FilmMovie ReviewsDocumentary Review – Bombshells and Dollies (2019)

Feature-length Documentary on the Contemporary Pin-up Girl Lifestyle and The Miss Viva Las Vegas Pin-up Contest - 'Celebrating every woman's right to total body acceptance, to be self-confident and to be gorgeous!'
JulieGJuly 19, 202019 min
Bombshells and Dollies
Image via TriCoast PR

This screener was provided by TriCoast PR for review purposes

IMDb Rating: 9.2/10

1h 30min | Documentary, Biography | Movie


Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 

Director: Daniel Halperin

Writers: Daniel Halperin, Dane Pizutti Krogman

Stars: Raquel Perez, Pinup Little Bit, Bernie Dexter and others

Movie Tagline:

IMDb summary: Feature-length Documentary on the Contemporary Pin-up Girl Lifestyle and The Miss Viva Las Vegas Pin-up Contest – ‘Celebrating every woman’s right to total body acceptance, to be self-confident and to be gorgeous!’

This documentary was great. Seriously good. We were taken aback about how honest and beautifully shot this documentary was. Not to mention that we knew almost nothing at all about the “Pin-Up” culture and what that entails. Everything you could ever want to know and more about this sub-culture is beautifully presented in this documentary-style feature film.

While “Pin-Up” and Rockabilly culture might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s something you should at least be aware of. What’s so delightful about this documentary is how it showcases women of all cultures, ethnicity and backgrounds and portrays them all in such a positive light.

Image provided by TriCoast PR

Body-positivity is a powerful theme amongst this movement, so much so you can easily see why it’s such an engaging cultural phenomenon. Gone are the biases about women of colour becoming “whiter” to fit society’s image of the “perfect woman”. Or feeling bad about your self-image when you’re considered a “plus-size” in a clothing store. In Pin-Up culture, there is no such thing as “too big” or “unattractive”. You can be exactly who you want to be and feel safe revealing yourself to the world in a community that welcomes you with open arms. And that’s empowering stuff.

This documentary follows the journeys of several of the contestants for the yearly Miss Viva Las Vegas Pin-Up contest. It was surprising to see that there were contestants from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Each woman has their own story to tell; how they became exposed to the Pin-Up culture and their trials and tribulations as contestants for the biggest Pin-Up competition in the world. And most of these women are also successful outside of their Pin-Up persona. Each woman has their own personal struggles with body image and confidence and the restrictions and controls that society can put upon women.

Pin-Up culture dates way back to the 1900s where you could find many pin-up images of beautiful women advertised in newspapers and magazines. In the 40s you could find pin-up girls just about everywhere. Pin-up culture was considerably more important during World War II as women strived to be identified as strong and independent and beautiful. And a lot of that has become a tradition and has been carried on by all the women worldwide that embrace this culture.

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Image provided by TriCoast PR

Dita Von Teese also features in the documentary briefly as she explains the appeal of Pin-Up culture and it’s closeness to Burlesque which, as most people know, is what made Dita Von Teese famous.

Whatever your position is on pin-up culture and the women that take part in it, this documentary will open your eyes to exactly what makes it so special. It’s a lot more than just a “hobby”. For many women, it is a calling and something they are passionate about.

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Image provided by TriCoast PR

Check out this documentary, even if you’re not really into documentaries, you might find something interesting about culture in general. “Bombshells and Dollies” takes an honest look at a cultural phenomenon that celebrates our women, their cultures and diversities without being too overwhelming or bogged down in details. It’s presented in a light-hearted fashion and this makes it so easy to watch, engage with and enjoy.



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