This is a post Iâ€™ve had in draft form for a whileâ€¦sittingâ€¦. gathering dust as I try and figured the right way to full articulate what Iâ€™ve had on my mind in the last 12 months and the best way to express the amazing feelings Iâ€™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 â€˜pinup personaâ€™ through social media. For those who donâ€™t know: Iâ€™m the eldest daughter in a family of 5 kids. Weâ€™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. Iâ€™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 parentâ€™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 â€˜the new kidâ€™ and just as I began to lose that stigma, I was moved again. I do believe itâ€™s this moving around a lot, coupled with other significant events in my teens that I wonâ€™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 Iâ€™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 wasnâ€™t really â€˜knownâ€™ by a lot of people, in the scene of being â€˜popularâ€™, 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 Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 peopleâ€™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 â€˜fashion tragicâ€™. I admired the pinup girls I found online and followed but didnâ€™t feel good enough to embrace the style myself (something Iâ€™m now aware I was definitely not alone in!). Â 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 â€˜babyâ€™ 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 Iâ€™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 didnâ€™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|
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. Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 isnâ€™t â€˜perfectâ€™ 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 Iâ€™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. Iâ€™ve had anonymous messages via my tumblr telling me they saw me out at place X. Â Iâ€™ve introduced myself at events and person has already known who I was. Iâ€™ve had people cry when meeting me and fangirl, much to my confusion and in one case concern. I get so many amazing comments, DMâ€™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, theyâ€™ve been impacted positively in their own livesâ€¦these messages can simply leave me speechless. Itâ€™s such an incredibly amazingâ€¦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 womenâ€¦simply by sharing on social media. It literally blows my mind and I guess I still havenâ€™t really â€˜caught up with it allâ€™ 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) â€œpassion for fashionâ€ 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 phoneâ€¦â€¦.disastrous! â€¦.however I think people can often forget that behind the pretty pictures, pretty hairâ€¦.real people do exist. I am a real person. Something I do try and share online as well as pretty content. I certainly donâ€™t wake up look pinup pretty. Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 canâ€™t be bothered. Â Iâ€™ve worked hard for what I have, even though itâ€™s not a lot and Iâ€™m proud of that. My life is far from pinup perfect and Iâ€™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 donâ€™t know, though Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 â€˜good enoughâ€™. But really, weâ€™re all just people. We all started as beginners and if the people around you make you feel not good enough for anything they arenâ€™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.
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 wouldnâ€™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.