The Alluring Elegance of Pin-Up Girl Tattoos

Few icons capture pure Americana as effectively as the vintage pin-up girl. For decades these curvaceous beauties have created numerous representations of the ideal American girl while captivating male audiences and simultaneously inspiring women to be bold and sexy.  Today, they are artistic visions seeking to praise and eternally capture the elegant essence of retro feminine beauty.

A Short History Lesson

While pictures of women in various state of undress have been around for hundreds of years, the classic pin-up girl become popular in in the 1940’s Marketing gurus the world over took notice of the U.S. government’s use of vivacious all-American women as a means to increase enlisted moral during World War II and decided to see if sex truly sold as well as it seemed. When men started cutting out their favorite posed feminine idols and hanging them on walls, entrepreneurial spirits took note and began mass producing pin-up girl posters and calendars.

As the decades rolled by, the boundaries of marketing sexuality lifted and rendered pin-up models obsolete. Rather than dying out and becoming little more than old images found solely in antique stores, pin-up girls have become an art form in-and-of itself thanks to inspired artists who’ve kept the style alive. Nowadays pin-up girl art serves as a vintage reminder of a time where the generally accepted idea of beauty wasn’t a bone thin woman with unrealistic proportions.

Pin-up girl tattoos were largely popularized by sailors, who were known for centuries to get tattoo depictions of sultry seductresses that served as the only woman many would see for months on end. During the height of pin-up girl popularity it was only natural for many of these men to get renditions of their favorite pin-up picture, and thus pin-up girl tattoos became commonplace.

The art form actually owes a lot of its longevity to the tattoo industry, where artists like Sailor Jerry added their own personal style of pin-up girls and captured the art form’s elegance on the arms of men and women all over the world. (Fans of Sailor Jerry can check out some of his original work in our TAM Store.)

Modern Day Pin-Up Girl Tattoos

Pirate girl pin-up tattooPin-up girl tattoos come in a variety of forms nowadays. The style is often used to represent the beauty of a semi-forgotten art form, with some tattoos not even depicting the woman’s full figure. They’re a great way to show appreciation for 1920s and/or 40s culture, when pin-up girls were at the height of their popularity.

Many artists nowadays choose to add a little spice to the art form, blending the genre was various other elements, like the pirate-themed pin-up tattoo you see here.

While the bicep remains the most common spot for pin-up girl tattoos, some people prefer the use of a larger canvas to fully encapsulate the detailed beauty they represent. As you can see from our examples, most pin-up girl tattoos include a high level of detail and serve as a great way to pair feminine beauty with a variety of other meaningful symbols and gorgeous imagery.

To call pin-up girl tattoos anything other than alluring elegance is disrespectful to the art style. In today’s hyper-sexualized environment where pornography is a simple click away at all times, pin-up girl tattoos serve as a reminder that sexy is more about being independent and confident than being naked.  The pin-up girl remains a beautiful piece of art that deserves to be proudly displayed as a show of respect and admiration for true feminine beauty.


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Tattoo by Jeff Gogue
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Tattoo by Celia Risien
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tattoo by gil guerra
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Tattoo by Levgen Eugene Knysh from Poland

Sailor pin-up girl tattoo


Drawn by INKAHOLIK TATTOO @barba_tattoo
Tattoo by @saraevetattoo


Tattoo by Leon PRIMO Higley – @primoredemption


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