Embrace the unique you ~ a speech on body positivity at the Hug Me Harry brooch lovers day out!

Hello darlings!

Today’s post is a bit different. I was recently approved to give a talk on body positivity at the Hug Me Harry Brooch Lovers day out. Now I’ve never given a speech before (unless you count being part of the debate team in year 7) but being such a a believer in body positivity I jumped at the opportunity. My shop Daisy Jean had a small stall as well but the highlight for me was chatting to people I’ve only ever seen online and getting to speak about something I’m super passionate about as well as meet fellow brooch designers Martini & Slippers, Kirbee Lawler & Story Book Rabbit.

While sadly it looks like no one on the day videoed the speech in full, I’ve decided to share the speech I gave here for those who expressed that would have loved to have read it!

I’ve put the slides from my powerpoint into the points where they showed during my speech and in the section with audience participation have noted the response for you all.

For those in Brisbane, QLD Australia Kate is bringing her brooch lovers event to you all February!

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The Crowd on the day
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Me Mid Speech

Embrace the unique you

Hello everyone! My name is Missi or Curve Creation and I’m here today to talk about body positivity. Now before I get started, I wanted to do a simple show of hands just to help us get familiar with each other, as it’s the later part of the day now and we should be starting to get over all out jitters and nerves. First up, I’m going to assume everyone is hopefully going to raise their hand on this one. Who loves brooches? (everyone put their hand up)

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Ok that’s good. Who here has say more than 10 brooches? 20? 30? 50? More than 100? 200? (I was surprised by how many people kept their hands up at 200) And who doesn’t count because if they don’t know how many they have they don’t have to acknowledge that they’re an addict? *Raises hand*. If anyone knows of a good Brooch Addicts Anonymous group I can attend that would be fab as I’m sure we’d end up enabling each other to buy more brooches instead of acting like brooch collecting is an issue we need to address. Am I right?

So today I have been asked to talk to you all about Body Positivity

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and what that means to me. Body Positivity for me is really just letting yourself just be you. Body positivity and building up your own confidence is something I believe in fiercely because it’s something that for me changed my life. It’s something I really hope all women and men can come to have in their own lives. Especially in a society where being different can be frowned upon and standing out can be daunting. While brooch wearing is definitely on the rise, as we’ve all clearly seen with some crazy fast sell outs of brands we love, it’s still not really happening in mainstream fashion. I mean the only person I recall wearing brooches in the public eye when I was a kid was the Queen.

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It’s still viewed as quirky and different and its crazy how something so small can make you more visible in a crowd or open a conversation with a stranger which can definitely be daunting for some of us. Brooches really are more than just pieces of material we pin to our clothes. As a maker myself I know there’s an idea, a process and a story and love that goes along with it and seeing all the different creations available at the moment is truly amazing.

But how does this tie into body positivity? I mean, it’s just a brooch right?

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Body positivity like all things is an attitude and a mindset. It’s not something that just happens one day, it’s something that’s worked on over time and nurtured to grow as we grow. We live in a world of labelled boxes and people have an expectation that we should fit into these neat labels but in reality, we, as people, are much more diverse. We exist in a world where others are constantly trying to define us based on how we look as the first point of reference. People project their own opinions and beliefs onto us and the more ‘visible’ you are in the world, the more this happens.

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I used to desperately want to fit these labels. I desperately wanted to feel accepted. Prior to becoming a regular wearing pinup and retro blogger, I was actually a fitness and weight loss blogger in my early 20s and at my blogs height it had quite a following. I initially started the space as a way to keep accountable to lose weight because my then partner indicated I was too fat. Over a span of 5 years I ran my little tumblr blog, dropping 20kg and keeping it off for a number of years. I overcame some serious binge disorder behaviours. I got quite fit and trim.

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But looking back the experience really showed me that the labels don’t matter because there will always be people trying to bring you down. At my smallest I was still relentlessly trolled for being overweight/fat/plus sized. I had massive issues with body acceptance and the comments I use to get cut me like a blade. I was also living with a partner who hated my transition into something I loved so much (retro fashion) and was also trying to bring me down around that. I retaliated to the negative trolls and comments I got … and strangely the more I reacted the more it fed the negative behaviour, which in turn fed my self-loathing and it became a vicious cycle. Despite trying so hard to fit a label and be what I felt would be socially acceptable, it was never enough and in reality, I wasn’t being true to myself either.

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A massive shift in this mindset for me came when I started dressing in retro styled clothing at around 23 and for me, this included that much loved item of the day: brooches. I got into retro fashion because it just felt right. I’ve always been a creative person and the prints, styles and accessories that encompass the retro look just fit me. I was actually interested in retro from the age of 17 but accessibility (lack of debit cards for a 17-year-old was an issue in 2007) and the belief I needed to be slim to be a good retro girl kept me from taking the steps I needed to move forward.

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One day I decided jump and trust that I would grow my wings on the way down.  Taking that step was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for me, not just for body positivity but my life quality and mindset. It gave me a sense of pride in my appearance. It gave me a creative outlet. It made me feel good about myself which in turn empowered me. I began to reject trolls and refused to become involved with any interaction that including judgement. I questioned my ex on things that didn’t sit right with me (which was part of the reason for our break up). I began to nurture myself instead of loath myself. I shifted away from a mentality that I “have to” be thin or look a certain way to be successful. That I don’t have to prescribe to a certain way of existing just because other people thought I should. I did things my way.

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I used to hit the gym with my rollers in my hair.  Apparently not something everyone was used to seeing that in the Sydney CBD. I’ve lifted weights with a beehive and red lippy. Worn petticoats and brooches to work as well as theme dressed for certain seasons. I learnt to let my own creativity and positivity flow through my wardrobe which empowered me to rise about the negativity of others.

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Oddly enough as I’ve embraced this mindset more I’ve been more game to try some gothic looks that I’ve always loved, even though this doesn’t fit the prescribed “pinup girl” image. I stopped trying to adhere to the labels of society and just started to embrace what I enjoyed. The flow on affect has been incredible. This new self-acceptance that had begun to set in for me opened some pretty awesome doors in the pinup world.

For example, ironically, I never intended to be a “pinup/fashion” blogger. It actually spawned from people forever asking me about the things I wore. So, one January day 3 years ago I sat down and started my blog. Now I must admit I had no idea what I was doing when I started and a lot of people who’d followed me over from my fitness blog didn’t appreciate my shifted focus, a lot followed. But I found it became something I really enjoy. It gave me a platform to connect with people. It gave me a platform to share something I was fast becoming passionate about.

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Before pinup I was pretty much a fashion victim. I never felt overly comfortable in modern clothing which meant my ability to put together outfits was pretty limited. I look back and cringe a little at some things I used to wear. But as I embraced pinup more, my own personal style grew. I have a massive wardrobe now. Over 200 brooches at last count (I’m not a brooch addict … OK… I’m an art collector) and pretty much dress how I like every day. Having the platform of my blog has allowed me to connect with some amazing brands and people and share some things I’m truly passionate about.

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For example I love vintage foundations and corsets, being able to work with lingerie brand What Katie Did and Sherbet Birdie last year was a dream come true.

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Being a brooch lover, I’ve had the privilege of working with Erstwilder  at one of their trade shows.

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I even entered Miss Pinup Australia this year and despite my health limiting my ability to be in the grand finale, I’ve made some amazing friends and done something I wasn’t sure I could ever have the courage to do.

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Perhaps one of the most telling signs of my shift of mentality is that despite a weight gain the past few years, I’m still rocking my retro, I’m achieving some awesome things and being presented with so many opportunities.  I’m still being true to myself and I haven’t let that stop me. Being true to yourself, in your own way is one of the most empowering things you can do.

