Negotiating Agency, Representation & Sexuality with Vintage Style
Dangerous. Sexy. All-American—or rather All-World—Girl. Pin Up! The Subculture is the first book to explore the contemporary international subculture of pin up, women (and men) who embrace vintage style, but not vintage values.
Award-winning filmmaker and author Kathleen M. Ryan spent more than five years in the subculture. It’s a world of cat eye makeup, carefully constructed hairstyles, and retro-inspired fashions. But it’s also a world that embraces the ideals of feminism. Beauty, according to the pin up, is found not in body type or skin color, but in the confidence and sexual agency of the individual. Pin ups see their subculture as a way to exert empowerment and control of their own sexual and social identities—something that is part of the pin up’s historical legacy.
This lavishly illustrated book includes interviews with more than fifty international pin ups and helps readers to understand how they use social media and personal interactions to navigate thorny issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, sizeism, and other difficult topics. Ryan demonstrates how even within subcultures, identity is far from homogeneous. Pin ups use the safety of their shared subcultural values to advocate for social and political change.
A fascinating combination of cultural history, media studies, and oral history, Pin Up! The Subculture is the story about how a subculture is subverting and reviving an historic aesthetic for the twenty-first century.
List of Figures
Chapter 1. The Curious Case of the Pin Up
Chapter 2. Circuits of Community: The Intersection of Oral History, Subculture, and Interactive Documentary
Chapter 3. Remaking Marilyn: The Pin Up and Contemporary Vintage Re-appropriation
Chapter 4. The “F” Word: Visual Pleasure, Agency, and Feminism
Chapter 5. “Symbolic” Resistance or a Less Toxic Feminism?
Chapter 6. Let’s Talk about the Confederate Flag in the Room: Intersectionality in Pin Up
Chapter 7. “Go Eat a Cheeseburger,” “Gorditas,” and Other Sizeist Fandangos: Controlling the Circuit of Culture in Pin Up
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