This Mom Recreated Shots of Hilda, the Original Plus-Size Pinup & It's Glorious

Amy Pence Brown

Though body-positivity is a fairly new movement, there are quite a few plus-size pioneers who lived fearlessly without mainstream "acceptance." One of them happens to be an animated, plump pinup girl named Hilda. And modern mom, artist, and body-activist Amy Pence-Brown is determined to make sure her legacy lives on. 

  • Illustrator Duane Bryers, known as the "Norman Rockwell of pinup art," created Hilda sometime in the mid-1950s.

    "I got the idea for a plumpy gal pinup and thought I'd like to make it into a calendar series," Bryers said in an interview with the Arizona Daily Star in 2012. "But how was I going to sell a plump girl?"

    More from Revelist: 27 glorious illustrations of Hilda, the original plus-size pinup

    He said Brown & Bigelow, the then-top calendar maker in the country, "reluctantly put it in the line and figured it would last a short time. It went on for 36 years."
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  • So it is kind of easy to see why Pence-Brown is fixated on preserving her memory.

    She wrote on Instagram: "Armed with my iPhone camera, some Dollar Tree supplies, a tripod, a lot of outtakes with a LOT OF ACCIDENTAL NIPPLE, and a sense of humor, I took on a silly and sweet summer photo project recreating this mid-century pinup beauty and some of her most iconic images."

  • In her posts, she gives little historical facts about Hilda and her creator.

  • But she really hopes women can just bask in the glory of seeing a woman with their body type (or something similar) portrayed in a positive light.

    "Hilda shows us that at some time someone else found big girls' curves sensual, silliness sexy, softness endearing, confidence bold and bare skin beautiful," Pence-Brown writes on her website. "And that maybe, just maybe, we can find that in ourselves, too."

    You can read more about Hilda and check out the rest of Pence-Brown's project here

body image body positivity