Thursday, June 25, 2009

A pair of pinups

Thirty-six years ago, grown men wept -- or at least they sighed.

Betty Grable, the beloved pinup girl of their youth, was dead at 56.

She'd posed for the iconic image in 1943 at the age of 27. She was adored by American men of the World War II era, especially those serving in the military.

In 1973, at 16 years old I had no idea what made Betty Grable or that pinup so special to my dad's generation. Both the person and the photograph seemed pretty ordinary to me, almost quaint in black-and-white.

Three years after Betty died, a TV star was adorning the bedroom walls of guys my age -- life-size, living color. It was 1976, and Farrah Fawcett was 29.

My own generation's pinup girl died today at 62, and we wept -- or at least we breathed a sigh for our lost youth.

I can't help but wonder -- is it possible that my teenage spawns look at that frosted blond hair, that clingy red swimsuit and those... well, you know... and see Farrah Fawcett the way I saw Betty Grable?