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Leyva loves the pin-up era

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Name: Darlene Leyva Age: 60 City: Lincoln Job: Stylist Family: Husband Gabriel Leyva; three daughters; 11 grandchildren; one great grandchild. Darlene Leyva is a stylist at At Last Salon (671 1st Street) and can be reached at 434-6100 or 410-9004. What kind of work do you do at At Last Salon? I do everything. I (cut hair) and am a color specialist. I also do pin-up hair and makeup. How long have you been a hair stylist? I started when I was 18. I went to beauty school and was lucky enough to work in an elite, upscale salon in San Francisco on Union Street. I did a lot of platform work for hair shows and did (the hairstyles) of a lot of really interesting people. I?d go to hotels and do the hair of movie stars when they came to town. When did you start doing pin-up hair and makeup? I had a salon in Roseville and it was called Pin-Up Girls. With the economy it was too much to keep that salon open so we closed it (in 2009). We got a lot of girls whose husbands were in Iraq and they wanted to send (pictures) to their husbands. Pin-ups are so cute and all-American, and not really risqu. It?s something the husbands could put up and be proud of. What does the term ?pin-up? mean? Think back to the 1940?s and women like Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth. To me, it?s all-American, when women were strong and beautiful and took pride in themselves. Women didn?t need much makeup, and we had women of all shapes and sizes. Do you think it?s important for girls today to see pin-ups from the past? I think it?s empowering for a lot of young girls to see these women instead of today?s models. They are too skinny. When you see women of the 1940?s and see that they are full-figured and still beautiful, that?s what girls should see as role models. You don?t have to be skinny to be beautiful. Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in San Francisco. I love the city. The San Francisco I grew up in during the 1950?s was so nice and sweet. Kids were more sheltered from seeing the evils of the world in the 1950?s. What was cool about the city is we never had to drive because the transit system was so great.