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An Ode to Hilda: The Plus-Size Pinup

She's the very definition of a buried vintage treasure.

By Robyn ReischPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Masterful censorship!

Hilda was one of the OG pinup queens. She graced calendars in the age of Veronica Lake and Betty Grable.

Hilda was different, though.

She was sweet. She was fun. She was sexy...and she was at least a size fourteen.

Just a decade ago, this body type would have been taboo. Americans were dieting harder than ever before. We were starving and stuffing and hating ourselves into skinny jeans.

Finally, the world has had enough.

We've found the answer. It's been staring back at us in the mirror since the early nineties.

Big bodies are beautiful, too.

Thick thighs, curvy hips, and round bottoms are having a power moment. As a woman who took over thirty years to learn to love her body, I must say: I AM HERE FOR IT!!

We have entered a golden age. The world is embracing healthy figures of all sizes. It's the perfect moment to look to Hilda for inspiration. Curvy girls and skinny minis alike can learn from Hilda's ability to embrace her natural form and show off her seductive personality.

Duane Bryers created Hilda in the 1950's, and she enjoyed pinup popularity for the next three decades. She was a classic calendar girl...only so much juicier!

She's the very definition of a buried vintage treasure. 

Discovering Hilda is a true treat for any mid-century vintage enthusiast.  As pinup gallerist Les Toil recalls, "Quite a few summers back while perusing a local outdoors antique show, I came across a vintage calendar from 1965. As my eyes settled on this fine piece of lost Americana, all else slipped away...a light from the heavens shone directly on Hilda’s sweet, rosy face, fiery red mop top and that incredible abundant anatomy. Hilda is the only known ample sized icon in pin-up history that I have come upon. And yes, she very well does qualify as an icon." 

So, what else made Hilda special?

It was simple. She just radiated joy. 

Hilda embraced life with a feminine exuberance that charmed the masses. She was beloved by all - and, seemingly, by herself.

Most importantly, though, Hilda was always having a blast. Her sense of fun was as much a trademark as her voluptuous body. 

She didn't just make us hot. She made us smile. Who would ever want to be with Bettie Page or Jayne Mansfield when you could hang out with a girl like Hilda?

Pablo Neruda once wrote:

As if you were on fire from within.

The moon lives in the lining of your skin.

I'm convinced he was talking about Hilda.

The secret to Hilda's uniquely wholesome brand of seduction was all in her mindset. Hilda never seemed preoccupied with herself. She was too busy embracing all the wonder of the world surrounding her her. She lived each moment with an unapologetic sense of whimsy.

Hilda showed us a world that we wanted to live in. Then, she invited us to come along. 

After all, Hilda was always up for an adventure.

Hilda wasn't just sexy. She was so much more. Hilda was fun-loving. Hilda was silly. Hilda was never pretentious. She sparked something hopeful and bright in the hearts of her her fans. 

Who wouldn't want to join in her grand and glorious daily adventures?

Want to know Hilda's biggest, juiciest beauty secret?

Her sex appeal had little to do with her body - curvy and seductive though it was. Instead, her true light radiated from the inside out...and so does yours, my dear.

Be brave. Be silly. Be whimsical.

Live your life to the fullest.

Joy is sure to follow - and joy is beautiful.


About the Creator

Robyn Reisch

Robyn Reisch spends her days cooking, writing, and raising three gorgeous little hooligans. She is married to the world's greatest man.

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