Miss Pin Up Australia: NSW heats

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.


  1. Thanks for a fabulous post Nicole! I wish I could have made it down to watch all the NSW action. The girls are absolutely amazing. I have made some wonderful friends through this competition and I only have positive things to say about the competition and the organiser Pixie. Miss Pin Up Australia is all for the love of the 40s and 50s and shows that all women can look fabulous and glamourous no matter who they are! This is what the era is all about and it’s fantastic to see it making such a strong come back! xx

  2. Hello Miss Nicole,
    Thank you so much for your support, which I am sure is easy with such a closely aligned passion. What a great article and some gorgeous pics. It was a blast on the day, all the gals were just lovely. It was an amazing experience pulling everything together and trying to focus on every detail. Cheers for the title, I cant wait for QLD!! You’ll be happy to know I am going vintage shopping mad at the moment. Love Gigi xx

  3. Dearest Miss Nicole,
    I absolutely love your artical, well done!!
    Thankyou so very much for your support and encouragement.
    I am just so thrilled to be apart of something like this. I have always been some what of an individual and to be able to express my love for the 40’s and 50’s in such a way is really so special. I have met some of the most amazing people and made some friends for life. I feel very privileged to be chosen as Miss Illustrated Pin Up especially as i am surrounded with such prestigious company. I have had so much fun getting here and cant wait to do it all again in January at Surf N’ Ink 2010!!!!
    See you then

    Miss Elle Ray xx

  4. Ladies, thank you for your lovely comments: it’s wonderful that Miss Pixie has given us all an opportunity to meet! I can’t wait for the finals, it’s going to be fabulous – all the best to you all – Nicole x

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