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I came to realise that what other people think of me isn’t any of my business. That I can’t control how others feel, only my own reactions and what baggage I choose to carry. As I stopped putting importance on these negative sentiments from strangers I stopped receiving them. The negativity has mostly stopped, and it shows how negative people seek out and feed off others negativity. You don’t need to justify your existence to others, the only opinion that is important about yourself is your own. You choose from there what other opinions you want to take on and I really cannot stress this enough. You don’t have to carry the baggage others project on you. You’re allowed to be and feel happy about who you are.

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But on the flip side, it’s also important to remember Body positivity, self-belief, self-confidence like all things in life aren’t linear (21). We all have bad days when it comes to how we feel about ourselves, what we’re capable of and what we’ve achieved.  And ladies this goes for me as well!!! I still have days where I have huge mental issues with my body, especially my tummy, but I know that if we try and embrace it we get better at managing it.  Let’s face it, in a world that tries to commercialise happiness, buy our self-love and puts importance on always being productive it can be hard! Really hard.

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We’re taught to look at failure as a negative when in reality failure is simply proof of trying. We’ve been taught being unproductive is laziness when really its essential for recharging. The media tells us constantly what we should aspire to in all parts of our lives when really, it’s important we discover this for ourselves, in our own way and in our own time. Let yourself move through the motions of the bad days and come out the other side. Life is an experience of positives and negatives but that’s not important. What’s important is how you decide to approach the days you are given.

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Around the time I started my blog, I founded my own small business Daisy Jean . Daisy Jean originally only made hair flowers but in the past few years has expanded to other accessories. My amazing little business has helped also give me a platform to meet, interact and boost with so many amazing women, especially through my Face of Daisy Jean program, which is aimed at helping connect my brand with women to give them a platform to give back some of the skills I’ve gained over the years from having my own social media accounts. Being able to try and give back has been such a fulfilling experience and is one of my favorite aspects of my little business.

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Now being a brooch lover and creative soul, I naturally wanted to make brooches of my own and found pretty quick its definitely a process. There’s a lot that goes into the process of design, creation and final product. My first brooches where, mediocre at best and its taken me 2 and a half years to reach a point where I’m feeling amazingly confident in my brooch creation, to the point I recently bought my own laser cutter. Business is probably one of the most intimidating things I’ve ever done because I’m putting my creativity out there to the masses, so to speak. But business has also taught me a lot about myself and what I’m capable of.

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I run my small business alongside my blog and I work full time. It’s a juggling act I never thought I could manage. Small business is a lot of hard work, a lot of time and a lot of sacrifice but if your heart is in it, its worth it. The juggling act can be hard but here I am, still at it almost 4 years on. Its another way to nurture my creativity and share things I enjoy, which is an amazing journey I hope to continue.

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So back to those brooches. At the start of this speech I mentioned that brooches can make you stand out in a crowd and they really can. We buy brooches we enjoy and if we choose to wear them, they make a bit of a visual statement about us, whether that’s something as simple as animals we like or things we enjoy or just show a bit of a quirky personality. When I first started wearing brooches I used to get approached by people wo would comment on them and I wouldn’t know how to react. I was still finding my feet and learning to embrace who I am. Now days I welcome these sorts of conversations, though my favorite ones are definitely seeing fellow “broochies” when you’re out and about. Brooches can bring such job to our days. They can lift us when we’re sad. They make our day when they arrive. Even bidding pieces farewell to go to new loving homes can be an amazing feeling and they can connect us with other likeminded people when sometimes we feel like the loner. This entire day was made possible simply but us all loving brooches and I do truly believe that’s an absolutely amazing thing.

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My point is that Body Positivity steams from the attitude we choose to engage it with … just like wearing brooches, or creating a blog, or starting a business… our attitude sets our direction. We choose whether to accept the messages that we receive from the media and society or embrace our unique selves. Body Positivity is all about understanding who we are and accepting that it is a good thing. Embracing the fact that we are enough just the way we are and working at loving ourselves as best we can. Sure, it takes courage to go against all the negative messages we have received. Sure, it takes work, Sure it is a journey of growth just like most things in life. Sure, it can be scary, but like any major investment in ourselves the payoff is well worth the investment.

I hope my ramblings have helped in some way to help you realise its ok to be you… and the biggest step to body positivity is to be your own unique you. Thank you for listening and please try to embrace the unique you – She’s actually quite beautiful and way more capable than you can imagine. Thank you

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Pinup Life: How to build a wardrobe living in Australia

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Disclaimer: As an Australian pinup I can only share my experiences about the cost of pinup from the perspective of an Australian and our very similar New Zealand neighbors. Obviously other countries do face similar issues, however I can only share experiences from my own perspective. As a plus size girl in Australia, I find true vintage to be crazy expensive so haven’t included it in this list.

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Pinups down under know that living a pinup lifestyle can be expensive, along with pretty much everything else. With Sydney and Melbourne ranking in the place of fifth and sixth most expensive places to live in the world, its no wonder why. So ontop of our generally high cost of living our poor dollar value against the US/Pound/Euro coupled with our sheer distance from the two primary hubs of the pinup world (being the UK and the US) means entering into the pinup lifestyle can be a costly venture, moreso than I think our Northern Hemisphere counterparts could ever fully comprehend. So I wanted to share my tips and tricks on how I built up my pinup wardrobe on a budget and little hacks I still do now to help add new goodies into my closet without breaking the bank as an Aussie gal!

Get Familiar with Local Stores and Stockists

While we may be far away from most of the big name pinup brands down under, a lot of local stores do carry some of the brands we know and love. I love shopping local when I can and I really encourage people to reach out to their local pinups stores here in Australia, support their business and work with them to better suit you. For example, Afterpay/Zippay is an amazing way to make buying clothes a bit more budget friendly here in Australia. You can always ask about potential layby if they don’t offer either. Many of these stores can also order in for you from certain brands as well, even if they don’t stock things. Some of my favorite local stores to buy from are:

Just to name some of my favorite local stores to buy pinup goodies from!

Buy local Brands!

While we don’t have a MASSIVE amount of local pinup brands here in Australia, we do have SOME and many of these brands I know would love the support of the local community.

Some of my favorite local businesses are:

Sign up to Newsletters & follow social media accounts

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When I first got into pinup I viewed newsletters as clutter. Now days they really help dictate my shopping. Newsletters are a great way to hear about sales and discounts on items! Especially from pricier brands. I’ve managed to nab myself many items at a discount through this method and most give you an initial discount code just for signing up, like this Unique Vintage newsletter does. Also sign up to their social media accounts. Newsletters really are a great tool for keeping upto date on sales and specials you might have missed on social media (because algorithms can suck).

Shop Around

See an item you love directly on a brands website but see it’s a bit expensive? Most pinup brands are stocked by multiple stores around the world and you can often find the item at a local store or cheaper rate by google searching the item by name. I’ve managed to nab many items at a cheaper postage rate or at a cheaper price this way and it’s a method I strongly recommend! This is also a great tool if the store is out of stock in the item you want!

Plan Ahead!

There are a few big shopping ‘dates’ in the pinup world that I have marked in my calendar and I try to put away some money in the lead up to these dates to help me get a little bit extra. This ties into signing up to newsletters and following accounts on social media, if you see a release you’re interested in mark it down and plan for it! It definitely helps the wallet out later!

