Q & A with The Strawberry Bombshell

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I’ve been drawn to the pin up style since I saw Grease when I was a kid.  I started adding stripes and polka dots to my closet when I was 14 but the fear of looking even just a little bit costume-y held me back.  I know a lot of girls interested in this look would like to start off by simply adding some key pieces to their outfits to give a tiny hint of pinup and eventually work their way up.  It’s what I did and it made the transition from emo / goth kid to beautiful pin up a lot easier.

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Not knowing how to incorporate the pin up look to my modern, yet boring outfit for a job interview, I went where fashion inspiration is easily found—Instagram!  I came across The Strawberry Bombshell’s page after a few hashtag searches.  I noticed she’s familiar with the color palette and knows how to mix colors I’ve never had the courage to wear at the same time.  With pieces from Pinup Girl Clothing, Old Navy and Charlotte Russe, The Strawberry Bombshell has one of the most versatile and affordable wardrobes I’ve seen.

If you’re looking to get ideas for a special occasion outfit or for your everyday look, The Strawberry Bombshell will spark your creativity.  She agreed to do a Q & A and I hope you all enjoy getting to know her.  She’s been through highs and lows when it comes to confidence and tells us how pin up helped her feel comfortable in her own skin.

1. Have you always been into vintage-inspired clothing?  When did you start adding retro pieces to your closet?

My love for vintage aesthetic was a natural extension of my affinity for vintage music and that era of history. I grew up around swing music my great uncle and aunt played, and always had a pretty keen interest in World War II as a kid. I can remember being excited about swing revival in the mid-90s and early 2000’s, even though I was still pretty young; it was exciting to hear a fresh take on sounds I’d grown up with. Around that time I can remember really taking notice of vintage styles and lusting after Kate Beckinsale’s wardrobe in Pearl Harbor (2001). Unfortunately my self esteem was a bit lagging, and I tried to fit into trendy stuff in high school and university which usually made my self esteem worse. The first repro-style dress I bought was a cheaply made polka dot wiggle dress from the mall. I didn’t really dive in until I found Pinup Girl Clothing’s website in 2011. It’s been a full fledged love affair ever since!

2.  What is your go-to article of clothing that makes you feel confident?

Pencil skirt or wiggle dress. I used to try to hide my curves but always loved the look of a pencil skirt. To this day I wear them a good 3 or 4 days a week. My specific ‘dress-to-kill’ look? PUG’s Masuimi or Erin dresses. They are my go-to if I want to look like a bombshell but feel like I’m dressed in PJs! They’re so comfortable and sexy.

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3.  What are your favorite brands and why?

I think anybody that follows me close enough has noticed that I wear Pinup Girl Clothing almost everyday. This is a result of my support of their ethos and practice as company; their superior quality in product and service; and my embarrassing tunnel-vision when it comes to online shopping. I stick with what I know. I’ve written pretty extensively on why I love them so much, so I’ll just invite you to visit those blog posts and won’t bore you with the gory details again. I’ll be a life long customer, they impress me to no end. They’re life changers and very passionate about what they do.

I also wear a lot of Joe Fresh because their pieces are classic, simple, versatile and affordable. A lot of my favourite staple pieces are Joe Fresh; I was buying them on sale at a time when I couldn’t afford to online shop. My only gripe with them is that they don’t have the best track record with production and labour practices.

4.  Who is your style icon and why?

It’s a toss up between the entire pinup community and Jeanette Scott of J’s Everyday Fashion. Pinups from all over the world have inspired me to dress in a style I love and find comfort in. I started reading Jeanette’s blog in 2013 when I was unemployed, broke and unable to shop – and she completely blew my mind. She teaches her readers to take what they have in their closet and use inspiration photos to stretch the possibilities in her wardrobe. She is very much focused on a  ‘look for less’ approach, and she encourages everyone to plan their budgets, experiment with new looks, and take inspiration from everywhere. My style confidence increased a lot after reading her blog. I no longer wonder what I can pair certain items with – I can usually find 10-20 different ways to wear something because I’ve studied her approach. That, to me, is fashion practicality!  I highly recommend her blog to anybody; it makes fashion accessible and demystified.

