That flag on the moon sure is cool. So are microwave ovens, rock ‘n’ roll, and those Caddies with the big-ass fins. In the middle part of the 20th century, though, America gave the world no greater gift than the blonde. She contains multitudes, this mythic creature, and from platinum bombshells like Marilyn Monroe to the bouncing beach bunnies of ‘60s surfer flicks, she represents freedom, sex, desire, fulfillment, and other things we hold dear.
It was only natural, then, for Jonathan Leder and Amy Hood, the creative forces behind the artsy erotic publication A Study In Fetishisms, to make blondes the focus of their brand-new second issue.
“The concept of the blonde embodies the post-war, 20th century American heyday of the pinup,” says Leder, the photographer whose tasty yet tasteful snaps give the mag its singular identity. “That was something we wanted to play with. Clearly, the type of photography we’re doing in this publication has this Bunny Yeager-esque, happy, smiley [vibe]. It’s not particularly heavy. It’s not particularly serious.”
Yeager, for the uninitiated, was a legendary pinup model and photographer, and while A Study In Fetishisms, Vol. 2, features several of the cheesecake-style images she’s known for, it also highlights other types of blondes, namely the Man Eater, the Dirty Blonde, the Lolita, and the Blonde Baby. There’s even a section titled “Blondes & Bondage,” lest we forget post-war American wasn’t without its kink.
What all of the photos share in common, Leder says, is their connection to a simpler era of adult entertainment, before the Internet, when things were less complicated, almost wholesome.
“Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, people could do these pin-up-y photos, and they didn’t have any fear about it,” he says. “They were less self-conscious. It was more free and more natural. They weren’t afraid of, ‘My grandma is going to Google me and find me on the Internet.’”
Ahead, a collection of some photos from the issue, and Leder and Hood’s thoughts on blondes past and present.