Join Pinup Buy Swap Sell Pages on Facebook

Buy Swap Sell pages are often overlooked but are an absolutely amazing resource for finding unicorns and getting items at good prices. I’ve sold myself on buy swap sell pages as well as bought from them too. You can find everything from accessories to clothing and shoes on buy swap sell pages and for ladies on budgets these are a treasure trove of goodies. My biggest advice to ladies is to always send their payments as a payment for goods, not to friends as this way you’re covered if there’s ever an issue and to only ever send items after payment has been received. I’m part of a number of these groups that are generic ‘pinup’ sell pages as well as brand specific pages.

Learn to Navigate Ebay

Ebay is another great resource for purchasing second hand pinup goodies, if you know how to search correctly! As a rule of thumb I stay away from pinup clothes coming from china as most are crap knock offs of better brands.  I have a followed search list that’s done by brand name instead of a generic “pinup” search. So for example it reads: collectif, voodoo vixen, tatyana boutique, Bernie dexter etc. I also have notifications of new listings on my favorite brands turned on so I don’t miss things.

Get to know your local small businesses

Aside from a few brands now days, I pretty much get most of my accessories from Australian businesses. This is not only to support their business, but it also means I’m not fighting a crap exchange rate and having a wait a small lifetime for my items to arrive. Australia has some fabulous small businesses in the accessories department! I’ve listed some of my fav’s below!

Brooches (ones I can think of)

I get all my beads from Debstar Designs

Hair flowers I tend to wear my own business Daisy Jean Floral Designs

Fashion headwear from Doily Delightz

Deluxe Creations makes amazing resin jewellery as does Birdie and Star

Sales and savings!

There are some items, such as shoes, that no matter how you cut it they’re gonna be expensive. This is due to a mix of the exchange rate and the cost of shipping bulkier things. There are certain items I’ll hold off getting til the EOFY sale, Black Friday sales or Christmas/boxing day sales hit as you can generally snag things for a pretty good price! But remember to be quick with these sorts of things, especially during black Friday as pieces do tend to sell out fast during these sales. I do make a habit too to always check the sale section on stores too. You can find gems there too. Another good find is the Zulily page, especially for things like Chelsea Crew and BAIT shoes as final sale styles as well as sometimes pinup clothes which are often listed there for a super cheap price with super cheap postage!

Look at using a forwarding service.

This is something I’m considering using during my black Friday sales to help reduce my postage costs! There are services, especially in the US which allow you to have your parcels send to them, where they then correlate your orders into one parcel and ship at a cheaper rate. After a lot of research I opted to try shipmate for this which is run directly through Australia Post. This can really help cut down the postage costs and make brands with crazy high postage rates an easier purchase.

Pool shipping with friends

Another way to reduce costs of shipping, especially if its a flat rate is to get your girlfriends together if you all want to order from the same place and put in an order together. That way shipping is split multiple ways instead of just one. This is a great way as well to share the rush of shopping with your friends too, which come on we all secretly love!

Read bloggers reviews!

As a blogger this may appear to be shameless self promotion but please hear me out! A lot of bloggers, when they collaborate with brands are given coupon codes and discount codes to pass on to their followers. So not only are you supporting someone who puts a lot of effort into sharing, you can also get yourself a saving too. So don’t just subscribe newsletters, but blogs too!

Final note

I would like to add a final note on the differences I’ve found between fast fashion and pinup clothing. I view my pinup clothing as an investment. Over the years I’ve become better at knowing which brands are of a higher quality that I don’t mind paying more for. I’m still wearing certain pieces I purchased a couple of years ago and I find as long as I take care of my clothes properly (delicate wash cycle, worn in rotation) I get a large lifespan out of my pinup clothes. I know the difference in cost between fast fashion and retro fashion can be daunting but unlike fast fashion pinup items don’t go out of style. As long as you love them and enjoy wearing them, that’s all that matters.

I hope you’ve all found this to be helpful! I’ve tried to include the tips and tricks I still use today!

Til next time darlings!

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Retro Girl in a Modern World: Hilarious misconceptions I get based purely off how I dress

Now we all know that retro fashion is based on fashions from the previous decade, which was a very different time socially than it is now. Despite being an incredibly modern woman who just happens to enjoy wearing retro clothing, a lot of people (mostly strangers) make assumptions on my beliefs, hobbies and life aspirations based purely on how I look. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite misconceptions with you all that I get! I’d love to know how many you can relate to yourself!

1. I’m a homemaker/good cook

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Domestic Goddess shot by Sherbet Birdie Photography

This one is probably one of my favorite misconceptions I receive. The idea that I must be a natural homemaker because of how I look. The truth is hilariously far from that reality. I’m normally too busy with other things in my life (like my job, my business and my blog) to even stop and remember to do domestic goddess things. My cooking expertise extends to cereal, serving up ice cream and a list of cooked meals that comes to a total of under 10 things. I actually find cooking rather daunting and stressful as I lack the skill set to be able to do much. I am in reality a typical millennial who doesn’t know how to cook well and would probably live off cereal and take out if it wasn’t for a my amazing man who was taught such an important life lesson. People who don’t know me tend to assume the latter. At least I know if I ever bring in pre-baked bakery goods to work they’ll think it was me!

2. That I must want to get married 

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Halloween shoot by Dolly Dee photography

The above image is probably the closest I’ll ever be to being a bride (photo from my recent Halloween shoot). After being engaged to two past partners and deciding to call off the engagement in both instances, I’ve seen first hand how commercialized marriage can be. I find the whole shenanigan really outrageous in the world today, especially with the fact we have shows that undermine marriage like Farmer Wants a Wife, Married at First Sight and the Bachelor/Bachelorette but won’t allow real people to marry their loved ones based on gender. I realised in my mid twenties that I didn’t think marriage was for me and that’s totally ok.

3. That I want to start a family

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My Family

Its no secret I come from a big family. I’ve sporadically shared my family members over social media for years. I’m the eldest of 5 kids in a blended family, the only one to my father with 2 half sisters and 2 half brothers, our ages ranging from 5 to me at 27. Being the eldest and baby sitting a lot in my teens, again the assumption was I’d eventually have kids too. I find that assumption is even higher now with how I dress and this is something my 7 year old sister likes to hilariously play on when she comes and visits. The reality is, I don’t really have a maternal bone in my body and have no real desire for a child of my own at this stage in my life. Living in the heart of Sydney too and being surrounded by some kids who aren’t the best behaved, I don’t actually like kids in general all that much.

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My Danger Noodle Sammy

Impacted even more by my recent diagnosis, I’m content with my life as it is and my mother long accepted the closest thing to a grandchild I’ll ever probably give her is my snake Sammy. But I’ve found because of how I dress especially and as I’m approaching 30 slowly, people are commenting more. I have a very modern attitude around babies in the sense that people should be able to choose if they want kids or not. Procreation isn’t something that can be taken light nor is it a requirement. Not everyone is destined to be a parent and that is totally ok.

4. That I’m not very bright/intelligent

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Me circa 2008

So in high school I was very plain in appearance. I didn’t wear make up much. I generally wore my hair out or in a pony tail until I cut it off in the worst posh bob. No one questioned my enthusiasm for learning. That part of me hasn’t changed. But I’ve found the way people talk to me now has. Even though I feel I have more knowledge than ever, I find that there’s an underlying assumption I’m not overly bright or intelligent of strangers based on my appearance. I’m sure this one carries across to women in all walks of life. Its just one assumption I find most interesting and equally unnerving.

