Femlin: Flirting with Mischief


Every so often, one sees an image and a connection is made. Far beyond just finding a picture pleasing, even beautiful. It speaks to something deep within, like you have been searching for them your life  (and you were not know that you were searching for it). From my own personal experience, this has happened maybe four times. So a rare event when it does happen. Recently I treated myself to a late birthday gift via Amazon vouchers, Olivia De Berardinis’ book ‘Malibu Cheesecake’. A beautiful book, as one would expect; in addition to the splendid pin ups are some musing be Olivia about her models, muses etc. When describing Dita Von Teese, Olivia mentioned that Von Teese looked like a Femlin. What is a Femlin? In the many, many articles on Von Teese; not once has that adjective come up. Now I have to find out what this Femlin is. When I finally saw what they were, I knew. As a short woman, I gravitate towards anything that shows us shorties in a foxy light. Now when those women are comic short, shapely and mischievous, I am sold. For not only am I curvy but my sense of humour meanders between naughty and, well perverse. ” Lordy, lordy, the pin-up art version of me!” Well not exactly, my skin is not that pale, my hair will never be that voluminous etc. Regardless, I am devotee of Femlins. So what is a Femlin and who created them?

Femlin’s were pluckers from the vision of LeRoy Neiman in 1955 for Playboy Magazine. Hugh Hefner wanted a cartoon creation for jokes in the magazine, feeling that the section need some striking visuals. Thus Femlins (a merging of the fem prefix and gremlins) began. Common depictions show them as little imps who create mischief wherever they go. Think I speak for everyone when I say, these sprites are far superior to Gremlins. Humour and sex is always a winning combination, Burlesque is satire with feathers and a G string. So to have humour with men’s magazines makes complete sense. While some may argue that they are not the most detailed or even the best drawn pin-ups. Femlin’s charm is not based on their intricate realism like Varga girs, but in their simplicity, naughtiness and easy cross over to retro themed goods (T-shirts, glasses etc). As far as I can see, a cult follow endures but not wide spread as I believe they deserve.  Long live these wonderful nymphs of naughtiness.

femlin original

writting a joke

femlin petite

femlin tightrope

femlin covergirl


femlin queen of hearts



One comment

  1. Oh! Now I know where the nymphs were coming from… 😉
    As another “shortie”, I love their design. XO

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