5.  “When accessorizing always take off the last thing you put on.” – Coco Chanel.  Do you agree?  Do you follow other rules when accessorizing?  If so, what are they?

I think that people should wear as much or as little as they want; it has no effect on my life if they chose to over-accessorize. But for me, personally? I don’t have ‘rules’ per se, but I think I sort of have an internal compass which errs on the side of conservative, clean styling. You won’t find a lot of really blingy, trendy things or tons of accessorizing in my style. I’m pretty boring, and it always takes me a long time to come around to anything ‘trendy’ (I started wearing statement necklaces 3 years after everyone else). I always reach for my go-tos: pearl necklace/earrings, gold hoops and chains, cognac-coloured belts and shoes. If I do wear a statement piece, like a necklace or cocktail ring, I try to minimize other accessories and let it speak for itself.

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6.  Solids or prints?

In the last few years I’ve stuck to solids quite a bit out of habit, as I wanted to learn about colour palettes and experiment with mixing them. I am slowly (slowly!) coming around to prints. Again, it takes me a while to come around with experimentation. I push my boundaries slowly and stubbornly, but I do push them. I didn’t dare try print-mixing until this past year! Though I never used to wear leopard at all, I now use it a lot because it goes with literally everything – find me a colour that doesn’t go with leopard! It pairs nicely with polka dots, stripes, and the odd floral as well. In fact, I’m a bit of a fiend for those four prints because they are versatile and easy to style.

7.  What’s your take on how women are portrayed in media?  

Oh man, I could go on about this. Overall I think there’s still a pretty paternalistic treatment of women in mass media. Comments on women’s fashion choices and body shape instead of their accomplishments, job performance, or character are still sickeningly pervasive. There was an article I read a little while ago about an Australian newscaster who wore the same suit for a year straight without comment from his producers or audience; he wanted to prove that the heinous double standard needs to go. I think that the Dove ad campaigns (‘love the skin you’re in’) and recent uproar over Calvin Klein’s poor choice of ‘plus size’ model show that the conversations are changing in favour of body positivity, but I think we’ve got a long way to go in refining the dialogue. I think that a lot of curvy gals who felt sidelined by the status quo for decades feel the logical reaction is to bash thin women as ‘not real’, not realizing this prejudice is as hurtful as any that’s been leveled against curvy women. I’d really like to see the conversation turn towards ‘all women are real women’ to foster an inclusive mentality.

The good news is that the internet is nothing if not the largest peanut gallery in the world, and the bright side of churning out more university grads is that feminist discourse from the institution makes its way into the media and challenges sexism in weird and wonderful ways.  I’ve seen a lot of good blogs, tweets, memes, and articles which lampoon sexist remarks in the media. I’ve seen women put misogynists on blast and shame them quite publicly for their shitty attitudes, and it’s beautiful to watch. In addition, it provides communities of support for women who feel sidelined and alienated by what the status quo is turning out. Pinup is one such community, and you’ll find some of the fiercest defenders of feminism here.

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8.  A couple of months ago, Hollaback!, a movement started by a network of activists around the world working to end street harassment uploaded a video to YouTube of a woman being constantly harassed while walking around New York City.  Have you ever been harassed while walking down the street?  How do you deal with it?  What can women do to put an end to street harassment?

I’ve definitely been harassed while walking down the street, or in bars. My response isn’t usually very ladylike – I’ll flip them off or tell them to get fucked, that kind of thing. I don’t find it’s terribly productive to try to get into a dialogue with catcallers. I think that if you’re getting lewd comments from males in certain defined settings (i.e. ‘friends’ or acquaintances at a party, trolls on your social media page), it’s definitely a bit easier to get a dialogue going and call them out on their behavior and try to deconstruct their shitty attitude. It’s a bit more difficult to get into a conversation about why they’re a misogynist jerk if they’re at a stoplight in their car, or across a busy street, so I limit my conversation to crude retorts in those circumstances.