5. That I live in a retro house

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Another hilarious assumption, which I find ties into the homemaker expection is that because I dress 50s my house must be 50s themed. For me, the only vintage thing in my house specific to the 50s is my dressing table. My partner isn’t into vintage décor and that’s fine. We compromise. My house is pretty modern to be honest and as we’re still building up our furniture after restarting last year, its very eclectic in appearance at present. Not all vintage girls live in perfect vintage styled houses and that’s totally ok either way. In a lot of ways I wish I could have that kind of house but its not feasible for me.

6. Getting ready must take me forever

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Photo by Boogie Bop Dames

My absolute personal favorite! “It must take you forever to get ready this morning”. I hear this comment SO much from people! When I was a beginner pinup, most definitely! It took hours. Now as a seasoned pinup however, my look takes 45-60 minutes to create, which includes my shower, makeup, hair, underpinnings, picking my outfit and getting dressed, taking ootd photos, packing my bag and leaving for work.  People tend to not believe me when I give them the time frame but I think they forget that pinup like all things is practice and routine. Its taken years but I’ve got it down to an art now. And I do love when I’m wearing a hairstyle from the previous day and I tell people its second day hair. Pinup hair can be amazing like that.

7. Dressing vintage must mean I have vintage values

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A lot of people believe women and men who celebrate a vintage aesthetic must also have the same beliefs from the eras they enjoy. While I love wearing retro clothing, I am very much a modern woman with modern values. I identify as a feminist. I believe in equality for all. I hate violence. I’m all for people doing what fulfils them with their own lives and I’m watching constantly as I’m  apart of the rapidly shifting world. While I love past eras the treatment of women, people of colour, people of the LGBT community, people with disabilities….basically anyone who wasn’t at the most a white man and at the least a white woman. That’s not the kind of world I want to live in and I’m very happy being a modern woman who dresses retro!

8. That I’m graceful, elegant and lady like

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Wearing Lindy Bop

This one is particularly hilarious because of how far removed from the truth it is. People have this idea that women of the past were poised, precise and elegant of movement and speech. I am none of these things. I’m incredibly clumsy, though the degree varies to how tired I am. I swear more than I care to admit. If there’s a single bump in the footpath you’ll guarantee I’m gonna unconsciously find it and step in it. I’m forever putting things down and forgetting where I put them. I’m far from the housewife image of the 50s. Which I love because even though these things can be frustrating, they help make me me.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this little post. Something fun and different to brighten your afternoon on a Wednesday.

Til next time darlings!

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Retro Girl in a Modern World: Pinup & Social Anxiety

Hi, my name is Missi and I have social anxiety. For some people this is rather hard thing to believe. Especially considering what my social media accounts look like now days. But as I’ve navigated the pinup world over the last few years it become apparently to me just how common social anxiety is among pinups and wanted to share some of my own experiences on how pinup can help and hinder living with social anxiety because it definitely has pros and cons.

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During a spike in my anxiety

This blog post is a bit hard for me to write. Namely because anxiety is something we generally feel so alone in. But as I’ve become better at managing my anxiety, I’ve become better at speaking about it and not feeling ashamed about it and I hope by sharing I can help others see they aren’t alone

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1.My pinup style can sometimes function as armour

I find that people who have never experienced social anxiety, don’t quite understand how someone can dress up quite as much as pinups do and still stuffer the daily struggle of social anxiety. I think this is because of the attention dressing outside the prescribed norm can attract. But what they don’t understand is how dressing up can also be a coping mechanism. When I first got into pinup I was in a relationship that was quickly disintegrating. I got into pinup around the time things started falling apart and for me, even though I wasn’t feeling strong or courageous it gave me the pick me up to pretend to be these things, which lead to me questioning things that weren’t making sense. I wouldn’t have ended up being even more of a doormat if I hadn’t found my pinup self that year. In a lot of ways, getting dressed up and looking ‘put together’ can help me feel ‘put together’ and often the higher my stress the more over the top my outfits can appear. I find now days, as my coping abilities have evolved, I don’t got as full on as I used to. But when major things happen, such as my nan passing away or getting back news, frocking up is a way of helping me feel bullet proof even when I’m not which has helped me through some super hard times in my life in the past 5 years.

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2. People assume bright pinup style dictates your personality

As my following has grown, this is one I face a lot now days. As an introvert with social anxiety, I like social media as it allows me to control the experience of engagement. It means if I’m having a hard day I can share what I want and then tune out to what I can’t deal with at the time. I do the same thing when I blog shoot. I can be hard to pose when you have heaps of people staring at you, but tuning it out can definitely help.

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During a recent anxiety flare up

But I can’t deny the fact that meeting new people is still something that scares me and I always feel like an awkward turtle. One of my biggest things I’m learning is how to actually talk to people. When my anxiety is high I find its really easy to subconsciously end up spewing out endless irrelevant information about myself as try and come to grips with the fact I’m standing trying to engage with someone new. Then I go through the turmoil afterwards of analysis the whole encounter and wondering if that person things I’m a vain, self absorbed idiot because all I did was talk about myself. While this can still happen now days I actively try and focus on asking questions and not letting my anxiety dribble take hold of me. I’ve also started encountering in the last 12 months the odd scenario of meeting followers and not knowing how to engage in a conversation as normally I’ll introduce myself and they’ll know who I am already. I find as I post a lot of my body positivity and put myself out there, there’s an assumption that I’m outgoing when really pinups from all walks of life are pinups. Whether they are in great health or dealing with demons of a mental or physical kind, dressing up in pinup doesn’t make you an instant outgoing person.

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I find anxiety can also bring people to the assumption that you’re a bitch or view yourself as better than others. This ties into not just what I just expressed in my previous paragraph, but also the flip side of when I’m too anxious to engage with people I tend to just play with my phone, zone out and avoid eye contact to keep myself centred. This combined with how I dress can make you seem unapproachable and bitchy to people who don’t know you sometimes, when in reality you’re petrified of them and don’t know how to start a conversation. These sorts of assumptions can really still upset me sometimes, especially as someone who can get quite guarded and take time to open up to people and as a girl who pre-pinup was often referred to as a ‘plain jane’ I find my appearence being a factor in deterring people from talking to me quite frustrating and alien.

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3. A pretty frock can turn my whole day around

There’s a lot to be said for the smile I can get when an outfit comes together. There are days where my anxiety is really high and the only thing that got me out of bed is the pretty frock hanging on the back of my door, just calling out to me to be worn. Just as my style can act as an ‘armour’, it can also bring joy. I get such joy out of putting together outfits and different looks. It makes me happy beyond belief and a great outfit or new goodies arriving in the mail can be a massive help to my motivation on a hard day. Also now days as my style has become more polished I get more positive compliments from strangers than negative ones and as I’ve been dressing this way for so long now my ability to deal with these comments has also improved (I used to get so flabbergasted and lost for words when this happened). A pretty frock and a lovely compliment really can change your headspace for the day.

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Pretending I know what to do in the kitchen. Photo by Boogie Bop Dames

4. Vintage style not vintage values

I find people who don’t know me heavily stereotype me based on how I dress. A prime example of this is in my workplace. A male co-worker recently bought in a batch of old Better Homes & Gardens Magazines he no longer needed. On talking to him he’d bought them over the years for the gardening section as he was redoing his whole back yard. The assumption in the office was that I bought them in, simply based on the fact I dress retro. In reality I’d make the worst 50s housewife. I can’t cook. I’m not a good housekeeper and I don’t like the idea of marriage or kids. I find sometimes certain conversations, driven by the idea that I must have vintage values due to the way I dress can be really hard to deal with due to my social anxiety, especially on bad days. As a retro girl this is still something I face but again as time has gone on and I’ve had more chance to answer these sorts of assumptions, I’ve gotten better at answering them without my anxiety kicking in. Though I still feel awkward having to field these kinds of questions.

