Latinas Can Be Pinup Girls, Too


Alina Vargas’ studio Ladybug Pinup is the first of its kind in the Dominican Republic. (Photo by Ladybug Pinup)
Introduced in the 1950s, pinup girls have become an icon of Americana. More than half a century later, women from the Dominican Republic have begun to adopt the style and make it their own.
Alina Vargas, 32, has dedicated her studio to pinup photography in an effort to bring the classic style to her country, according to a report from FOX News Latino.
Her studio, Ladybug Pinup, is the first of its kind in the Dominican Republic.
“A pinup studio isn’t a new thing in the States but it’s a new way of portraying people here,” Vargas said.
Claiming American pinup girls lacked diversity, she took her admiration for the women and adapted them into “a new kind of pinup girl, a Dominican one, with her curly, coily, kinky hair and dark skin.”
Her project “Pinup De Pura Cepa”, or “Purebred Pinup”, features 12 women dressed “conservatively, but still sexy” in outfits reminiscent of the traditional pinup girls. The exposition was such a success in Santo Domingo that she took the project to APT78 in New York City.
Aside from featuring Latinas, another central piece of Vargas’ vision is that all of her subjects are more than just pretty faces. The models are all pictured not just as sex symbols, but they are seen working and displaying their talents. She said, “I wanted to bring dignity to humble jobs and the daily labors of women, I want them to know these jobs are great.
The marriage of Latin and American style is what drew the models to pose for Vargas.
Karen Cardosa, 32, said she was used to seeing fair-skinned, straight-haired women in the photos. After seeing Vargas’ work, she said she is considering posing for her own photographs.
“Seeing women with olive and dark complexions and afro-textured hair was something I could relate to,” she said.