Glam Eclectic – Eclectic Creations & Glamorous Twists

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Glam Eclectic – Eclectic Creations & Glamorous Twists

by Susie Payne

Hello, I’m Susie, the face behind Glam Eclectic.

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

My mother tells me I picked up my first paint brush when I was in my high chair. With my set of little brushes I would watch my father paint and happily copy in my own way, throwing paint around without a care in the world.

A typical Aquarius

Years later my job working with children, which I adored, had come to an end and the feeling of ‘an office job just isn’t for me’ was still very much alive. I decided to go back to what I loved. A typical Aquarius, so I’m told. I feel the need for a certain amount of freedom to be able to see the world in wonderful colour.

I began to paint again and cautiously set up a Facebook page just a few years ago to test the waters.

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

Glam Eclectic was born

I wanted to paint pretty and glamorous designs onto glass and I soon had customers requesting all sorts of designs. An eclectic mix of creations with a glam twist…and so Glam Eclectic was born.

I’d never had any formal training and had never gone on to art college but what I did have was those precious times quietly painting away and watching my father do the same. I also had the words of an old school teacher still in the back of my head. I thought I’d made a mistake while I was working on a water colour piece, and seeing me frustrated they reminded me, “Art is never wrong darling”, It’s funny how you lose a lot of school day memories but a line like that can stick with you for years to come!

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

More than customers

With the Eclectic Glam Facebook page now up and running I started to realise that my customers were growing and were becoming more than customers. A lot of them were becoming online friends too. I would have the most amazing messages to open and read along with photos of their loved ones holding their glass. Holding the glass that I had painted.

I was chatting to people more and more and began to see Chloe’s amazing smile or Hannah’s sparkly eyes in her profile photo and realised there really is a little glam in all of us.

The ‘What if?’ moment

Then the thought came….’What if?’. Could I get that beauty and warmth, that sparkle, captured onto a glass?

From that moment I began to specialise in the personalised glasses by Glam Eclectic.

Painting these glass designs isn’t just my work, my business. It’s my obsession. When people ask, ‘What do you do?’, I reply with, ‘I paint glasses’. It just never seemed enough and now I immediately want to talk about that amazing outfit or the way she wears her hair and those fabulous slingbacks!

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

With huge responsibility comes big thrills!

For me, working from customer photos to create their loved one with my brushes onto a glass is a big responsibility. But it is also a big thrill! I work freehand, no designs, no first draft, so I get to see the personality fill the glass as I work. I only discover what I’ve created when it’s fully completed. This is why, when a customer sends me a message to tell me how excited they are to see the glass all finished my response is usually, ‘Me too!’.

Miss Pinup UK

To be able to create glasses for the Runners Up and Winner of the Miss Pinup UK 2017 competition was something I cherished being able to do. It was a time I could have happily stood up in my four-inch heels and screamed about. I’m proud of that still, amazing fun and a truly supportive beautiful bunch of people that I consider myself lucky to have connected with. (Rio: I think we’re the lucky ones!)

For me that style accentuates every woman’s beauty and when I’m painting this style I get to do what I love, take that beauty and pop it onto glass.

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

Appearing on TV

I’ve created glasses for a few celebrities too. I may not be familiar with TV shows in Turkey, but one of my glasses ended up on a show alongside it’s top model owner. I did indeed squeal with delight! As far as I was concerned, on that day, for this slightly kooky female in a quiet beachy village on the South Coast, Glam Eclectic had given me another proud moment.

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

South London to South Coast

It’s a very different life from where I was born in South London, but I feel very lucky to have ended up here. On a Summer’s evening I can open my windows and faintly hear the sea. My sanity, my favourite place to be. My little home is filled with lipsticks, perfumes and shoes and when I paint Betty Page, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn, the women framed and on my walls are watching me create more glam onto glass.

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All rights reserved © Susie Payne – Glam Eclectic

My one phrase

One phrase I say to myself, never short of daily, is, ‘If you can see it in your head then you can hold it in your hands’. I’m just a lucky girl whose life has been filled with love, laughter and good friends to ‘cheers’ with.

My work is the cherry on the cupcake for me and has most definitely given me something extra to hold in my hands every day- a little piece of Glam.

You can follow and purchase from Susie on Facebook and Instagram.

Website – https://madefromhome.co/portfolio-items/glam-eclectic/

Coming up sneak peek:

Membership and Pinup School – The All About Pinup membership and ‘Pinup School’ are carefully put together products to holistically guide you through success path driven e-learning.  We can’t wait to launch and look forward to joining you on your journey with us!

