not call for men to plaster their walls with pin-up pictures. I simply compiled a list of beautiful women from my grandpa’s day. That said, if my son wanted to put an old pin-up pic on his wall, I wouldn’t object. If that makes me “pro pin-up” than I guess I am.

Threatening me with violence from your younger grandfather was a nice touch I must say. I’m sorry your grandfather didn’t fall under the purview of this post. My grandfather would have loved it. And he could have beaten up your grandfather. :)

I understand the point you are making about being extra sensitive to those who struggle with pornography, I truly do, but unfortunately I can’t muster up much sympathy for a man to whom drawings of women and head shots of actresses are enough to set off his porn addiction. Perhaps that makes me an insensitive guy, but I think the majority of readers really liked this post and I would hope that the few who would find it sexual in nature could simply exercise some manly self-control.

96 David October 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm


Interesting fact, thin people are not necissarily more healthy. Most times they aren’t. There are many skinny people with a high BMI. Much of their muscle is gone and that causes lots of problems. There is also a lot of evidence now that being a bit heavier helps protect your heart during a heart attack. Whats really important is that you exercise, eat decent, make sure you are getting a good amount of EFAs from fish and an appropriate amount of fiber. Otherwise your pretty much set.

Consider how many modern women eat poorly so they can have that figure. Many of those women are not going to live to a good age.

Here is what I think is important. Think about yourself. Do you feel good? Are you healthy? Are you comfortable with yourself? I don’t mean what your ego tells you. It may be saying ohh I want to look like a modern actress, but you really should ignore that. Too me its honestly much better if you look like yourself. If anyone can answer those positivly then don’t worry about the rest.

97 Brett October 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm

To all the other folks out there who said this post promoted unchastity: I think there’s a distinction between being chaste and being a prude. You can be chaste and not be a prude. Men can have a healthy appreciation for female beauty and for sex without being a moral degenerate or a rigid stick in the mud.

98 Manic October 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Gil Elvgren artwork is superior. My missus enjoys recreating many of the Elvgren pieces in photography.

Real women, warm, classy, original and better than today’s ‘standard’

99 Tracy October 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm

BETTIE PAGE you silly ninnies!

100 devo October 23, 2008 at 2:56 pm

@N – I loved the old Disney cartoons of the 20′s-50′s. I _hate_ the new manga cartoons of the past few decades. Is this enough to shoot down your extremely narrow and obtuse notion that if you liked these pin-ups shown here then you would like current celebrity pin up’s ??

Speaking of which, I have _never_ seen a tastefully glamorous shot of Britney…ever! (not that I go actively looking…)

You finish off your post by insinuating that your grandpa would have come down to beat the stuffings out of the author of this article had he been able to. Great. You don’t condone ‘pin-ups’ yet you condone physical violence and bodily harm upon another person?

Way to go! Respect and credibility score…..NIL.

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