Bombshells and Dollies – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 30 minutes
Every year, thousands flock to Las Vegas for Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend to enjoy the fashion, cars, and music of the 1950s. For 12 women this celebration of culture means much more. They are here for the 18th Annual Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest. Women from every corner of the globe style their hair, clothes, and makeup to resemble that of a 1950’s pinup girl with the hopes of winning the crown. Unlike other contests, this is an inner beauty contest where 5 of the contestants are picked by the judges, 1 is picked by the contestants, and 6 are picked by the audience. Each woman has a journey that led them to the pinup lifestyle. Whether it was bullying, glamour, or love/lack of fashion, they found their way to pinup. Like the pinup girls in the 1950s, these women aren’t oversexualized, objectified, or demeaned. They are revered for their femininity and strength. They are business owners, contractors, moms, philanthropist, bloggers, and fashion designers. They refuse to dumb themselves down or be quiet. Don’t mistake them for cosplay, they are women who are inspired by the women of the time. Women who worked in the factories while their husbands were off at war. They were proud to wear work boots and heels without judgment or loss of their womanhood. Just like in the 1950s when individuality was celebrated, this documentary shows the idea of what makes a pinup have changed. Pinup girls have tattoos, piercings, and different skin tones. They are true individuals. And judges make it know, they are not looking for a “look”, they are looking for personality, poise, and fashion. Anyone, anywhere, any body type can be a pinup girl.
During this documentary, everyone is careful not to say pageant but contest. ‘Pageant’ has developed a negative connotation because it only covers one body type. This is a contest, not a pageant. For these women, the road to pinup has been riddled with personal struggles and growth. Some have suffered or are suffering from eating disorders, fibromyalgia, and teen suicide. Pinup was a building block to gain perseverance and gain awareness for their causes. Some of the women use their pinup style to work with veterans and returning soldiers. For those who served, a pinup is a reminder of what they fought for and what they love. As these women tell their stories, it’s hard not to cry and identify with a struggle. Last year, Little Bit had complications right before getting on the stage. That panic of preparations falling apart just moments before the big reveal is something we all share. Some of the women were bullied for not having the body type of the time. Some have always been on the outskirts of fashion. This documentary proves the World of Pinup is for those who have struggled, been outcast, and been underrepresented. And like the 1950s, Pinups are celebrated for being an individual; because an individual is more valuable than a copy. So have your tissues nearby so your cat eye doesn’t smudge, you will need it.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
You have to be ready for real questions – Cherry Dolly
This is the Oscars for pinup girls – Marilia Skraba
I’ll keep coming back until they tell me I’m done – Little Bit
They were just as important for our guys on the front line – Tom