Gala Gray – Miss Pinup Ireland 2017 Runner Up, talks about the fabulous Irelan Burlesque scene.

Miss Lily Cheeksprevious Miss Pinup UK Finalist, talks about being the Pin Cushion Pin-up.

Novelty Starr Talks About Being Your Own Sexy

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Novelty Starr talks about being a dirty housewife & being your own sexy

By Novelty Starr

Burlesque came into my life at a time where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with myself.

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Danarki

Depressed & Not Getting Anywhere

I was depressed, lacked confidence in who I though I was, and what I looked like. My move to the big city was to try and find myself, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. There was a poster for a burlesque show in my favourite retro shop, Manillusion. I had seen the movie, and I expected something entertaining and pretty.

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Henrik Evertsson

Big, Fat & Confident Smiles

Entertaining and pretty it was, but it was also life changing to me. That night, I sat on the edge of my seat, taking in all the impressions that got thrown at me from the stage. There, I saw women in all shapes and sizes with big, fat, confident smiles on their faces. Never had I seen anything like this, and it made me cry tears of happiness and admiration.

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Maria Gosse

Societies Unattainable Goals

I had grown up in a society where being unattainably perfect was the goal. That was the answer to happiness. But, I learned something different that night. After the show I hunted after the information about the producers of this show, and if and how I could be a part of a culture where any woman was accepted for who they were, and where their quirks were celebrated rather than frowned upon.

I Wanted To Do It For Myself

One of the founders of Norwegian burlesque contacted me back and gave me a time and a place for her burlesque school. I started the school with a plan of keeping it secret. To do it for myself, and to definitely not perform. It didn’t really turn out that way. I went along and did the student performance after my first semester.

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Linda Serigstad

I Screamed!

Never in my life felt the nerves I had that night. I nailed the choreography and got that bra off my body. There I stood in just my knickers fully exposed to the world. Not only physically but also mentally. My body that I had been hiding for so many years because of shame of not being ‘good enough’, was stood in front of a crowd that was cheering it! Cheering me on! I screamed as I felt years of frustration just fly off my shoulders with the bra. It was amazing. After exposing myself in any way I could think of, I didn’t have anything left to hide. In some way that made my confidence rise. So, of course I had to do it again.

I’m Not Jessica Rabbit

My first solo act was Jessica Rabbit. One of the biggest sex symbols in history…. what was I thinking. I thought burlesque meant you had to be sexy. But I was wrong. After doing this act, and feeling uncomfortable and out of place on stage, I started to think this wasn’t for me. The first feeling of freedom started to go away. I gave myself one more chance.

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Kaisa Milch

An Act That Reflects Me

With the help of now Norway’s biggest burlesque producer, I made an act that reflected ME.  Not what I thought it should reflect. I did funny, frustrated, sexy, aggressive, everything I am in the only way I knew how. I did it my way. This turned out to be one of my most popular acts ‘The dirty housewife’. I’m not trying to be sexy, but just me, and for some reason I feel and look sexier in this act than I ever did as Jessica rabbit.

I Followed My Heart

My focus on what was Important shifted, and I found myself in an environment where my creativity and personality was praised way more than my body or looks. I started to make room for my weirdness and followed my heart. I wanted to show the world that you don’t need to be what society says is sexy, always be yourself. Confidence, and belief in yourself is the most sexy thing there is. So, a lot of my acts are characters with flaws or general ‘ugliness’ and I love it. I have made people laugh, made them scream from terror and even touched them to tears. That’s from just being an extension of myself on stage. The world has excepted me, I feel.

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Linda Lipponene

Believe It

The feeling of acceptance I got from burlesque, gave me the balls to follow my dream, to work in movies. At the age of 30, I quit my job, and said goodbye to a safe life and stepped into a completely different world. Because of burlesque I now have:

  • a bachelors degree in Hair, makeup and sfx design
  • I already have a movie coming out in cinemas in November
  • worked with amazing talented people in the business
  • a hobby that gives me the fire to continue.

Thanks to burlesque I have done what I want to be happy; and I can honestly say I want for nothing. My life is perfect, I’m perfect, we are all perfect, we just need to believe it.

Follow Novelty Starr on Instagram!

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Novelty Starr © 2017 Are Knudsen

Coming up sneak peek:

Membership and Pinup School – The All About Pinup membership and ‘Pinup School’ are carefully put together products to holistically guide you through success path driven e-learning.  We can’t wait to launch and look forward to joining you on your journey with us!

Gala Gray – Miss Pinup Ireland 2017 Runner Up, talks about the fabulous Irelan Burlesque scene.

