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Despite changes in style and fashion, the bombshell pin-up girl look prevails as a symbol of femininity and sexuality. Even celebrities such as Kim Kardashian created a retro pin-up hairstyle for a photo shoot, advertising her perfume. The hairstyles of the era were as curvaceous as the bodies of the pin-up girl models. Some bombshells emphasized their flirtatious nature by pinning a red rose to one side of their hair.
Bombshell Girl History
The bombshell-girl era reached its height during World War II, when actress Betty Grable and other glamor gals inspired servicemen to decorate their planes with their pictures. The pin-up girl is an iconic Americanism, but it was Alberto Vargas, a Peruvian photographer, who immortalized her image. Vargas fell in love during a quick stop in New York -- not with the city, but with the sassy New York City women. He met Florenz Ziegfeld, who made him an offer that no red-blooded male could possibly refuse: the opportunity to photograph the Ziegfeld girls. During World War II, an "Esquire Magazine" editor wanted to capitalize on the homesickness of soldiers overseas, by featuring beautiful pin-up girls in his publication. He hired Vargas as the photographer, and called the models the "Vargas Girls."
The Victory Roll
American patriotism prevailed during World War II, and the bombshell pin-up girls had a hairstyle that acknowledged the patriotic sentiments: the victory roll, named after a military air maneuver. Hollywood bombshell Betty Grable´s hairdo exemplifies the perfect victory roll. The style demanded patience, because it required a woman to set her hair in rollers and sit under the dryer until her hair was completely dry.
1950s Pin-Up Girls
The bombshell trend continued after World War II, but a new type of pin-up artist came onto the scene. Sketch artist Earl MacPherson created the The Artist´s Sketch Pad, a calendar that featured a pin-up girl sketch each month. MacPherson sometimes adorned his pin-up girl´s hair with a red rose on one side, as evidenced by his Navajo Nighthawk and Out West calendar sketches.
Creating the Looks
Of the two hairstyles, the MacPherson look is easiest to create. Smooth a styling cream or mousse through thoroughly dried hair, and make a side part that aligns with the outer edge of your eyebrow. Use a curling iron to curl the fuller side of your hair. Tuck the opposite side of your hair behind your ear, and secure it with a red rose comb or barrette. To create the victory roll, wash your hair and keep it wet. Roll the hair at the top of your head into a roller. Then set the ends of your hair with rollers, so that they curl under. This style does not work with a blow dryer, because all hair sections must dry simultaneously.