I think that the best response, if you have a chance, is to publically call out a catcaller for their poor behaviour. Let it be known that not only are you not going to accept the behaviour, you’re going to rip it to shreds rhetorically. If you’re quick on your feet, you can do that on the spot, but sometimes it takes a bit more time and effort for introverts or people who get flustered. I once wrote a letter and posted it on the door of my apartment building after I overheard some idiots making comments outside my window. I’ve seen some bloggers take screen shots of sexist comments on their Instagram and blast them. I also saw a brilliant – BRILLIANT – response to one woman’s catcaller blow up online. The gal totally lambasted this guy in a ‘Missed Connections’ ad. I’m not sure where the original post is now, but there are several articles written about it, this Huffington Post article being one of them.

As much as possible, try to engage the issues that inform the catcaller’s behaviour or attitude, rather than focus on attacking them as a person. Ad hominem attacks and aimless name calling usually fall on deaf ears and don’t accomplish much.

It’s difficult to get over the initial sting of the comment, but if you can harness that anger into a controlled and eloquent response then the payoff is wonderful. You’ll feel like King Kong and hopefully that guy will rethink his poor attitude. At the very least, hopefully he’ll stop catcalling!

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9.  We all go through moments of low self-esteem.  Do you remember a particular moment you didn’t feel so good about yourself?  If so, tell us how you got your confidence back.

I’ve spent a good deal of my life being uncomfortable in my own skin, and I know now that I’m not alone. Women of all shapes and sizes go through it! I didn’t really feel comfortable with my curves and size until I started dressing in pinup clothing on a regular basis. Some of my worst moments of self esteem in the last few years, however, were when I was sick and lost a lot of weight. My weight yoyo’d after a couple of bad bouts of ulcerative colitis and I remember crying myself to sleep because I’d lost my healthy curves that I loved so much and had become so proud of. It was a big turning point for me – to realize that I identified with my curves and size as something healthy and positive for the first time in my life. Sometimes we have to lose what we have to realize how much we miss it. I’m grateful that I had pinup clothing and communities in my life at the time, because even though I’d lost the weight and felt self-conscious after being sick, I knew that I could be beautiful at any weight in this clothing. A lot of pieces I own have fit me beautifully with 30-40 pound weight differences. That’s amazing peace of mind when you’re getting out of the hospital and learning to love your body again!

10.  Other than documenting your adorable outfits, what do you do for a living?  

I’m working in investment banking. I actually began documenting these outfits for myself as a creative outlet during some grueling professional exams last year, while I was trying to gain my licensure for securities trading. My style of dress is a little on the eclectic side for a business environment, so I’m lucky that our office is laid back about fashion choices. I’ve been in banking about 8 years now, and though it’s been an interesting study in people (more so than in numbers!), writing and literature are my first loves. I’m currently trying to figure out how to make my way back to them for a career.

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11.  Any advice to young girls on finding their personal style?

Don’t be afraid to experiment, even if it’s a little at a time. Stick with what works, ditch what doesn’t. If you’re not sure ‘how’ to wear something, or what to wear with it, do a Pinterest search to see that outfit in context. Study the styles of others, and use their inspiration. Emulate other outfit ideas until you find what you’re comfortable in. Fashion is an ongoing conversation, and your mode of dress is your voice in that conversation. It tells people who you are before you even open your mouth, so make sure you’re dressing true to yourself.

12.  As someone who practices practical pin up, what is your definition of a pin up girl?

Anybody who wants practice it. I was quite deliberate in my choice of diction for that phrase; most ‘practices’ do not come naturally, but as the result of habitual repetition. You practice until you make ‘perfect’, or at least become deft at it. The ‘practical’ in practical pinup is an expression of its accessibility. I see a lot of comments from women pinup sites saying ‘I wish I could pull that look off, but I don’t have the [body, time, patience, skill, money, etc] for it.’ They see it as being an unachievable ideal. What I’m trying to demonstrate is that you can pull it off to whatever extent you feel comfortable. It’s not something that is achievable for some and not for others. You can start as simply as incorporating a pencil skirt into your work outfit or going full-bore with glamorous pin-curls, red lips and corseting. You can buy expensive vintage pieces, budget-friendly vintage repro, or thrifted items which are retro-inspired. What matters is that you practice, and practice often.

