A pin-up girl, also known as a pin-up model or cheesecake, is a model whose mass-produced pictures see wide appeal as popular culture. Pin-ups are intended for informal display, e.g. meant to be “pinned-up” on a wall. Pin-up girls may be glamour models, fashion models, or actresses.
The term pin-up may also refer to drawings, paintings, and other illustrations done in emulation of these photos . The term was first attested to in English in 1941, however, the practice is documented back at least to the 1890s. The pin-up images could be cut out of magazines or newspapers, or be from postcard or chromo-lithographs, and so on. Such photos often appear on calendars, which are meant to be pinned up anyway. Later, posters of pin-up girls were mass-produced and became an instant hit.
In the late nineteenth century, burlesque performers and actresses used photographic advertisement as business cards to promote themselves. These adverts and business cards could often been found in almost every green room, pinned-up or stuck into “frames of the looking-glasses, in the joints of the gas-burners, and sometimes lying on-top of the sacred cast-case itself. Understanding the power of photographic advertisements to promote their shows, burlesque women self-constructed their identity to make themselves visible. Being recognized not only within the theater itself but also outside challenged the conventions of women’s place and women’s potential in the public sphere. Wikipedia
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