In our blog post collaboration; ‘‘honey Bee burlesque’…a baby in the burlesque scene’ https://rations2rocknroll.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/honey-bee-burlesque-a-baby-in-the-burlesque-scene/ , Lynne referred to ‘…the ‘cheesecake’ pin up images of the 1940s…’.
Although we had come across this phrase before…
…we were not too familiar with its meaning and origin…and so we donned our Miss Fisher attire…
…and investigated further.
Pinup photos are sometimes known as ‘cheesecake’ photos; with ‘cheesecake’ defined as ‘a photographic display of a shapely and scantily clothed female figure’.
As it is often so with many terms with an origin in ‘history’ it is likely fair to say that no one really knows the true origin of the term ‘cheesecake’.
However, and according to the ‘Cheesecake Pinup Magazine’ (1953), in 1915 a New York photographer George Miller asked Elvira Amazar (a Russian ‘diva’) to slightly lift her skirt, displaying a ‘daring’ expanse of stocking, for a ‘better’ picture. Miller’s editor, when seeing the photo, apparently exclaimed ‘why is this better than cheesecake’?
In burlesque ‘cheesecake’ is often used to describe cheeky, humorous, comical burlesque (rather than full-on glamour) and may involve the audience through interaction and musical choice.
Bettie Page is regarded by many as a ‘cheesecake’ inspiration.
(Bettie Page photographed by Irving Klaw).
It has been enjoyable researching this blog post. Thank you for reading.
Rations2 Rock “n” Roll…A Top 100 Vintage Blog. (http://blog.feedspot.com/vintage_blogs/).