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I also find too that sometimes, men will assume you are a push over or want their attention because of how you dress. In reality, the only person I consider when I get dressed in the morning when it comes to who likes my outfit is myself. But as 50s women now days are kind of stereotyped as subservient home makers, some men seem to believe this means your values align too. For me personally, that’s far from the case and the male attention I get, especially on social media used to be enough to send me into a full blown anxiety meltdown. Now days, I’ve learnt through trial and error the best approach for me managing this behaviour, which has greatly reduced my anxiety around it.

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5. Social media comparison stress

Perth Pinup Miss Laila Shalimar did an awesome article for Adore Pinup Magazine in the past few years about the negative impacts of the pinup online community on mental health and while I do absolutely adore the community we have, I am also not immune to this sort of self degradation. With our online community being filled with pretty pictures of pretty girls in pretty outfits, it can be easy to not feel like you are good enough or don’t fit. For example, on a bad mental health day when my anxiety is high, I’ll reduce my online time right down to basically just posting my content and checking out. I’ve had to actively learn to try and put down my negative feelings about my weight/size in regards to the online pinup community and I have to admit in the past 5 years since becoming heavily involved in the pinup world I’ve thought more about certain aspects of plastic surgery than I ever gave much thought to before. As a gal with anxiety issues, the online space can definitely be a massive trigger. But it also has some great positives. You can connect with some truly amazing people. I’ve learnt a lot of tips and skills from being a part of the online space and had the pleasure of chatting to some incredible women. Its so important to remember we are all so different, we are all at varying stages of embracing our pinup selves and that’s ok. Its OK to not the a ‘perfect pinup’ all the time. As hard as it can be, its important to not compare yourself to others. And remember, a lot of pinups just post pretty pictures (which is fine!) but that also means you don’t know much about them or their own struggles. The grass always seems greener and with the case of anxiety can appear SUPER green but your own grass can be just as green if you remember to water it.

On the flip side, its important to acknowledge how we use our own social media as kind of a ‘highlight reel’. There have definitely days were I’ve put on a smile when I’ve felt like I have a storm raging inside of me. I’ve had days where I didn’t want to dress up but did. We all do it to a degree and its important to remember others do to. Its one reason I’m trying to share more of this type of content and be more open about the struggles, especially as my following has grown.

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I’ve made some amazing friends through the pinup scene that I wouldn’t have met without social media! 

So those are some of my experiences with anxiety and pinup. I remember how daunting some of these experiences where when I first got into the pinup scene as a retro girl with social anxiety. I hope by sharing some gals know that they aren’t alone and that it can help them learn to navigate the retro world the best way for them. It can be difficult sometimes having anxiety and being a pinup as it draws you out of the masses and makes you stand out. But I find if it comes from a place of enjoyment and makes you happy, then it can help you quite a bit. Also, I find repetition of certain situations or scenarios can really help me cope better with things, as its like I’ve gotten practice and now have a process to go through it instead of feeling like I’m flailing in water and struggling to stop myself drowning.

I also just wanted to remind ladies that its OK to not be OK, especially when living with something like anxiety. We all go through struggles and issues in life. Be kind to yourself and take care of yourself if you need to.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this blog post dolls!

Til next time

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Retro girl in a Modern World ~ Top 6 Comments/Questions I get about how I dress from people

For some of us ladies, dressing pinup is like coming home. It’s just the right fit, it makes sense and it feels good. But I can’t pretend that we don’t live in a very modern world with a very different appreciation of the fashion aesthetic. Before I got back into full time corporate work, I was kind of sheltered from just how strangers perceived me, but as I now work in the heart of the Sydney CBD, commuting on public transport regularly I’ve begun to understand that most people have no idea what’s going on when I’m in their vicinity. In a world where fashion trends are far from what I love, I can kind of stick out like the elephant in the room. I know this is something a lot of beginner pinups have expressed they find intimidating about dressing pinup/vintage/retro so with last week’s top tips for beginners post being so popular, I thought this post could be a great way to continue my beginners series!

So today I wanted to share some of the more common experiences I’ve had with people in regards to my look, how I’ve handed it and the motivation for these comments. I hope you all find it helpful!

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  1. Why are you so dressed up?

This seems to be the single most common question I get asked by just about everyone. Strangers. People who don’t know me well enough to know this is my look or family who don’t see me regularly. In a world where looking casual is the aim, I’m well aware I’m constantly perceived as overdressed by pretty much everyone with my petticoat, back seamed stockings and red lips. I learnt early on that these comments have nothing to do with me personally, but more their projection of their own beliefs and how they view themselves. For example, most times this question is politely curious. Though I’ve noticed certain demographics can be rude about it. I find people lash out because they feel by you overdressing you are highlighting their state of self-perceived under dress and feel attacked. When in reality, I don’t give thought to anyone else when I choose my look other than myself. There is nothing wrong with dressing up if its what you want, just like there’s nothing wrong with dressing down either.

It can be hard but its important that you remember that you dress for your own enjoyment and that there’s nothing wrong with dressing outside the norm of fashion trends. Its an expression of self after all and not everyone feels at home in modern/fast fashion styles. When comments are polite I generally just let them know this is just how I dress and negative ones I tend to ignore. You don’t have to justify your style to anyone.

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2. Are you going to a play/races/wedding/some sort of special event/work at any store with a possible retro vibe?

This question is probably my favorite for comical reasons because I get it even when context would indicate that’s not the case. I’ve gotten this in shopping centres, while I’m doing my groceries, waiting for the train, on the train, while eating my lunch in the park near my world, walking through the city, at the service station. You get the idea. Most people perceive that I’m dressed up because I’m going somewhere which requires smart casual/formal dress. Its their way of trying to understand why you aren’t dressed like everyone else I find and this comment pretty much always comes from a place of curiosity, even though if I have a shopping trolley full of groceries its kind of obvious I’m not off to a wedding in the immediate future (see actual photo of me glammed up below, being papped by my partner after being asked a few times where I was going that day lol).

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In this instance I tend to politely explain to people that this is just how I dress. No I’m not off anywhere, I’m just doing everyday things. I imagine to them I look like the modern equivalent of a Disney princess doing something completely ordinary like a grocery shop. But the reality is this is just me and this is what I dress like.

I also find too if there is a store of any kind that has a slight retro feel in any way, people will automatically assume you work there. I’ve had this numerous times with a store here in the Sydney CBD to the point I’ve had women come up and just start talking to me about stock coming into the store soon while I stand in line to buy my lunch, only for them to get flustered and embarrassed when I have no idea what they’re talking about because I don’t actually work that the store. I get this even when I’m not wearing clothes from that particular shop. In this instance I try and just be as polite as possible as they’re generally pretty embarrassed when you say you don’t work there. This comment normally follows on from my first one and I get the two as a pair.

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3. Are you wearing a costume?

How often I get this one really depends on the outfit I’m wearing. When I go for the more dramatic looks, I definitely have this question thrown at me. I find a big part of this question comes from not understanding that pinup is actually an everyday fashion and I can kind of get why people who aren’t exposed to our community would think that. I mean a quick look on costume box.com and you can find an array of retro themed costumes and accessories, lending themselves to the super stereotypical poodle skirt diner girl to more grease stylising. Most are surprised when I explain its not a costume, they’re my clothes and this is just how I dress. I find with this comment most people don’t mean offense, they just don’t understand.