For myself, I’ve decided my look is equal parts pinup, professional, and preppy. I buy vintage repro and thrifted items, and I incorporate current trends where I want. This is what I’m comfortable in, and that doesn’t have to look the same for everybody. It’s open to interpretation, and we don’t do any favours by having limiting ideas of what pinup should and shouldn’t be. You can do as much or as little of it as you please. The fringe benefits of practicing it are enormous: increased self esteem and body positivity; exposure to supportive communities and media; better understanding of feminism. A pin up girl is somebody who adores her body, respects the bodies of others, owns her sexuality, and dresses accordingly – that is channeling the spirit of pin up, and that can be for anybody. I’d encourage all women to give it a shot.

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For everyday inspiration, follow The Strawberry Bombshell on Instagram and check out her blog!

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I’m “All About That Bass” and here’s why

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I was driving to San Juan the first time I heard this catchy tune.  I was sure it was the artist’s first single because I was not familiar with her voice.  After a little googleing, I learned a bit about Meghan Trainor and was happy to see she was really “not a size two.”  I was sad to learn some people missed the point of the song.  The words “skinny” and “shaming” have been all over my Facebook feed this week followed by the song’s title, “All About that Bass.”  We all know the booty is finally making a comeback in the music industry and I couldn’t be happier.  JLo’s “Booty” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” have been playing almost nonstop on the radio and Iggy Azalea’s lovely pear shape and big butt have been popping up on my Facebook newsfeed constantly.  I admit I do believe “Anaconda” shames skinny women… Well, sort of.  I’m sighing as I’m writing this sentence…. I know have to be very careful when talking about this subject.

Truth is that being skinny is seen as a form of privilege, just like being white, rich or heterosexual in our society.  It is a social benefit.  I believe skinny-shaming is criticism against someone who is already in a position of power.  Fat shaming, on the other hand, is criticism against someone who is not in said position.  Unfortunately, this form of shaming usually goes unacknowledged because we’re already used to it.  So why is skinny shaming causing such noise on social media?  It wasn’t such a big deal with Nicki Minaj’s song, which I consider to be harsh, so why are we freaking out with Meghan Trainor’s?  Oh, and Nicki Minaj used to be a skinny bitch.  Really, just google her.  Her body is the result of numerous plastic surgeries.  Maybe Trainor’s age and the fact that she has an even younger audience is what making poo hit the fan?Another thing that angers me is that people are only focusing on this:

I’m bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches

“Oh my God!  Skinny bitches!  She is definitely skinny shaming.”  Um… No.  People conveniently forget to mention what immediately  follows the words skinny bitches:

No, I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat,
But I’m here to tell you that,
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

She’s playing, guys!  Meghan Trainor think’s you’re perfect even if you’re skinny and believe you’re fat.  So can we please let this go?  You can’t bring booty back because yours isn’t big enough?  Well, thigh gaps are in for some reason and no matter what I do, my thighs will always want to kiss and rub against each other just ’cause they’re sexy like that.  I was overweight for most of my life and just recently was able to shred 30 pounds.  I may be skinny now, but I’m still all about that bass.  I’m not saying skinny shaming is ok but I am saying skinny shaming and fat shaming are not equal.  Both are forms of body shaming but they are very different.

I think the song is a perfect first single for Trainor considering she doesn’t have the body of an ordinary pop star.  It’s a way of saying “hey, this is me, a singer who is not a size two like every other artist out there.”  Let’s be honest, most of us wouldn’t have paid attention if the single was just another love song knowing she is slightly overweight.

The only thing that confused me a little about the video is the part when three girls / backup singers are shown.  They resemble an old Lime Crime campaign.  I believe it was called Pop Romance.  Here’s the evidence:

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Hmmm.  Interesting…

What’s your take on this?  Are you all about that bass or not?

