This was an absolutely fascinating post and well balanced. Artwork on aircraft is as old as air warfare itself and was a means of of distinguishing one’s aircraft from the others as well as a means of lifting rather low spirits. The girls were an expansion of this policy and you are right these were young men fighting and getting killed in their prime. What else would they be thinking about?
However in the 21st century I have to agree that the policy of pin-up girls on aircraft is a little outdated. There are other ways to decorate an aircraft and maintain that moral-raising factor. Actually the RAF’s Jaguars in the Gulf during 1991 had both male and female characters on their nose including the legendary “Buster Gonad and his Large Testicles”.
(B-17 ‘Sally B’)
With the world having become so politically correct is the sexualised content of many a nose art piece still acceptable in the modern consciousness? Times have changed, it is no longer acceptable to describe a woman as the “little lady” or assume her place is in the home, after all woman burnt many a bra in the name of feminism. But should that mean that art from another decade, another way of thinking should be cast out as being degrading and demoralising to the so-called fairer sex? No one is suggesting that the voluptuous ladies painted in the 1600’s by Paul Rubens are sexist and degrading so why are the pin-up girls of the 1940’s? Is it just another example of the P.C brigade controlling our democratic right as individuals to express ourselves?
(Rubens ‘The Judgement of Paris’ http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/upload/img/Rubens-judgement-paris-NG6379-r-half.jpg)
Some say that the RAF are planning to eradicate to the…
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