Happiest of New Year’s – May it bring merriment and joy!
Wonderful Hilda. I remember her and am so very glad I came upon this article. In case you haven’t heard of Hilda, I hope you click the link and see the dozens and but a few of Duane Bryers creations.
Hilda was a plus-size girl who definitely was not shy about her plump body. Not only was she one of the only curvy girls in the pin-up game at the time, but she was also hilariously clumsy and adventurous. She graced America’s calendars from the 50’s to the 80’s. Curvy back then meant tiny size 4 waists accompanied by large breasts and hips (think Marilyn). This was during the rebuilding of our nation following WWII and during the “Madmen” era of the 50-60’s of aggressive marketing.
Hilda lives on and vintage is back
Only on occasion did Bryers enlist plus size models. More often he used no model at all. Unlike other popular pin-ups, Hilda was more realistic and proportioned to represent an average woman: a woman with thick thighs and back boobs and a double chin. Bryers also dressed her in the developing fashion trends like swing dresses and full skirts. He also used bikinis and onesies that showed Hilda’s fuller figure.
It makes me happy that women no longer are hounded to have an “hour-glass figure”, curves without an ounce of fat, or a flat stomach. Having a positive body image is crucial for girls and boys alike. The point is realism and Hilda offered a different perspective. One of the comments made while I researched Hilda was calling her a gorgeous mirthquake. Bryer captures that in spades. There is merriment and joy in these images. I think I’ll order some calendars to share 😉