Hi my name is Katty, I blog at Chronicles of a Sweet Tooth, and I am a pinup model. I don’t let the description define my whole identity, but it is a large part of who I am. I have been modeling in the vintage/retro/tattoo realm for 4 years and I swear each year bigger and better things happen.
If you are not familiar with the “pinup” genre, please, let me introduce you to the most magical part of my life. Most people a familiar with Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page, Jean Harlow. These women kind of paved the way for modern “pinup models”. The name originated from images of women being pinned up to barracks, walls, tents, etc during war time by soldiers, and it has translated to an art form for modern day, vintage loving models.
I kind of stumbled into this art a few years ago by shear happenstance. I have always loved vintage clothing and aesthetics, so naturally I shop at stores that make those types of clothing available. I was introduced to a local photographer that specialized in pinup photography, and after shooting with them, found myself published in some international magazines such as Retro Lovely, Skin and Ink and AtomicBombshells Magazine. I was blown away by the response I got, and decided that if people liked seeing this images enough, then perhaps it is something I should look into.
I have formed a lot of great bonds with wonderful vintage and reproduction clothing companies along the way and have been privileged enough to model for Sourpuss Clothing and have a weekly feature for Steady Clothing.
Along with all the amazing opportunities that I have been given, there are sometimes a few haters out there that make it hard along the way. First, since I am heavily tattooed, I get a lot of flack for not being a vintage “purist” meaning that I don’t look exactly like a woman straight out of the 1940’s or 50’s. To me, I don’t let it get me down, because obviously this is not 1945. I get the ability to live my life with retro glamour, but all the liberties of being a woman of the new millennium, and that means covering my body in the artwork I choose. My body, my life. Second, I am a woman that has curves. This can be appreciated and it can be slammed. The great part of being a curvy build is retro styled dress it tailored for curvy, hourglass figures. Yay! But in the same breath, being a model means you are putting your body, your self, out there for judgement. Even though I think society is gaining by leaps and bounds, the acceptance of body positivity, there are still people that will comment that I am too big to be a model, or that I am plus sized. Again, technically by my measurements I don’t wear plus sized clothing, but to the model standards I actually am plus sized. It is something I just have to let roll off my back, because I am comfortable in my own skin, and I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
How to get into pinup modeling
If you think you would be interested in getting into pinup or alternative modeling the best advice I can give is start out small. Start to contact a photographer, that is local to you, and book a session. The key to this, or something you need to know, is you are going to have to spend some money up front, to pay for sessions, wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc to get your portfolio started. Once you have built a solid portfolio, you will have the ability to approach modeling agencies, or start working for trade, or even start getting paid as a working model.
This is not an industry for everyone. You do have to be self motivated, creative, and develop a thick skin! I do encourage you to start looking up models that you think have a good esthetic, or images that you get inspiration from and perhaps send them a message for guidance! Getting a mentor is a great plan, and will help you navigate, sometimes unchartered territory.
Rad Gal, Rad Gig is a new feature on The Clueless Girl's Guide where I invite really neat gals to share their really cool stories. Whether your gig is a full-time job or just a hobby, I want to hear from you! If you think you'd be perfect for Rad Gal, Rad Gig, feel free to get in touch or view the information on the Submissions page! Just submit a short description of what you do and why you think it's rad!