With Google and social media algorithms constantly tracking and predicting for us, it was only a matter of time when I saw that there was a new app that I might be interested in. Now I’m not a huge gamer (unless it’s RollerCoaster Tycoon) so I normally ignore any game recommendations on my phone but this one seemed to be really targetted to me, it was called ‘Pin-Up Princess Dress-Up’ and it was essentially a dress up game app made for mobiles. I thought, just for a fun experiment, I’d download it and see what it’s all about. Now I’m not a pinup expert and I wholeheartedly believe that pinup doesn’t mean everyone does the same thing; it’s a very personal way of dressing and there shouldn’t be any rules. In saying that, let’s check out this game!
The game is created by AzaleasDoll.com and users play a step-by-step dress up game. The game itself is very simple to follow with no adverts (as far as I saw) and no in-app purchases and takes users through different stages of getting dressed with supposedly a pinup style with a slight Disney princess influence. The first thing you do is choose your skin colour and decide if you want a beauty spot and/or freckles. Even from this first section, there are several limitations; there are only 6 skin tones which is limiting and small, there is only one place you can put your beauty spot (upper cheek under the eye) and freckles that appear on the cheeks and shoulders.
I noticed straight away that you cannot change your body shape or size which once again limits and brings into question beauty standards and influences placed upon women and young girls. I understand that to make the game allow all these options would be very complex and I know it’s not going to be like creating a Sim character for example, but even just a few body shape options would have been great. I’m fine with the eye selection in the game with some varients of eye shapes and colours being available but there’s no way to add eyeliner which is arguable one of the most iconic symbols of modern-day pinups. Although you can choose from a selection of eyeshadow colours, I would have liked a winged eyeliner option. I was quite happy with the nose shape, lip shape and lipstick shade selection. As for a beauty spot, you can only add one just under the eye on the upper cheek and that’s it. As my own beauty spot is a bit lower than that, it’s a little frustrating that I can’t make my own pinup persona.
The next screen included mainly hairstyles and the already assigned accessory. There are heaps of hair styles, most of which are very inspired by Disney princesses, but only a couple of hair colours. There are a few shades of blonde, some questionable brown shades and then black, blue and white. It would have been great to see a few more sades, I couldn’t really match my own shade and I would have loved there to be some actual pinup hairstyles. You could get away with some of the ‘brush out’ styles but there were no victory rolls or front poodles. In fact there were very few curly hair styles.
Hurray it’s time to choose clothing…except this was a really glitchy page for me. For some strange reason, I could not scroll through the dresses/tops so I only could choose from the first four options which weren’t really pinup or vintage at all. I tried to reset the app, check for uploads but no matter what I did, the page just wouldn’t let me scroll. Now I know there are more options because the next page is all about skirts. At first i thought you could layer a skirt over a dress but no, the dress disappears and youre left wearing a skirt with a bra ontop. Not very pinup. The swimsuit (option one) is the most vintage outfit out of every option so I went with that. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t see the other option as the skirts were all pretty cute and could be added to a lot of vintage outfits. Now, both the dress/top page and the skirt page each give the user the option of having a pattern on the outfit they chose including polka dots, stripes, flowers, and even gingham. As I was limited to my swimsuit, I added polka dots (you can’t choose which pattern, they are pre-added to each style) just to make it look a little cuter.
After skirts, the next screen is pants and panties (I’m guessing there could be bikini tops in the screen that’s frozen?), so it’s nice to have more options for pinups who don’t wear a lot of skirts or those wanting a more masculin look. The only issue I had with this screen is I noticed that there was a small little panty line visible and when I tried to change the colour to match my swimsuit, the swimsuit vanished and I had to go back a few screens and add it in again so it’s all matchy.
Oh… ok forget everything I said about not having tops as an option in the dress section…they follow the pants. I think this would have been better after the dresses as an option as most people dress from the top and work their way down. In light of this, I chose a cute gingham top and threw on some capri pants/pedal pushers going for a white/red colour scheme. Alrighty moving on; the next screen is belts, bows, over/under the bust corsets and aprons. It is on this screen you can definitely see more Disney influences (you can definitely see other Disney outfits in the previous screen) so I can see this app being fun for those wanting to dress up a princess which is great, but why use the word ‘pinup’? Perhaps split the app into a Disney dress-up app and just a pinup dressing game.
