I have been making all sorts of big, fun, and even life changing decisions lately - one if which is deciding to embrace my inner pinup, Lady Lipstick. I feel like I need a better pinup name though!
It all started almost ten years ago, when I went to my first Peggy Sue Car Show and Cruise in Santa Rosa, CA. This is an annual car show that bring the vintage car community and pinups together, and something my family looks forward to each summer.
Year after year I would dress up in a pencil skirt, or high wasted shorts, corset, and high high heels. The best part, and if you know anything about me this is so obvious: the hair and makeup! I have gotten good with pin curls, winged liner, and ruby red lips.
Five years ago, someone asked me if I won the pinup contest. What? There's a pinup contest?! I had no idea! So I replied no, I did not win, but thank you for the compliment.
Then another stranger asked if I won the pin up contest. Ok, I think, this is too cool! I decide the next person who asks if I won, I would say yes!
I was not asked again, and was a bit heartbroken.
I did not have the confidence years ago to enter a contest like that, so I blew it off. Every year I thought about it, but couldn't.
This year however, is a new year. I decided to enter. Eek!
I had no idea how I would be judged, and what the criteria really was. So again, in true Jen fashion, I researched like none other about the pinup contest world. And it really is a whole world, a whole community and lifestyle.
There are professional pinups out there, like Cherry Dollface, Miss Rockabilly Ruby, and Ginger Watson, all of whom I found on YouTube. Some of these women go from car show to car show, and contest to contest and win them! I had no idea, not surprised though.
Being a pinup is not easy! There is a lot that goes into it. There is a lot of preparation for hair and makeup, deciding on the right outfit, and knowing what kinds of questions will be asked. Yeah, there's a Q and A, and it's important too!
For this contest, the most important criteria was hair, makeup and wardrobe. Next is personality that had to shines through during the Q and A portion on stage.
Before getting into the contest though, I had to submit a few photos, and a brief bio. Based on that, I was chosen to participate in the contest - a pre-contest contest, I felt!
I had no photos, and very limited 'pinup wardrobe', so I talked with my friend and borrowed some awesome pieces. I had my very own, mini photo shoot with my husband as a photographer and did some selfies to create a bio.
It took days to hear back that I was accepted to be in the contest. When I finally got word that I was in, I was too excited!
After all my practice over the years, I felt confident about getting the hair and makeup right. And I found an awesome dress, along with hair accessories and sunglasses on Amazon. It was a hard choice in dresses, so many that I liked.
I decided on the Killreal because it is a dress I can wear to work without the need of a sweater, and I could see using it many times. I also got the petticoat from Grace Karin for that 50's puffy skirt.
As I mentioned before, I looked up YouTube videos for inspiration on different hair styles, and to see what a contest looks like. I like to be prepared people!
I got the to fairgrounds where the car show was being held, with over 900 cars on display, their owners, and all the spectators. Within 3 minutes I had people asking to take my picture! Holy! So awesome.
We were announced, one by one, so we could say hello to the crowd, and tell a little about ourselves. Before moving to the next girl we were asked a question.
I was prepared to answer what does being a pinup mean to me, or what inspires me about the rockabilly lifestyle, or what is my favorite vintage car ('49 Mercury coupe, chop top, slightly lowered, and painted matte metallic black cherry).
To my surprise, I was asked why I chose to wear a dress with polka dots.
What I should have said was that I was torn between the vintage inspired dress I chose, and a Rosie the Riveter outfit to show that I work on cars with my husband.
That in fact, I have done most of the labor on the car we are currently working, from stripping the wiring, to dismantling the pedal assembly, even building up the rear sub frame.
And I even know what in talking about!
Really Jen, um, I mean really Lady Lipstick? Ugh.
That could have gone so much better. "Polka dots are cute", oh man.
After we were all introduced, and answered our questions, we were asked to exit the stage.
They announced the top three. The pin up I KNEW was going to win (so obvious, she has to have won so many of these contests before! ) was called as 3rd place.
Oh, I think.
The one pinup who chose to wear pants, and was too cute, called in 2nd place. Huh? Oookkaaayyyy.
"And our winner, Miss Peggy Sue 2017 is Laaady Liiipstick!"
Shock. Awe. Racing heart beat. You-know-what eating grin. Wow.
I walked back on stage, had the sash placed on me by last year's Miss Peggy Sue, handed a plaque, and asked to address the crowd again.
I told everyone about how Peggy Sue has inspired me for years, so much so that I had planned an event at the store I was working at 36 miles away for just the next day with a retro rockabilly theme! When I had planned it I didn't know Peggy Sue was the same weekend, I just knew it was time to be a pinup again!
I won $300 in cash, a pinup photo shoot from Ronephoto, a beautiful hair flower, a fascinator, a $50 certificate for Mary Kay with complimentary consultation, and a ride in the coolest cars and trucks for the cruise downtown!
I was also in the newspaper, and before leaving the show, I was able to do an impromptu photo shoot with a '49 Mercury coupe, chop top!
This experience has been amazing, inspirational, motivating, and rewarding.
One of the best rewards is that my husband even posed with me for a picture, and that is huge he HATES pictures!
I can't wait to do the photo shoot, we are thinking of doing it with vintage airplanes! I'll post some photos of that later, after we do.