Military Matters: Modern-Day Pinup Girls

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During World War II, pictures of pinup girls were symbols of what front-line GIs were fighting for - the all-American good life, and for some, the girl back home.

70 years later, photographer Renee Parisi is transforming today's "girls back home" into the iconic "pin-up girls" of the 1940s.

"I just love the era and I love how they ooze sexuality and playfulness all thrown together. It's so much fun," said Amber Kemp, a military spouse and modern-day pinup girl, courtesy of Parisi's photography.

Kemp, like many of Parisi's pinup clients, plans to send her finished photos to her husband, a Fort Drum soldier serving in Afghanistan.

"He's under a lot of stress over there, so I think nothing can top actually sending him these pictures unless you actually sent yourself over there," Kemp said.

"He just gets to see you just dressed up and having fun, and I think that's the best gift you can give someone, especially your husband," she said.

Parisi wants the experience to be a gift for the women she photographs too.

Many of Parisi's clients are military spouses, and she wants their sessions in her Carthage studio to be an escape from the stress and pressure of their lives.

"I want her to come in here and have fun and feel gorgeous because you know, it's daily grind, your husband's not there, you have kids - I would say maybe 85 percent of my clients are moms. It's tough balancing everything," Parisi said.

That struggle is something Parisi understands first-hand. Her husband is an Army aviator who has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In fact, Parisi got her start in pinup photography because her husband was deployed.

"I would do illustrations and take fun pictures of myself, and then I was doing it for friends when their husbands were deployed, and then I just thought 'I love this so much.' It's great!" Parisi said.

Parisi's clients couldn't agree more.

"She makes you feel really comfortable. She tells you what to do. She adjusts you to how it looks good on the camera., and it feels really good. It makes you feel really sexy," Kemp said.

"None of it to me is about making women feel or look like objects or anything like that," Parisi said. "It's about making them feel empowered, and about making them feel fun and beautiful."

"It's a privilege for me to empower women this way, and I just feel like everyone deserves a chance, even if it's not me doing the shoot, I feel that everyone should do this on any scale," she said.

Parisi says everyone has beauty, inside and out. Her main objective as a photographer is to bring that out.

"I want to give them the treatment that the stars get. I want to do magazine style editing, I want to do posing to accentuate their beauty," Parisi said.

You don't have to be a supermodel to be a modern-day pinup girl:

"I have sizes from 2 to 16," Parisi explained. "And what I always say is that Marilyn Monroe was a size 14."

Her pinup photographs are not one-size-fits-all either.

"I do a playful-to-sexy scale - playful being all covered up, sexy being like backless. It's all about what the client wants," she said.

What Parisi wants is for her clients to love the photographs - and to love themselves.

"I always this is for your boyfriend or your partner or your husband, but it's also for you. It's also to empower you," she said.

Boosting morale for their soldiers who are serving overseas is a very nice bonus.

"He's going to be so excited," Kemp said. "I wish I could be there to see his reaction, but I know he's going to love them."


If you would like to learn more about Parisi's pinup photography, check out the Honey Loo Studio website.


While you're here, check out our Military Matters Calendar of Upcoming Events.

If you have a story you think we should be covering for Military Matters, e-mail Katie Alexander at kalexander@wwnytv.net.

She not only wants to hear about issues, she also wants to hear about people doing exceptional things, interesting hobbies, good deeds and taking part in community events.

Email Katie your photos and let her know about upcoming events.

Again, Katie's address is kalexander@wwnytv.net.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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