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Pinups for Pitbulls Rolls Up the Victory Curls For the Pups Who Need It Most


Back in the day, pinup models donned their victory rolls to boost wartime spirits. Now, they do it to advocate for a much-maligned dog breed. Deirdre Franklin, the founder of Pinups for Pitbulls, explains how a burlesque hobby evolved into a life-saving non-profit.

We all know the pinup aesthetic: a glamorous, rosy-cheeked woman standing — or lounging — confidently and alluringly, giving a wide smile or sly pout to the camera. The classic pinup style popped up in the 1940s, when the “victory roll” hairstyle gained momentum; artwork of pinups would decorate World War II barracks, ships, submarines, and fighter planes. Burlesque, a fashion and dance style that has been around in varying forms since the 1840s, similarly took on new shapes in the mid-1900s. Today, pinup and burlesque are often celebrated for their body-positivity and self-confidence messages.

Deirdre Franklin, a lifelong dog-lover, found herself part of the burlesque community in the “MySpace era,” and she rapidly gained a fan base for her creative costumes. When she funded her animal advocacy efforts using donations from her burlesque fans, she realized she could combine her love of animals and dress-up into one productive, thrilling project: Pinups for Pitbulls, an organization that makes pinup-style calendar that raises money and awareness for Pitbull protections. Today, Pinups for Pitbulls is made up of a team of volunteers in over 20 states and saves 1,000 dogs annually. They have overturned breed bans, adopted out Pit Bulls, and changed countless peoples’ biases about Pit Bulls.