Buzzes makes an argument that women dressed in dominatrix gear are complex and even evolutionary for female sexuality rather than being interpreted as mere representations that objectify women. This is a captivating book where Buzzes enthusiastically weaves academia with testimony to make a brilliant argument that third-wave feminism should not be one-sided and against sex, yet rather the pin-up culture should be appreciated as a unique art form.
The books focus can be seen through the third-wave feminism practices that embrace sexual freedom through the act of pin-up. Buzzes explored different pin-up girls, such as Cindy Sherman, who as famous in the sass’s; Suzie Bright in the sass’s; and Annie Sprinkle rising to fame in the sass’s. Their art form is a spectacle of the female body, the enjoyment of womanhood. Buzzes said that “feminist uses of the genre long predate the popular women’s liberation movement” (pig. ). The pin-up era’s theatrical carters De visits helped for the photographs to be mass-produced (pig. 32). Calling card collections of these girls were found in bourgeois households. These cards had still-images of flirtatious feminine actresses. At the same time, the first wave of feminism was developing. In 1894, Sarah Grand coined the idea “new woman” as a model of the female active in the public eyes, “from suffragists to anarchists to flappers” (pig. 78).
Buzzes said that she, the “New woman”, was white, rather than Latin or African- American. Depictions of the New Woman showed white middle-class women many different powerful, strong, and desirable poses. The hand-drawn pieces of art have become the prototype for the now modern pin-up style: feminine and idealistic, yet free and strong. Frances Benjamin Johnston, a photographer during this era, modeled straight or lesbian women for his portraits (pig. 2).
In the early twentieth century, the New Woman was depicted everywhere – the American theatres and Hollywood film – the consumption of these images was so great that fanzines appeared, such as Photocopy started to appear. The sass’s presented a challenge to the women’s suffrage movement, World War II brought the upon the return of the pin-up, especially the Wager Girl”, a beautiful, patriotic, sexual yet independent woman. In post-war years, a renewed anti-feminist ideal appeared, shown in Playboy Magazine, which was known as a rather wholesome alternative to the femme tale (pig 244). Heifer asserted, ‘Playboy is not interested in the mysterious, difficult woman, the femme fetal, who wears elegant underwear, with lace” (adding that such women are ‘sad, and somehow mentally filth”, Bizarre countered Playmates’ wholesomeness and accessibility by idealizing the commanding and sexually aggressive (“difficult”) woman in its pin-ups (pig. 244). However, during the mid-sass’s, pin-up fantasies, such as dominatrix-like women, began to slowly infiltrate American culture. Betty Page, a pin-up girl model, stood out for her comical exposure of the images.
She was also an inspiration for third-wave feminism art of the pin-up. Also, the professional black woman images began to enter the post-war realm in the magazine Ebony, which was an African-American magazine comparable to Life magazine in 1945, which was a magazine that showed pin-ups of role models for women of different professions, from artists to performers to college graduate women. Back then, pin-up displayed a various range of attitudes towards women after the war in America. Because of the attention that pin-ups gained, the pin-up ultra was a visual icon.
This empowerment may not be necessarily feminist, but it became a possibility for women to gain attention and it was crucial for the development countercultures activism, as well as a new art installation and new performances of their art. At the same time that this was all going on, second wave feminism was spreading to fight for sexual freedom, putting it high up on the agenda. Third wave feminism began emerging in the sass’s, originally as a response by women of color to the white dominance inside the feminist movement.