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Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  106 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Subverting stereotypical images of women, a new generation of feminist artists is remaking the pin-up, much as Annie Sprinkle, Cindy Sherman, and others did in the 1970s and 1980s. As shocking as contemporary feminist pin-ups are intended to be, perhaps more surprising is that the pin-up has been appropriated by women for their own empowerment since its inception more than ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 31st 2006 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Aug 28, 2008 Denise rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: third wavers, feminists, punks, pin-up lovers, Madonna fans, contemporary art lovers
Absolutely freakin brilliant! Buszek put words to so many of my own thoughts and queries, then backs her theories with incredible research and an innovative approach.

She begins the discourse with an examination of neglected feminist figures like 19th century actresses Sarah Bernhard and Adah Isaacs Menken, immediately rooting her consideration of feminism in popular culture rather than academia. She follows this captivating course through the 20th century, into the present day with bold understa
Jul 01, 2007 linda rated it it was amazing
"I hope that my choice of the popular pin-up will encourage this discourse as it relates to both activist and academic feminists, popular and privileged imagery, across not only generations but also cultures and classes."

-You have to read the first chapter: Defining/Defending the "Feminist Pin-Up" to learn what "this discourse" is. I enter the quote as I am not ready to review the book, yet super-pleased to find a reminder of what I think of as Ms Buszeks' sincerity in acting as a sort of bridg
May FLower
Aug 09, 2010 May FLower rated it it was amazing
A really great book examining female sexuality in America especially as it relates to mass and personal representation via the pin-up. If you're interested in the ways this medium has been used to both liberate and define female sexuality, then you need to read this book.
Mar 21, 2011 Sarahjane rated it really liked it
Too dissertation focused at parts, but an astute and brisk history.
Before reading Pin-Up Grrrls, I was vaguely aware of the early era of photography, silent films, and the early feminist awakening therein. And like many, I associated the word pin-up with the Barbie-proportioned male-gazed cheesecake nudies of the 1940s and beyond. But in Maria Elena Buszek's thorough history of the genre, you get to learn there is so much more! Pin-Up Grrrls shows off a wealth of female-driven and female-created images from the mid 1800s onward, starting with "cartes de visites ...more
Although published by a University press, I admit that I was hoping that the author would have a little more fun with her subject--after all, we are talking about pin-ups! Buszek traces the history of the pin-up from the Gibson Girl to today--and includes some great pictures--but I was rather disappointed in the overly dry and academic tone of this book.

Nov 01, 2010 Mary added it
I might have to try again on this one. It was fascinating, but definitely a 'textbook' read. I don't always have patience for that type of writing. I'll try again. There were pictures, so that's a bonus in the textbook format! I'm a simpleton, what can I say? It's not her, it's me.

Apr 21, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Buszek does a good job of weaving the origins and development of the pin-up with the history of feminism, despite the enormity of the task. For the most parts the aspects that get less notice make me interested in finding out more rather than blaming Buszek for a lack.
Aug 14, 2012 Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pinup-rockabilly
I love this book :)
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Maria Elena Buszek is a critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is the author of the book Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture, also published by Duke University Press. She has written for magazines and journals including BUST, Art in America, Photography Quarterly, and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies.
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