Last weekend I attended (and judged) the NSW heats of the Miss Pin Up Australia contest. Now that I’ve been to two of these events, I have to say that I’m in awe of the lovely ladies who are participating – to get four outfits together (day wear, evening wear, swimwear and lingerie) complete with accessories and props, plus a performance for the talent section (or two if you’re fortunate enough to be running in two categories) and then get up there on stage under the lights and cameras, in front of everyone and channel all the glamour of a ’40s-’50s cheesecake model – well, that takes guts. I have to hand it to you, ladies – you’re amazing! Everyone of you deserves to win.
When I judged the Victorian heats, I was close enough to see many of the ladies shaking through the first round, and my guess is that they weren’t the only ones – but (total troopers), they all got on with the show.
The winners in each category – who will now go onto the national finals in January – are:
– Miss Perfect Pin Up – Miss Bunni Lambada.
– Miss Illustrated Pin Up – Miss Elle Ray.
– Miss Va Va Voom – Miss Cherry Lush.
– Miss Classic Pin Up – Miss Gigi Vine.
Here are my pics – in no particular order: I haven’t named all of them so you’re welcome to enlighten me. If any of the contestants would like larger copies, please let me know and I’ll send them to you.
On a less fabulous note, I must mention that there has been a bit of confusion about the purpose of Miss Pin Up Australia. There are some who see it as a beauty pageant and as such, demeaning to women.
Whilst it’s true that some of the ladies are naturally beautiful, Miss Pin Up is a celebration of vintage glamour, and beauty is not one of the criteria that is judged. Points are scored for vintage styling: hair, make up, fashion and accessories, as well as the all important vintage poses. Miss Pin Up entrants are encouraged to engage, charm and entertain the audience.
The original Pin Ups of the ’40s and ’50s were girls-next-door or glamourpusses, seeking to boost soldierly morale and remind them that they were missed back home. They were sweet, fun and ladylike – demure or aloof, they were never sleazy or badly behaved (except in the most charming manner).
Women during this time didn’t enjoy the rights that nowadays we can take for granted, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy some of their lifestyle. I’m glad that the WW2 War Bride experience passed me by, but there’s no harm in dressing like one sometimes, if that’s what I want. For me, this is what feminism is about: giving women the choice to do as they wish.