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4. Compliments

I’m very grateful that on a whole, most of the comments I get from strangers on my look are compliments and most actually come from women. While some of my outfits get this more than others, its generally women who stop me to tell me I look lovely and occasionally the more mature gentleman. Oddly I very rarely get compliments from men my own age on my look. I think its because my style is so far outside the norm. Compliments are always lovely and can definitely make you feel nice, especially if you’re nervous/new to pinup and not used to the attention. One comment I get a lot from more mature women that always makes me a little sad is that they wish they could dress like I am. It can take a lot of guts to step outside the trends and make yourself visible. It also takes a lot of guts to approach a stranger to offer a compliment. So while I can sometimes be completely caught off guard, I always thank them and wish them a wonderful day.

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5. Negative comments

Sadly, as I said earlier that sometimes people’s projections onto you mean you sometimes get negative comments. Most of the negative comments I personally receive are from men my own age or middle aged/mature women and most come from a place of finding my style absurd/ridiculous or generally not understanding why I dress the way I do. Please try not to let these negative comments get to you and stop you enjoying your look! Remember, their comments are a reflection of who they are not you and you aren’t obligated to carry their baggage for them.

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6. It must take you hours to get ready

Rounding this post off with the last one I get a fair bit of! As a seasoned pinup, my morning routine of a decent shower, MUAH, foundations, picking my outfit, getting dressed, packing my bag and taking photos for my social media accounts takes me around an hour. But I’ve been doing this for years, so I’ve got my routine and I’m in practice. There’s a common misconception that pinups take forever to get long, but I’ve brushed out a set and done my make up faster at the gym than a woman doing modern waves with a straighter and a more modern make up look. People are always surprised when I tell them it doesn’t take me that long though I always add I’ve been doing it for a long time. Like anything, practice makes perfect and as you get better timing becomes quicker. I personally love getting these comments on a second day updo as I like seeing their confusion when I say its ‘yesterday’s hair’, before explaining that I scarfed it for wear the day after too. I find these questions again come from a place of curiosity and they’ve lead to some fun conversations with people, especially on the train to and from work for me.

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I hope you’ve all enjoyed this blog post and that its maybe shone some light on the kinds of feedback you’ll get from strangers in regards to how you dress! As I’ve said a few times, please just remember not to take any negativity on board and just focus on the positive. I love how the way I dress can brighten people’s day and its such a powerful thing when you think about it!

Til next time!

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How Pinup is changing my life

This is a post I’ve had in draft form for a while…sitting…. gathering dust as I try and figured the right way to full articulate what I’ve had on my mind in the last 12 months and the best way to express the amazing feelings I’ve had.
Me with my Mum, Brothers and Sisters (2016)
The wild ride of 2015-2016 saw my biggest growth not just as a person but also online and I wanted to share a bit of that with you, as I know many of you only get to see my ‘pinup persona’ through social media. For those who don’t know: I’m the eldest daughter in a family of 5 kids. We’re a mixed family (I have 4 siblings: 2 half-brothers and 2 half-sisters, with 2 brother and sister duos coming two the same dad. I’m the lone wolf, the only one to my father) ranging from 5 years old upto myself at 26. I also have a background of aboriginality, though my german/dutch father means I am white passing, unlike some of my other family members. Growing up I never went without though my family was not well off. I was raised by a headstrong woman who now as an adult I know did the best she could to bring me up in climates that were often chaotic and difficult, though they definitely helped shape me into the woman I am today. I went to a lot of different schools as a kid due to my parent’s work commitments and that lead to me finding it hard to mark long term friends. By the time high school hit I was quite studious too which impacted some social connections even more. I always felt like ‘the new kid’ and just as I began to lose that stigma, I was moved again. I do believe it’s this moving around a lot, coupled with other significant events in my teens that I won’t mention in this post, which have caused me as an adult to feel rather isolated social and to struggle with social anxiety after high school as I entered adult hood. People can be intimidating to me. I am fully aware I can struggle to maintain social connections, especially when I’m super busy. I am pretty self-sufficient and need my own company to recharge after social events, though I do love sharing company with similar passions. In high school, I had my group of friends but I still never quite felt like I fit and I certainly wasn’t really ‘known’ by a lot of people, in the scene of being ‘popular’, that was certainly never me. This is by no means a poor me kind of post though, knowing where I come from is important to help share what I’m feeling now.
Me in early high school
My outfit for my 21st Birthday

 

Out with friends at 21

 

22 years old post workout

 

Out to dinner with my ex in 2012
As I’ve said before, I started my online spaces as a weight loss/fitblr style blog. I was a recovering binge eater. It became my world. While I recovered from my binging habits in the early 2010s, I had very poor self-image due to the environments I was exposed to had some very shallow notions about body image, other people’s bodies/health and self love. I was completely lost and floundering in my attempt to try and find myself. At the time I was a complete ‘fashion tragic’. I admired the pinup girls I found online and followed but didn’t feel good enough to embrace the style myself (something I’m now aware I was definitely not alone in!).  I bought my first pinup dress of ebay and slowly began to experiment around age 22-23 from memory. As my interest grew, I tried to learn more and in turn, I slowly began to grow too. While I was very much still a ‘baby’ pinup, it gave me the confidence to question things I felt where wrong in my relationship at the time. It helped me find my voice. It helped me learn to stand up for myself, which lead to some big life changes, namely the end of a toxic relationship and the beginning of a major period of self growth.
Over the past few years in pinup I’ve modelled, been published internationally and phased out old items in my wardrobe to now at 26 I wear pinup pretty much 98% of the time. I started a blog in 2014 to help better answer a lot of the questions I got posed on social media platforms like Instagram. I remember being so scared to start my blog. I didn’t feel good enough to pinup blog. There were so many girls who were so amazing doing it. But I did it anyway and over the past 18 months especially my blog and my online following have snowballed, surpassing anything I certainly ever anticipated when I started my social media spaces.
Baby Pinup 2013
2014

 