Life: An Update

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 Where we left off

My last blog post was about my Urban Decay Giveaway.  You have until October 31st at 7 PM (Atlantic Standard Time) to enter.  This might help you if you’re like me when it comes to time zones.  I’ll do my best to get home before midnight to announce the winner.  If I can’t make it on time, I’ll let you guys know via Facebook.  If you’re interested in participating, click here for entry rules.

Activities and Fashion

I recently went to an antique car show in San Juan and met up with some of my friends.  Getting there was a hassle, especially after working until 4 AM the night before.  It was worth it, because we were able to take awesome pictures like these:

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While we were there, a couple of little girls said I looked like Katy Perry.  They made my day!

What I wore

I wore my favorite high waisted shorts from Forever 21.  I got them almost a year ago, so they’re not selling them anymore.  Mine are really beat up and in need of a replacement.  I didn’t want to let them go, so I did what I always do:  hunt them down in Google Images.  After looking at dozens and dozens of pictures, I finally found them.  I discovered Poshmark, a place to sell and buy clothing.  Unfortunately, it isn’t Paypal friendly.  If you’re interesting in something, try negotiating with the seller.  I was able to pay mine for the shorts through Paypal and am now a happy camper.  Just because I found a replacement, doesn’t mean I will actually replace them.  I’ll now use the beat up pair for school and save the nicer looking one for other ocassions.

I got the retro car crop top on eBay and it was the very last one in my size!  (Am I the only one that feels like celebrating when this is accomplished?)  I first learned this perfect top existed a few months ago thanks to Ashley Marie Rosas.

As for shoes, I wore simple black ballet flats which can be found almost anywhere.  Mine are from Sears and are breaking down on me.  They’ve attained a weird shape.

This past Saturday, one of my bosses asked me to dress up for work.  There was going to be a halloween party, although it did not look like it.  I’ve noticed that people in my hometown, Ponce, aren’t very fun.  They let themselves be controlled by the thought “Oh, but what will they think of me?”  Only a handful of people went dressed up.  I saw a cat, some guy with a hat (yup, just a hat), and a minion.  My co-workers simpy took their shirts off and put on a bow tie and when asked what they were, they said “strippers.”  So creative.

I, on the other hand, didn’t really have a costume ready and went throught my closet.  I found everything I needed to dress as Daria (please tell me I’m not the only one that remembers that show), but realized I would be sweating buckets while working.  So me as Daria, was a no-no.

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 The blazer / jacket is from Forever 21 and I got it a couple of years ago when blazers were really on trend.  I stole the  oreange tank top from my mom’s closet and the skirt is from Hot Topic.  I got it for $5 and  think that’s the only reason why I got it because it’s almost four years old and I’ve only worn it for about five minutes, the five minutes it took me to complete the look and get my phone to take this picture.

Those boots are Bongo.  My former housemate, Mariela, had a pair and she let me borrow them a couple of times.  I liked them so much I just had to get them and I did it though eBay.  I’ve been told they look like they were made for a wrestler.  They think this bothers me, when in reality it just makes the boots even more awesome.

After realizing Puerto Rico is too hot to wear a wannabe blazer jacket, I figured I should go with plan B, which didn’t exist at the time.  I looked in of my closets and found many fun things: full, red polkadotted skirts, a Pink Ladies jacket and my old Mario and Luigi caps.  The only outfit I could complete would’ve been a Super Mario homemade costume.  I thought about being dressed as Mario at the bar, but I wasn’t too fond of the idea of clients calling me Mario.

“Yo, Mario, can I get a vodka cranberry?  I got coins.”

I remembered I got a couple of playsuits from Sourpuss Clothing and one of them is sailor-inspired.  During the summer, I bought a mini sailor hat thinking I would be able to get a couple of pictures taken.  I even had the location and props thought-out.  The photoshoot never happened and I never got to wear the fun playsuit… Until this weekend.

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I felt so confident, I even took my first instagram video!

School

Midterms, group projects and Double D’s!  Oh my!

