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PHOTO ESSAY MAKEOVERS - Cowgirl Spirit



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The mystic of the American cowgirl is everlasting. She stands for a woman who is strong, independent and non-conventional.

The first woman to be name tagged a "cowgirl" was most likely Calamity Jane. She was born in 1848, in Missouri. She was known for her superb horsemanship, bawdy language, and a sure shot with a rifle. She was a scout for the Army, rode a horse like a man instead of sidesaddle, and chewed tobacco.

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Calamity Jane
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Annie Oakley

Around 1910, a group of women became performers in wild west shows. Annie Oakley was the most famous of this select group of women. She was born in 1860 in Darke County, Ohio. By the age of fifteen, she became an excellent shot with a rifle. She joined The Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in 1906, and became a sensation in the U.S. and Europe. She retired from the show arena in 1913.

The 1940s gave birth to the pinup artist. Names like Vargas, Elvgren, and Petty quite often portrayed cowgirls in their sexy artwork.

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Pinups by Elvgren

By the 1950s, a pretty blonde with a beautiful voice became the "queen of cowgirls". Her name was Dale Evans. She eventually married Roy Rogers. They appeared in many films together and had their own Saturday morning TV show. Kids from that era had stick horses, cap guns, and western clothes to emanate their favorite western heroes. Today, Ralph Lauren keeps the cowboy image alive with his western inspired fashions. Hollywood still makes westerns and people flock to see them.

Dale Evans
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Dale Evans

My model that you are about to see below is a client of mine named Kate. Even though she is an English horse trainer, she wears an old beat up Stetson hat.

I looked at her one day as she came in to get her hair done, wearing this hat, and had a vision of her as a 1940s pinup cowgirl. I suggested that we do a photo shoot to re-create this era and she laughed and said, "I'm game!"
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Kate

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Kate gets an eyebrow arch.
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A pincurl set and makeup takes Kate closer to the cowgirl look.

The end product is fantastic! I really don't think that cowgirls ever get the blues. They are too busy kicking up their heels and having fun!
 


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Hair and Photos by Kathie Rothkop
Makeup by Pamela Joyce




Vera McGinnis - Photo courtesy of the National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Fame. Photo colorized by Bob Wade.
For more classic cowgirl photos, click here




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