2015 
Over the past 18 months especially I grew and learnt a better place of self love and acceptance. I began to identify as an intersectional feminist. I began to understand the struggles of those less entitled than myself, magnified through being a white passing aboriginal woman in Australia compared to others in my family. I’ve connected with some amazing women from all walks of life (transwomen included) to better expand my understanding of what I believe in and how it can impact others. I wanted to share my love of corsets (something I’ve been somewhat obsessed with since living near a corsetry at 10 years old) and my deepening love of foundations as a way of being not only honest with women about my body (which isn’t ‘perfect’ by our narrow minded society) but to also find a better place of body love within myself. This growth especially has lead me to be a stronger woman with a stronger will, a better sense of self and a deeper understanding of who I am. It also took me to learning to look at myself as a whole person and embrace the negative sides of who I am too, something I find society seems to ignore. No one is perfect and we all have to have an internal balance of positive and negative traits, though some definitely err on both. Accepting and growing within myself has helped me be the happiest I’ve ever been. I have my own small business, being able to blog like I am and fuelling that passion is an incredible feeling and I feel so truly blessed for the opportunities life is throwing my way. Those who know me behind the scenes know how hard I work at my blog and my business, how busy I am with so much on my plate as well as a full time job, the high standards I hold myself too and often my inability to ask for help when I probably should. I am far from perfect and I am ok with this because really, no one is.
2017 – Photo by Phil Ingram
Now with my following growing, I began to find people could pick me out at events or even when I was just out. I’ve had anonymous messages via my tumblr telling me they saw me out at place X.  I’ve introduced myself at events and person has already known who I was. I’ve had people cry when meeting me and fangirl, much to my confusion and in one case concern. I get so many amazing comments, DM’s and emails from women, simply wanting to extend a message to express their own feelings about how by simply sharing what I believe in and who I am, they’ve been impacted positively in their own lives…these messages can simply leave me speechless. It’s such an incredibly amazing…yet also foreign feeling that I could impact someone like that. In reality, I still feel like the no body I was in high school. I often feel lost when people know who I am when I introduce myself. Social events and connecting with people is still a struggle and I still find it so incredibly amazing that I am able to help empower and inspire other women…simply by sharing on social media. It literally blows my mind and I guess I still haven’t really ‘caught up with it all’ in my own head.
2017 – Photo by Phil Ingram
As someone with anxiety, I find social media a great forum to share my (excuse my Bratz quote) “passion for fashion” as it gives me control over when I connect. I mean I may seem confident online with connecting but you should see me try and call my doctor to make an appointment over the phone…….disastrous! ….however I think people can often forget that behind the pretty pictures, pretty hair….real people do exist. I am a real person. Something I do try and share online as well as pretty content. I certainly don’t wake up look pinup pretty. I’m not perfect. I wear corsets and foundation to achieve certain looks. I look quite different without makeup and styled hair. Having a business based around hand made products I’m normally in baggy trackies or shorts with a sports bra around the house (doing everything but being active in my active wear) so I keep my pinup clothes free of glue and unnecessary glitter. I have days when I can’t be bothered.  I’ve worked hard for what I have, even though it’s not a lot and I’m proud of that. My life is far from pinup perfect and I’m not perfect either.
Pinup for me and being able to share my love of it through social media is literally changing my life. What that means for me yet I still don’t know, though I’m grateful to be able to have the positive impact I have had so far and I hope to be able to be able to keep doing what I’m doing. I wanted to share as I know from a lot of publications and posts in the past 12 months that a lot of new gals can feel intimidated by pinup and not feel ‘good enough’. But really, we’re all just people. We all started as beginners and if the people around you make you feel not good enough for anything they aren’t the kind of people you want to be around. Pinup for me is fun and bright and being able to visually show my moods, my interests and my personality. There is no wrong way to do that, at least not to me. Its a medium to grow and blossom for me and I love I have that opportunity.
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I just wanted to take a minute to thank you all so much for taking the time to read this, for following me and for sharing with me. I gain such inspiration from the amazing people I get to interact with on social media and without you all I wouldn’t be who I am today. Its also helped me connect with some amazing women I now consider friends, which I think is truly incredible.So, thank you.

Being the best pinup you ~ Thoughts on the pinup scene and being true to you

I’ve been brewing on this post for a while, especially after talking to Laila Shalimar after she released her article in the last Adore Pinup Magazine, discussing the impacts on body image from pinup online social media. I guess, I just wanted to share my own thoughts and insights into this, as well as a bit of my own journey because one thing that is important to me is keeping it real.
I’ve noticed a lot of the comments I get now are from ladies online, especially those new to the scene imply perfection….something I very much am not and something that makes me a little squeamish to receive.
Pre-Pinup Me
Believe it or not, I wasn’t always a pinup. I actually started my online journey as a weight loss blog! Despite liking the style since my mid teens I didn’t really work up the courage to actually try it until I was in my early 20s, when I bought a second hand hell bunny dress off ebay at 21. I used to be a bit of a fashion victim (I really have no head for mainstream fashion) and after experimenting for 12 months with pinup on weekends, I finally took the plunge and went my dream hair colour of red and worked on becoming a scarlet haired pinup. Now, it took a lot longer and was filled with a lot more struggle than I anticipated.
My early years were filled with a lot of cringe worthy moments. My first wetset came out like an afro that as so knotted I had to soak it in the bath before I could wash it. My eyeliner took 3 years to get to something relativity ‘on fleck’ and to not resemble a single curved texta line up the side of my eye. I didn’t even know what eyeshadow was til year 3 of dressing retro (its actually something I’m STILL learning now!). Some of my outfits also were a major miss and I look back and have to laugh. As a beginner I had no idea about the varying types of stockings and thought shapewear was a torture device (how times have changed there!).  Why so many bungles? Simple, because I was a beginner. I think this is something a lot of ladies that come to the “pinup scene”, whether online or real world overlook. A lot of retro girls have been doing the style for a number of years and they have it down to an art. One of my favourite quotes is to not compare your start to someone else’s middle. Remember literally everyone starts as a beginner. Everyone.
One of my first pinup looks
Pinup year 1
Pinup year 3

 

First wetset

 

Casual day year 2
Now at 26, I am I guess what I’d call a more ‘seasoned’ pinup. I’m fortunate enough to work in a job that affords me the ability to dress how I want (within reason, there are certain things I can’t wear to work for obvious ‘not being work appropriate’ reasons) and that allows me to continue my freedom of expression via clothing, I also know this is a luxury not every woman who likes the style is afforded. Years of working out what works best for my hair means I have mostly good hair days and I wear retro makeup daily. I started a blog based around sharing my knowledge of pinup at the start of last year and it’s taken off more than I ever expected. I do a fair amount of photo shooting, blogging and collaborating which means my Instagram is generally  full of pretty ootd photos, mostly good hair days and exciting mail deliveries. Comments from many women imply they feel I’m living the dream ‘instagram pinup’ life. I have a growing following, I get to wear great outfits and I do photoshoots.

 

 

