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the Pin Up Chronicles

From Hometown Hotties to Big Island babes: 2018 Big Island Pin-Up Calendar makes its debut

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By Karen Rose Special to West Hawaii Today

She’s sexy but subtle, amorous yet innocent. The all-American pin-up girl is back with a modern twist, and the 2018 Big Island Pin-Up Girl Calendar is ready to adorn the walls of men, women and teenagers alike.

From 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 14, Gertrude’s Jazz Bar in Kailua-Kona will feature this year’s retro beauties who will be on hand autographing the calendars with Xs and Os.

Sarah Anderson and Michelle Hartman are the creators of the much-loved calendar, now celebrating its third year of production. Previously called the Honokaa Pin-Up Calendar, this year’s edition features women from all over the Island of Hawaii.

“Moving from hometown hotties to Big Island babes was easy,” said Hartman. “We wanted to open it up to all women. This journey has been so much fun and such a revelation for each participant. We felt it was important this be available to anyone.”

Many of this year’s models were recommended by friends, and some were fans of previous calendars. One model wanted to commemorate her mother’s legacy by wearing her mother’s vintage dress for the shoot.

“That was a very special shoot. We all felt the energy and wanted to honor her mother’s memory,” said Anderson. “This year is the first time we’ve reached out to invite women who weren’t already our friends to participate. This was a big step and a bit scary, but it turns out what we do stands on its own. Better even, is we’ve become friends with those women too, so it all fits together.”

Pin-ups hit the peak of their popularity during World War II when the U.S. government designed pin-ups to boost troop morale by creating the idea of an all-American sweetheart waiting for him at home. They were the “girls worth fighting for,” so to speak. Soldiers hung their favorite pin-ups inside their barracks or carried them in their pockets.

Today, pin-up modeling is more about empowering women and encouraging them to come out of their shell to express themselves.

“We’re all about empowering women,” said Hartman. “We look at each shoot as a chance for the model to express herself in a way she might not be able to do in everyday life. Some may feel a little shy at first, but every woman has been transformed by the end of her shoot. Some have stated that they’ve never felt so beautiful before.”

Anderson and Hartman plan on expanding the creative vision of their photo shoots to possibly include additional themes.

“We’d like to explore other genres,” explains Hartman, “We’re planning photo shoots with sirens and mermaids and steampunk fairies, more fantastic creatures. It’s so exciting!”

Calendars will be available at Gertrude’s on the evening of the event, and the pin-ups will be there to meet and greet. They’re easy to spot. The ruby red lips and hourglass figures dressed in World War II era dresses or 1950s poodle skirts will transport admirers back in time to martinis and big band music. There will also be a costume contest for best pin-up attire.

The calendars at Big Island Grown and Honokaa Country Market as well as online at www.dreamshootshawaii.com.

The Story...

When Sarah Anderson and Michelle Hartman collaborated on their first “pin up girl” photo session just for fun, they couldn’t have guessed where it would eventually lead. So pleased with the way the photos turned out, they decided to incorporate some of the images into travel posters evoking Honoka’a’s plantation days. Featuring local women portrayed in a 1950’s pin [...]

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