Pinup culture being embraced by modern women


Pictures: Gabrielle Jeffery
Pinup culture being embraced by modern women
Pinup culture being embraced by modern women
Pinup culture being embraced by modern women
Pinup culture being embraced by modern women
Pinup culture being embraced by modern women
Pictures: Gabrielle Jeffery

THE 1940s and 1950s woman is a creature far removed from women of today.

Encouraged to be the ‘perfect wife’ for their husband; it meant always looking immaculate and subservience.

Instead of taking offence, today women have embraced it and turned it into strength.

With a few tweaks, a modern culture has emerged.

Known collectively as Pinup, it lets women know femineity and being female is okay and definitely not a weakness.

Attracted to this ideal through her own life experience Joanna Illescas Timms created Facebook group Pretty as a Pin-up Gal five months ago.

The closed group for women encourages them to be strong, support each other and flaunt their feminine wiles.

For some it has even been a catalyst for a wave of positivity in their lives .

Ms Illescas Timms is known as ‘Pocket Rocket Betty’.

“I used to be a teddy girl (a youth subculture from London). It was like a greaser. I loved rock’n’roll in my younger days,” she said.

“After years of not accepting my femineity – I was a tomboy for a long time – at a more mature age I started going to Burlesque parties.

“I found it very empowering, it boosted my self-confidence and that it’s ok to be female.”

She said all women were welcome and included those into vintage and rockabilly looks.

“Pinup doesn’t matter what shape, size or age; you’re accepted, everyone’s accepted,” she said.

“The community has a real sisterhood. Women embrace other women’s forms in a safe space.”

Pocket Rocket Betty has become well known at her work.

“I dress pinup all the time. I have become a celebrity at the health food store I work at at the Baldivis Shopping Centre,” she said.

“Little kids come in and want me to do their hair pinup style; they say ‘oh you’re a princess’. Having people rely on me like that has given me a new lease on life and pushed me through my darkest points.”

The group is for like-minded others with an interest in pinup.

“Everyone in the group wants everyone else to succeed,” she said.

“By being who you are you give others permission to be themselves.”

Bonnie Von Torque has a hankering for classic cars.

“I’m from Sydney and I got into pinup through my car. I have a 1965 Stingray Corvette in bright red,” she said.

“I started taking it to car shows and began dressing the part. When I moved to Perth I just attracted this group to me.

“My grandad likes it when I dress pinup so the whole family got involved. We have pinup dress-ups and dinners. It’s a really good atmosphere.”

Brooke Bowman aka Miss Daisy Dounut was inspired after a trip to New York.

“We went to a car show there and everyone was dressed pinup. I loved it,” she said.

“When I came back to Perth I was happy to discover people do it here. I have a small daughter and I use it to inspire her.

“Being a role model for women and to raise each other up rather than put each other down attracts me.”

Monica Fruzynski said pinup helped her with anxiety and depression.

“I was bullied a lot as a kid for being different,” she said.

“I always thought it was a bad thing until I saw a documentary on vintage girls. I realised it is ok. Being different can be a good thing.

“Pinup is the embodiment of female strength. Red lipstick and high heels can put the fear of god in people.

“It’s a supportive community, people will help cook a meal or do the laundry for each other.”

Jess Hunt said her husband created her love of pinup.

“I had lost a lot of weight before pinup but my confidence was really low,” she said.

“He signed off on a photo shoot, Classic Pinups, for me to help get my confidence back. It was about his missus with his mistress; the mistress being a ‘69 Holden Brougham.

“I just like the prettiness. It builds your confidence. If you act like a lady you’ll be treated like one. It helps me show my children that the world has class.”

For Miss Sarah Meow she has made it a business.

“I’ve always been a little bit alternative, as I grew up I realised I had a penchant for the ‘40s and ‘50s,” she said.

“Hubbie said I could open a shop with all my pinup clothes so I thought ‘I think I will’.

Called Madam Squishi, she hosts at the Wanneroo Markets and sells pinup clothes and accessories.

“This group is one of the most inclusive niches I’ve ever seen,” she said.

“Everyone helps each other out. It’s all part of my feminist manifesto!”