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Pin-up calendars get a new spin in the name of body diversity

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated December 18, 2015 04:00 PM
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Credit: Jen Oaks

Graphic designer Jen Oaks decided to give the classic pin-up calendar a new, body-positive spin, and created twelve months of beautiful plus-size pin-ups.

“I think bigger bodies are sexy, and I wanted to create something that’s beautiful, different and relatable,” Oaks, 38, tells PEOPLE.

Oaks, who lives in Berkeley, California, says her vision for the groovy look came from a love for the decade.

“I’ve been feeling the 70s this year and getting nostalgic for a decade I only saw the tail end of,” she explains. “I’ve obsessed over ’70s Playboys, movies, TV, clothing and hair. I wanted to take all my retro crushes and nostalgia and form them into hot lady characters, so I started sketching.”

And Oaks looked at fashion from the era for the pin-up girls’ bright outfits.

“A lot of the inspiration came from the vintage garments I wanted to include: a white crochet swimsuit on bronzed skin, a bright flowered jumpsuit, a terry romper,” she says. “Some of them just came to me, like of course there should be two tough girls smoking by their ’72 Malibu.”

Since debuting the calendar, Oaks says everyone is loving her body-positive pin-ups.

“It’s had really positive feedback!” she says. “Comments have ranged from ‘YESSS,’ ‘hot,’ ‘saucy,’ ‘DANG!,’ ‘these have made my day,’ ‘thank you for doing this,’ ‘that70shair,’ ‘amazing,’ ‘perfect,’ ‘DAMN!,’ [to] ‘where can I get that romper?’ ”

Thanks to the great response, Oaks has been overloaded with orders for the calendar on her Etsy site. With her full-time design job during the day, Oaks is busily completing orders at night.

“I only have evenings, but the husband and I get right to work on assembly, packing and postage. It’s Santa’s workshop up in here.”

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Once the holiday season is over and things calm down, Oaks plans to make prints of the individual girls and expand the collection from there.