I do however try and keep it real online. My life is far from “perfect”.  I do live in a nice apartment with my partner with our small amount of second hand furniture:  we began rebuilding our own lives as solo livers mid this year so we don’t have a lot. Being 26 and living as an adult means I have to plan and budget my purchases, I can’t just splurge because I want to. I work my full time job in administration Monday-Friday which involves an hour a day train commute as well as a half hour round trip walk to and from the station. I’m very grateful to have my job but it does take up a fair chunk of my time and as a creative mind I can find it a bit brain numbing at times. Ontop of this I also have my own small business, Daisy Jean. Small businesses are a lot of work, more than I think people online really understand. While I dress pretty during the day for my job, it generally comes off the moment I walk in the door at home (I don’t want to get craft supplies on my nice things) and my evenings are mostly spent huddled over my work desk creating new store stock, filling/prepping orders and working on balancing the websites. With my blogging also being busier than ever it means nights allocated to creating content (I’m working on some AWESOME stuff right now!), building my new platform for a change in the new year and a lot of emails and coordination. My weekends are normally crammed with not just fitting in photo shoots, stock making, stock runs, spending time with my man, general domestic duties I didn’t fit during the week and the never ending list of Adhoc that is the forgotten tasks of my busy life. I often joke I need a day between Saturday and Sunday just to get everything done!
As those who follow my Instagram know, I talk quite openly about my anxiety. I developed social anxiety while I was with my ex and it’s something I still something I battle with. As a result I don’t have much to do with my local “pinup” scene. I saw its dark underbelly earlier this year when I became the target of bullying from other small business owners and basically withdrew. I don’t really have much available time to deal with that sort of behaviour or tolerance for such childish antics. So I just keep it a bit distant now days and I’m more selective of the events I attend. In regards to the online pinup scene, having been in it for quite a while I’ve found a number of amazing women that I love following. But I know in my own experience I can often feel left out/not good enough/etc. While ‘pinup’ is viewed as an amazing body positive movement, it’s not always all body inclusive and as a girl with a pear shaped figure I often feel I don’t ‘fit’ the image that the scene idolises. I do work really hard to not let these negative voices get to me, as I know it’s all crap (my body is fab, weight regardless) but I wanted ladies to know that even I don’t feel ‘enough’ in pinup at times. That is something I think all women go through to some degree and that it’s not something you experience alone. I’ve also found as my ‘popularity’ has increased online as has the negativity I receive. I don’t post about it but the more visible you are online, the more of a target you become for people. I’ve seen some pretty mean stuff happen to women in the scene (both online and local) as well as been on the receiving end of some myself, some so nit picky I literally couldn’t believe it. Tall poppy syndrome is very much a thing in the retro scene and this is something I find really disheartening. I also find it a bit bizarre to be referred to as perfect. For the most part I feel like a pretty regular girl, just like everyone else.
I wanted to wrap up this post with some advice I have for ladies about pinup. Whether they are in it, new to it, thinking about it or on their way out of it: just do you! I use this mantra a lot and I apply it to pinup in my own life. Pinup really is a way of dressing, with a lifestyle attached that is not necessarily a requirement. All our lives are different, so make it work for you. If you only do it occasionally, it doesn’t make you any less of a retro girl. If you dress it all the time it doesn’t make you superior to anyone else. If you don’t want to do it anymore as it doesn’t fit, that’s not an issue either. Your goal should always be about working on your own happiness and your own life rhythm, something unique to you.
Pinup doesn’t fix body image either, which is a notion I’m seeing in increasing amounts which worries me. It’s not a magic wand waving transformation that cures all your body woes. But it is what you make it and it can be a great tool for helping you learn to embrace your body. You are ‘good enough’ from the start because pinup is all part of the journey. It’s one reason I love it so much, it’s not stagnant. My style evolves and grows with new things. We all keep learning new things and that’s one reason it’s so awesome. Please try and focus on the things you achieve (nailing that eyeliner, getting through a day without your stockings unclipping, a great wetset, an awesome etsy find) and not the comparisons that will steal your glory. Remember, another woman’s beauty doesn’t make you ugly by default. Rejoice in your own unique you.
Sadly, like all ‘scenes’ pinup can be clicky. It’s just a fact. But you don’t have to be part of a scene just because you dress pinup. I only had ‘online’ pinup friends for ages before I developed real life ones. Again, there are no set rules or guidelines for how to pinup socially. Socialise with who makes you feel good, embrace what works for you and just keep rocking it. In regards to Tall poppy syndrome change starts with you, so try and lift others up and in turn you will be lifted. That’s my motto in life anyway.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and as always I am more than happy to answer any comments or questions in the comments.
Please ladies know you aren’t alone in this. But also know you aren’t inferior either. You are all such amazing women, no matter how you dress or how you look.

 

Lets talk foundations…because I honestly get asked ALL the time!

Morning darlings!
Kmart Bra, Orchard Corset mesh underbust, What Katie Did suspender belt and stockings

I didn’t have a post originally intended today but after a few comments I’ve gotten recently online when I’ve posted my foundation garments, I felt this post was a little….necessary.

Kmart Bra, What katie did Morticia Corset, suspender belt and stockings

Its no secret that I wear foundation garments. I make a point of posting my foundations because I use them to make to manipulate my natural shape to create the shapes I want under clothes. I do this to achieve a certain look but also because I enjoy how foundation garments feel. I share not just to show women how the shapes are created but also because for me personally I think its unethical to let women believe my body looks a certain way when it doesn’t. Its a bit like old school photoshop. And as someone who believes in body positivity I don’t think pretending my body looks a certain way when it doesn’t really is not setting a good example for the ladies who follow me who may struggle with their own body confidence.

La Senza Bra, Orchard Corset and Rago Panty Girdle

In 2015 I really fell in love with corset regularly and most days I wear one for around 8-10 hours, depending on what I’m doing. I wear suspenders a lot of the time, with the exception of SUPER hot Sydney days this summer. I’m starting to brand out more into more authentic cuts of bra as well as girdles. No I do not find these uncomfortable. I personally find them to be more comfortable than ‘modern’ lingerie. Recently on one of my foundation photos (pictures above) I got my first ever negative response from people, but I did note these people were people who had very little understanding of what real foundations actually do.

First let me say what I wear is primarly reproduction vintage as well as some true vintage foundation pieces.These are no even in the same world as the kmart and target ‘shapewear’ you see. These are firm fitting, designed to smooth and create a vintage shape of a small waist and smooth hips. Some are definitely a wriggle to get into but after abit of practice its only really added maybe 5 minutes max onto my morning dressing routine. It doesn’t take anywhere near as long as newbies think it does. If you follow Elinor of the Nylon Swish on Periscope she posts photos showing her getting dressing in the morning. It doesn’t take long at all.

Kmart Bra, Kiss Me deadly Girdle, Myer stockings

Using the bathroom is also a BIG one I get comments on a lot. No, wearing a corset does not affect my ability to use the bathroom. When using the bathroom in my panty girdle I just pull it down like underwear and back up. Same deal goes for suspender belts. I literally pull it down from the top, suspenders still clipped and then back up when I’m done. It might add at max and extra 1-2 minutes to a toilet trip, which hardly really affects the overall experience.

Revival Suspender belt, Kmart High waisted undies, What katie did stockings
Then I’ve been starting to get negative comments from people who clearly follow mainstream trends and like to wear simple bras and undies combos which is fine. Why I do what I do isn’t anyone else’s business. I don’t share it for women who think that foundations are a waste of time/unattractive. My posts aren’t for them. My posts are for the women who are interested, who I want to know how I achieve shapes and those who don’t judge others on what works for them just because its outside their own personal preferences.
Sorry to rant a bit darlings, I’ve just been getting this a LOT lately and its been driving me a bit barny!
Thank you for the read!
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Why I used to think dressing like a grandma was a bad thing ~ How I couldn’t relate to pinup/vintage growing up

I used to find vintage to be….interesting in my youth. A lot of people use to term it ‘dressing like your grandmother’ but to me that never meant sense because my grandmother wasn’t a pinup.
Now I know that last comment may confuse some of you as most pinups, especially true vintage wearing ladies who aim to pull that aesthetic, but in reality I’ve never really seen many photos of my grandmother in her youth at all let alone looking like the ‘traditional pinup woman of the 1950’s like you see. I’ve popped an example below.
 
Real portrait of a 1950’s woman. Credit click here
You see, while I am very white (courtesy of German and Dutch heritage on my fathers side. My mother calls me her milk chocolate as I’m very fair compared to others in my family), my grandmother is half Aboriginal and half Irish, which means in the 1950’s she was labelled as a half cast. I interviewed my grandmother during high school for my Society and Culture project (which I must add, revolved around ice cream!) and discovered that she had a very hard life as a result. She worked most of her life in house keeping as that’s primarily all her position would allow her to do and that also meant no pretty clothes, no make up, no nice hair and almost no photos. Primarily her life consisted of family and a lot of hard work. 
 
I’ve never seen a photograph of my grandmother in her youth, like the one above. In fact, the youngest photo I’ve ever seen of my grandmother is from her wedding day with my grandfather, in her early 40’s. 
 
I’ve always been a bit envious of gals who can look at portraits of their grandmothers and see a resemblance (my physical resemblance to my family is minimal) as thats something I’ve never had. While its been amazing to grow into pinup and really embrace who I am it also highlighted to me how much the world has changed, not only in regards to fashion but how we treat people in our society. We do have a long way to go in a lot of aspects, but we have still come a long way from where we were.
 
Just a little post I wanted to share with you all incase there were other ladies out there who couldn’t relate to ‘vintage’ growing up due to their family experiences too. To the grandma’s who weren’t pinup perfect, like mine.
 
 
Til tomorrow!