You’re Never Too Old to Pose as a Pin-Up

Dutch artist Erwin Olaf has spent most of his commercial and art photography career breaking taboos with his highly stylized, often cinematic images. Think blood-stained high fashion, strangely sexualized kids and, yes, older women posing as sex-kittens.




Offensive? If you believe it’s our duty to protect the world from our wrinkles as we age, or that overt sexiness is inappropriate for older people, then yes. Objectifying? Certainly, in as much as any Vogue clotheshorse is objectified.

But that’s the point. Few people raise an eyebrow when a taut 19-year-old poses for a Playboy centerfold. So why not an 89-year-old with a proud smile? Eroticism doesn’t have to have an age limit.




Olaf spends much of his time shooting young beauties for ad campaigns and editorials in glossy fashion mags. His work with older models is more personal. “I like to make studies of the body in all sizes, kilos, lengths and every kind…. lately, I’ve been getting more interested in skin: the aging skin and the young skin and the beauty of being young, the beauty of aging,” Olaf, who’s in his 50s and was recently voted Dutch Artist of the Year, told “When I was 19, I was already studying my wrinkles. I’m getting more and more relaxed with it, but it’s also sad.”



Created in 1999 and first exhibited in New York in 2001, Olaf’s Mature series features women between the ages of 61 and 89 who he met through friends, on trains and buses and via ads that he placed. The photographs are styled after the Alberto Vargas pin-ups that graced the pages of Playboy back in the 40s – with an added dash of decadence; the women have names fashioned after the names of supermodels.



“I told each model to imagine she was a beautiful pin-up in the 1950s. I said: ‘You’re gorgeous. Don’t move. Stay like that. I’m just going out for a packet of cigarettes.'” The outside part of getting older is the skin,” Olaf told Reflex Amerstadam. “Then I come back 40 years later, walk into the room, step behind the camera and go click. That’s the mood I wanted to get.”


Tell us what you think of the photos in the comments below – and enjoy Senior Sex Month!

See more of Olaf’s Mature series here.


22 responses to “You’re Never Too Old to Pose as a Pin-Up

  1. I once was in love with a woman who was 92. I was 62. She was an exception in that her beauty seem to increase with age. Her dignity and self assured manner made it easy to be around her. I sang songs for her and we made love three times. We had delightful times until she was “Baker acted” (incarcerated against her will at a family members urging) She was taken to another part of the state. There is nothing wrong with the elderly being sexual and a lot that’s very healthy. Sex initiates a wash of hormones in a woman’s body that are health promoting. Sex hormones like estrogen keep a woman’s body tuned and also contributes to cognitive health. There are benefits that are psychological and emotional especially when sex carries a true expression of love from your partner, but guess what? Even when genuine love is not present sex has undeniable physiological benefits.

    As for me I wish I would have married that 92 year old woman for as God knows I wanted nothing more than her sweet company.


  2. No. It reminds me of such senseless endeavors as: replacing a ’36 Duesenburg’s supercharged straight-8 with a modern V6; a sturdy colonial’s hearty-white wood planks with vinyl siding; a 50’s mahogany Chris Craft’s varnish with a brown coat of paint; or a French salon’s provicial funiture with IKEA DIY. An attempt to make something nicely-aged into something freshly new is like pouring perfume over the dog shit piled in the middle of your bed and hoping the result will be the smell of freshly laundered linens on a crisp, cool morning.

    1. Firstly you missed the point, unsually this gifted artist has stated his intent, who are you to disagree with him?

      As for your simile, “like pouring perfume over the dog shit piled in the middle of your bed”, most of us did not encounter this situation, if you do maybe your dog is trying to tell you something.

    1. I am a 61-year-old woman who used to be hot. Now I am an old lady with a wonderful senior man friend and a great sex life. This is really pathetic to me. Let it go, grannies. Be sexy with your guy but don’t try to emulate Queen Victoria’s Secret or Forever 81. Just be OLD, and be gracious about it.

  3. These women are posing as “young” women he is using all the cultural signifiers of sexy that are applied to youth. I don’t think this series actually celebrates these women in an authentic way although the juxtaposition is confronting and thought provoking.

  4. If you’ve posed in lingerie or other revealing clothing (or lack of clothing) after age 50, 60, 70, 80, how about posting a link so we can enjoy and applaud your sexy bravado? My lingerie shoots (and my reasons for doing them) are here:

    and here:


  5. I’m a current Gerontology student soon to graduate with my certificate in Gerontology and I’m 45 yrs old. I enjoy working with the aging population and want to find a career in where I get to work with the aging population who are not afraid to be there true selves, who are still young at heart and not afraid to show it. I love this concept “Your Never to Old to be a Pinup!” fabulous, the thought made me smile and the woman are beautiful!

  6. I think the pictures and attitude is great. I would participate, if I had the opportunity. It is wonderful that someone is taking pictures of the beauty of older women. As the nation ages, it is necessary that we embrace senior citizens for their beauty.


  7. Applause to models and photographer! If we feel sexy and beautiful at our age, some wrinkles shouldn’t hold us back.

    FYI, “See more of Olaf’s Mature series here.” doesn’t take us to more of the Mature series, or at least I’m not able to find it.

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