After getting excited because I should be able to graduate in May, the excitement vanished when I got a D in Literary Theory and another after that… In the same course.  For the first time ever, I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to pass a class.  It’s frustrating because I feel myself trying too hard to understand whatever comes out of the professor’s mouth and reading and re-reading whatever was assigned… Only to get Ds or D+s followed by a little note saying “For effort.”  I don’t know what makes me feel worse.  A plain old D or a D+ with pity.

The Likes

Two months ago, ipsy sent me a Jesse’s Girl liquid eyeliner.  I knew I would love it just by the name of the brand.  Who hasn’t heard the fun song?   I love this eyeliner because it goes on super duper smoothly and it won’t dry out so quickly like Cover Girl’s felt tip liquid eyeliner.  Keep in mind that it says it’s waterproof, but it really isn’t.  I guess Jesse’s Girl lies sometimes.

Also, The Carrie Diaries season two started!!!  You don’t know how happy I am!  I love this show so much!  The fashion, the music, the location… I just wish I could somehow be transported through my laptop to such a fun environment.  If you’re a fan of the show, keep an eye out for Carrie’s clothes.  If you’re interesting in something, be sure to check out Worn on TV.  I constantly find myself searching for Carrie’s and Jessica Day’s outfits there.

I think that’s all for now!  Sorry for the long wait, but midterms, two jobs and 18 credits aren’t easy!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Spice Things Up!

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Hello ladies.  Missed me?  I know you did.  I’m sorry for being away so long.  I’ve been feeling a little down and the purpose of this blog is to spread positivity and Melly Downers wasn’t going to be able to do that.  Today I got up and did the usual:  turn on my laptop, look for The Young Turks channel on YouTube and let the videos play while I made my one and only cup of coffee of today.  I finished watching their new videos and put 80s music on Pandora and began to read stuff on my Facebook newsfeed.  This status caught my attention, because it said exactly what I was going to post on my next status.  It was posted by a dear friend of mine.  I covered up her name and profile picture.

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“Summer… What is that?”
“Beach… What is that?”

I felt as if I’ve also forgotten what these things are.  It’s been two years since I purchased my first vintage-inspired swimsuit and the tags are still on it.  Sad, I know.  But the truth is, I don’t have many friends and whenever the few I have decide to go to the beach, I can’t because of my duty of getting people drunk.  I always find myself slowly becoming a depressed person during summertime and I’m sure it’s because I only stare at a computer screen, eat… And that’s about it.  I never do anything fun and whenever my mood changes and I’m up to do almost anything, I never find who to do it with.

I become unhappy and my confidence starts to diminish.  My breast lump scare a few months ago made me want to push through that unhappy feeling because life is too short to be in a sucky mood.  So, I will now share with you the things you must do to get yourself out of that funk and in a happy place again.  You’ll find most of these silly, but that’s the point.  Silliness brings joy and laughter to a person’s life.  I’ve done all of these in moments of sadness and I guarantee you, they work.

–         Wear lingerie to bed, even if you sleep alone. 

Just to feel lingerie against you skin is extremely sexy, imagine just staring at yourself in the mirror before you go to sleep.  Your pillow will feel extremely lucky.  If you don’t want to go all out, check out Forever21.  They have gorgeous one and two piece sets!  I got this one a while back for $16 and it’s not available on their site anymore, but if you truly love it, you’ll hunt it down!
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The polka dots and color feel so me!  And even though I got it in a medium and the thong doesn’t fit me, I still feel sexy in it!  If you have my “problem” (which is not really a problem, it’s a blessing) of being pear shaped, just buy another thong separately!

–          Wear sexy underwear.

It’s kinda like the first one, but the thought of walking around wearing lace undies or even geeky panties, (if the Batman or Superman logo is your thing) and people not knowing is fun!  So ditch the granny panties and treat yourself!  Or combine your sexy and geek side and get yourself some BunnyJump underwear.

