The Top 5 Pin-Up Girls of All Time

Long before the internet rendered endless images of sultry sirens a mere click away at all times, young men got their hormonally-charged kicks from posters of beautiful women. The lovesick teen or war-weary GI would use pins to put a poster of their favorite dame up on the wall, hence the term “pin-up girl.” And unlike that limitless supply of photogenic females now streaming to your laptop or iPhone, due the technological limitations of the day—i.e. film cameras and printing presses—there was a more finite pool of famous pin-up girls that became the crush of millions. In fact, often just one lady became the most famous face of a generation of pin-ups.

5 Miss Fernande

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Born in 1893, Fernande Barrey would go on to do many things in her more than 80 years alive. Among those things were painting, prostitution and posing for a whole lot of pictures, often naked. As men love pictures of naked women, naturally she achieved a limited fame in the early 20th century. And in fact, even today you might want to make sure your Safe Search settings are on if you look for images of this Frenchwoman online.

4 Betty Grable

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Betty Grable was one of the most iconic pin-up girls of the first half of 20th century. Many of the most famous images of this bombshell might look tame by the standards of today, but Grable was nothing short of a sexy sensation in her time, which lasted from 1916 until her death at just 56 years of age. Grable was pushed into acting at age 12, and was a star by the time she was in her 20s. Arguably, Grable’s legs were more famous than she was as a person: they were widely hailed as the finest legs in Hollywood and were at one time insured for over a million dollars.

3 Marilyn Monroe

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Marilyn Monroe was arguably the most famous pin-up girl of all time. She was also one of the first truly modern celebrities, the kind which besmirch our televisions and homepages ad nauseum today. She was famous for her acting, famous for her singing and famous for being an attractive blonde lady who occasionally got naked. Her troubled life was a classic, tragic tale of Hollywood excess, but one that will never be forgotten.

2 Raquel Welch

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Ms. Raquel Welch is still looking pretty good today for a woman a bit over 70. So you can imagine how she looked in her heyday, the late 1960s and early 70s. Welch gained the status of international sex symbol largely thanks to one film in which she uttered only a few dozen words. She spoke those lines in One Million Years B.C. while wearing a skimpy fur bikini, though. No one seemed to mind that to portray a hominid from a million years ago she should in fact have been covered in fur and had a sloping forehead and only primitive use of tools.

1 Britney Spears

Just before the World Wide Web rendered posters of beautiful ladies largely irrelevant, America had room for one more classic pin-up girl. She was just sixteen when she rocketed to fame and onto the walls countless teenagers. Her name was Britney Spears. Before her public meltdowns, before K-Fed and the kids, before she became a has-been and then came back, Britney Spears was a beautiful blonde whose songs of teenage love and loss resonated in the ears of girls around the world, and whose supple body awakened strange feelings in other parts of young men.

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