Often when we attend classic car shows, pin up contests or visit Instagram model profiles we see an edgy, flamboyant modern twist on the classic pin up girl. We start to believe that the pin up girl must have been an edgy, liberal woman within rockabilly culture especially for those who are new to pin up modeling and vintage culture.
Modern rockabilly has integrated the classic pin up into their culture of different social aspects including punk rock, feminism and liberalism. So what’s the difference between the classic pin up and rockabilly pin up? There’s a huge difference – keep reading below! You can also watch the video below where I explain more valuable information on the two vintage elements.
The History of Classic Pin Up & Rockabilly
The history of pin up started in the 1890’s and became extremely popular in the 1940’s and then stuck around in the 1950’s and faded out towards the end of the 1960’s when women’s rights started embedding itself in society. The military used pin up modeling for propaganda messages on persuading young men to join the service to help fight World War II. The 1950’s continued using the pin up girl for advertisements and visual pleasure.
The history of Rockabilly started in the early 1950’s in the South. Rockabilly is a combination of rock ‘n roll and hillbilly music with influences of bluegrass, rhythm and blues and country.
Classic pin up modeling is older than Rockabilly culture.
What's the Difference Between Classic Pin Up & Rockabilly?
Classic pin up modeling was intended for advertisement usage and to display informally in a room or space. We often see pin up posters and photos in garages, office spaces, bedrooms and other informal places. I used to tear out interesting posters and photos out of magazines and pin them up in my locker when I was junior high and high school.
The pin up girl was known for her subtle tease. She was innocent, cute and very feminine. She was usually in a bad or happy situation. The pin up girl uses her sexuality, sensuality and feminine charm to help sell a product, brand or just for visual pleasure to brighten a room or space.
On the other hand. . .
Rockabilly music genre became a culture – alike most popular music genres. Rockabilly attracted plenty of rebellious, liberal-minded souls who viewed Rockabilly as a lifestyle. Rockabilly enthusiasts tend to have heavy tattoos, piercings, bright colored hair and distinctive 1950’s fashion style. The word "rockabilly" became popular after it was mentioned in a press release featuring Gene Vincent.
Although they are engaging in a cultural aspect of the 1950’s, a majority of Rockabilly enthusiasts are not entirely interested in history as a whole, conservatism or the overall values of vintage culture. In my experience of meeting modern Rockabilly fans, I observe how they are immensely passionate of the Rockabilly culture due to its rebellious nature, but tend to not quite be interested in real historical conversation or matters.
The Different StylesPin up modeling style is about advertising using looks and sensuality to persuade the viewer to purchase the item, or just for visual pleasure. It gives opportunities for models to add to their portfolio work as well.
Rockabilly style is more about celebrating the 1950's classic rock 'n roll and appreciating the rebellious, liberal nature that came along with it.
Pin up style is associated with mimicking what a 1940's or 1950's woman would've worn, garter belts and showing legs. Rockabilly is associated with heavy tattoos, piercings, a flamboyant patterned style and dramaticized hair and makeup.
Below is a video where I discuss more valuable information on the difference between classic pin up style and rockabilly style. Be sure to share and drop a comment on your thoughts!