The next screen mainly just wraps, fur stolls, shawls and cardigans/light tops to put on top of your character. This is a great idea as you can cover up your character if you’re a little uncomfortable by skin (I know a lot of families that I babysat for that were very modest) so this is a nice touch It also means those that chose fancy dresses can add a wrap to give their character a more high glamour look. Next, there is a screen where you can choose pantyhose, stockings, socks and tights. Cute! I love this idea but I wish there were more skin tones rather than bright colours so I could make my character look like she was wearing stocking but why no seamed stockings?
Finally, we move onto shoes, wow this dressing app is extensive, I thought it was just going to be a couple of options but wow, it’s taking me just as long to dress my character as it is to dress myself in real life! There are heaps of shoe options including flats, boots and heels. This page also has a few shoe accessories such as bows, flowers and straps. I opted for a simple ballet flat and then I added a bow, it’s quite similar to shoes I actually wear.
Goodness me, are we nearly done? Alrighty, time to choose hats, head bows and hair accessories. There’s a great selection but the thing I found strange was; my original chosen hair style already has a headband. Why don’t I have the option of removing the original headband if I want a new headband? If I want a different headband, it just gets placed ontop which looks a bit weird. At this stage, I’m really not bothered to go all the way back to the second screen just to change my hair which I actually like. I ended up choosing a big hat and chose a colour that made it look like straw because we all know I love my big hats.
Another screen, gloves. There are three options, long, medium and short but one feature I appreciate if you can choose how sheer the gloves can be which is great for those wanting a lovely elegant evening look or a more casual day look. … Is it over yet? Nope, now it’s time for sunglasses/glasses. There are two sunglasses available (round or heart-shaped) none of which were overly vintage and the normal glasses also weren’t very vintage but I’m glad that they have this option. Nope we’re not done, now we choose necklaces, neck scarves, pearls, chockers or pendants. I just chucked on some red beads because, at this point, I’m exhausted. Of course, on the next screen, we choose earrings because let’s just cover up every body part. On this screen, you can choose from hoops, studs, cherries or dangle earrings. I just chose simple red studs to go with my outfit.
I think we’re finally done! Please don’t make me choose a career for her or their personality traits! On what I’m hoping is the final screen we choose a background/setting for our character so I just chose a wheat field because it was cute. WE ARE DONE! You finally have the option to save or reset your character.
Final thoughts: I used to babysit, and often had kids ask to see if I had any games on my phone, if they were good I would sometimes let them play games (all of which were very basic kids games like stacking pancakes, snakes and ladders or memory card games etc). I would be very sad to see some of these kids play this game and realize that they can’t create a character that looks like them because of skin tone or body shape limitations. I understand that allowing so many options makes the app creation so much more complex and extensive but it bothers me that slim with slight curves is so idolized when I know very few people who would fit into that category. Secondly, calling the style ‘pinup’ is a far stretch. None of the hair options really felt overly pinup or even vintage and although some of the clothing options were vintage-inspired, they could have been extended. I was a bit disappointed to see that there were several bugs in the app that didn’t allow me to choose certain options and I hope they get fixed soon.
Lastly, the game is very extensive. Now I didn’t have a lot of money as a kid so I didn’t get a lot of computer games and we didn’t get a computer till later on so I never really played a lot of these dress-up games. Are they normally so extensive? I thought that they would have fewer options and whatever options they did have, I hoped they would be more vintage or pinup inspired. I totally understand that this app has a stronger focus on princesses rather than pinup which in the end, I was able to still structure a pretty decent outfit which was vintage in aesthetic. Overall, I did have fun. I think I created a cute character version of myself and I’d love to try and create some of my pinup friends on this app. I do wish I could choose different body shapes as it would make it more exclusive and get rid of the idea that to be a princess or a pinup, you need to be thin but curvy.
I can see this app being a fun way to try and plan outfits with different colour schemes or even prep for pageants. I’d love to let me niece play this game to see what she thinks and feels about it so if I do see her within a decent time frame, I’ll let you know how I go. Please let me know if you have tried this game or if you want to try this game. Originally I wanted to turn this into a video but I really want to take some time out to self-care so I’ve cut back heavily on my work load for my own mental health sake. If you’d like to see me play this game, I can try to do so in April.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way.