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–         Date yourself.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but there’s something I find extremely sexy about a woman dining by herself.  And yes, she may have been stood up, but just the fact that she ordered herself a little something just screams “I’m so confident, I’m going to treat myself like the princess I am.”  So go ahead and order that margarita.  If you’re afraid of people staring at you, just go to the movies.  I used to do this all the time!  The best part?  No one will be eating out of your popcorn bag / bucket or whatever it is you get.  You get to pick the movie, so take advantage of the situation and watch that chick flick you’ve secretly been dying to see.  Cry during the breakup scene and laugh at the poor men dragged by their girlfriends to watch the movie with them.

–         Dance.  Like a fool. 

Look for a fun station on Pandora and dance your socks off.  I always shuffle between the 80s Music, 80s Pop, 60s, 70s & 80s hits, and Journey stations.  Yes, I already know most of the songs.  (You want to know what irritates me?  “Turning Japanese” never pops up on any of the stations.)  What the hell, Pandora?  And while the annoying ad interrupts your dance fest, hydrate to continue!  Or do like me, lip sync to Flo, the Progressive lady.  (I must dress like her for a future Halloween!)

I hope the idea of doing some of these put a smile on your face, as it did on mine.  Remember that you don’t have to feel lonely when you’re alone.  Be your own best friend and you’ll look forward to “me” moments in no time.

PinUp in Training

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I posted this picture a couple of days ago on Facebook & I love how my make-up turned out:

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     I decided to try to pursue not a career, but a hobby as a pin-up girl… And to try to take it seriously this time.  I was too self conscious when I first started.  My belly pooch and cellulite have haunted me since I was 16 years old.  The thought of having it show in a picture I didn’t have control of scared me.  I know Photoshop exists but what one sees as imperfections, isn’t always seen as such but other people.  In this case, a photographer.

     Other than insecurities, I hadn’t yet mastered the art of vintage hair styling.  I didn’t even have a curling iron and the only flat iron I had was a cheap one I got at Walgreens.  It didn’t do much to my thick hair.  I asked for a good (expensive) one for my birthday.  Now, my Corioliss flat iron is one of my best friends.  It’s not a big brand in the US, but believe me, it’s magical.  As for my curling iron, I trusted a friend.  She got one for $10 at T.J. Maxx (I don’t remember the brand) and it works perfectly.

     I wasn’t that good at make-up either.  The only thing I knew how to do perfectly was the cat eyeliner.  I’ve been doing it for almost 5 years.  As for applying eye shadow, I was a mess.

cherry_romper

     A few weeks ago, I was looking for cherry print clothing to go along with Maraschino.  I found this cute romper on Sourpuss Clothing.  I was a bit disappointed when I got it, because the cherries are actually printed on (if you know what I mean).  I’ve had dresses like this and the print eventually fades.  I guess I’ll just have to take extra good care of it.

I did some exploring on the Sourpuss website and found these books:

bookmakeup    bookhair

They were on the pricey side but I splurged.  I figured I would save some time by not watching so many YouTube tutorials with cheesy intros.  I love these books because they actually teach you step-by-step how to do each look.  The make-up one is my favorite because it has “did you know” sections.  I love learning strange facts!

bookedit2    bookedit1

As for clothing, I think I’m ok.  I’ve had this book for a couple of years now.  It was expensive, but totally worth it.  It has history, old fashion trends, and how-to’s!   It’s now a lot cheaper.

book1950s

bookface            Bookskirt

If you’re a pinup hopeful, you’ll find these very helpful!
Keep in mind that clothing and how-to books can be purchased, but confidence comes from within.  I don’t care how many self-help books are out there or how many men wolf-whistle at you.  If you don’t find what you see in the mirror beautiful, it’ll show through pictures.  Believe me, I know.  Learn to love yourself before spending money on wardrobe, accessories and photographers.  It may be difficult and it can take a long time but it’s free.

Try this:

Find something you like about your body, face or hair and compliment yourself.  It may sound silly, but it works.  Do this every morning when you get up.  It can be anything: lashes, beauty marks, eyebrows, feet.  Before you know it, you’ll end up loving yourself and accepting what you consider “flaws.”

Being a Pin Up isn’t easy and it can be expensive, but the point is to showcase your body as art.  Because, frankly, my dear, it is.