Glam Eclectic – All About Pinup Sponsor Sue Payne tells us about her journey.

Miss Lily Cheeksprevious Miss Pinup UK Finalist, talks about being the Pin Cushion Pin-up.

Miss Whiskey Twist Reignites Passion & Gets Her Confidence

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How Miss Whiskey Twist reignited her passion, found happiness & got her confidence back

By Miss Whiskey Twist

Happiness, confidence and standing together. Three things that are so incredibly important as a Pinup, and something I’ve proudly used throughout my reign as Miss Pinup UK.

As Pinups, we can do anything. We can. If you put your mind to something you can achieve it.

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Miss Whiskey Twist – Photo credit: Joust Photography

Miss Pinup UK

When I entered Miss Pinup UK, I was going through a rough patch. I was working a job that I felt was harming me rather than helping me and working 12 hours a day. Plus travelling for 4 hours each day was not a good deal. All of this and  I was on the highest dose of anti-depressants I’d ever been on,  I was so anxious I would be lucky if I got 3 hours sleep at night.

I entered because I needed something else; needed to escape these niggling insecurities biting away at me. It appeared that I NEEDED this job, because it was an “adult” job, that paid a really good amount, and I had to make people around me proud. The belief that I HAD to behave a certain way because of this job, I couldn’t be the sweary, naked loving, sexual being I enjoyed being! I was 26, so I HAD to have achieved EVERYTHING by now. Well, eventually I said FUCK THAT!

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Miss Whiskey Twist – Photo credit: The Burly Photographer

Turning Point

Entering Miss Pinup, was a turning point for me. I realised that when I sent my pictures and information off, that I wanted something more, I needed to leave the life I was living and explore the avenues that made ME happy. I know, how selfish!

Well actually, it wasn’t. What was selfish was me trying to please everyone around me 24/7, what was selfish was this idea that my life was absolutely perfect and fine if I kept going the way I was, eventually I’d be happy right? It was selfish of me taking a position in a job that somebody else could’ve had that would make that person potentially way happier than I was. What was selfish was me pumping my body with caffeine, medication and lack of sleep for something I just wasn’t passionate about. What was selfish was my family and friends watching me suffering.

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Miss Whiskey Twist – Photo credit: V’s Anchor Studio

I’d lost my passion

At that point I’d lost all passion, for everything. Miss Pinup helped me see things differently. On the 16th of January, I sat down at my desk and typed “Cruise auditions” into Google, found one for that day, sent my information, got a call to ask if I could go now, went, sang a minute of my song and got the job on the spot. Well, some might call that lucky, yes it absolutely was, in all my years of auditioning that NEVER happened.

Nothing to lose

I think what really helped was that I literally had nothing to lose. I was so lost, and I needed to be released! So, I left my job two months later and was off singing every night for a living. This all stemmed from knowing I needed to do something more, something that was going to make me happy. I had the chance to do a conference for FeelUnique.com a few months back and they asked me to speak about confidence. I talked a lot about burlesque and how that helps confidence and of course it does and I was happy and proud to talk about that idea of empowerment. But what I felt most compelled to talk about was the confidence to take a chance and risk everything to ensure happiness.

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Miss Whiskey Twist at the Miss Pinup UK Semifinals – Photo credit: XC Photography UK

Doing what makes me happy

Now I’m lucky enough to say, I perform for a living. I pay my bills with my voice and my body. That is what makes me happy. It’s what makes my family happy, because they can see how happy I am. It makes my friends happy, as much as I don’t get to see them and my family because I’m constantly off round the country, they can see I’m putting my all into something I’m extremely passionate about. It makes my husband happy and our relationship so much better. First of all we get to see each other all the time, secondly I no longer take medication and am my true self, and thirdly because I can pass my happiness on to him and focus on what makes us better people.

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Miss Whiskey Twist

Now, I’m not saying everyone must join me, leave their jobs behind and put all their hairpins in one basket. What I’m saying is having experienced what I have, happiness and confidence are the most important things in life.

The Pinup Family

The Pinup family is such a strong family.  I see posts online of people standing together and supporting each other. Learning that there was more for me and I wasn’t finished yet is what I can truly pass on to everyone. We are always here for each other, always united in strength and weakness. We are always the true meaning of Pinup, strong, independent people who can get back up every time we’re down; simply whack on a Collectif classic, pin that hair, pop on some lippy and save the bloody day

You can follow Whiskey on Facebook and Instagram.

Found out about her upcoming events here:  CLICK HERE FOR EVENTS

Coming up sneak peek:

Membership and Pinup School – The All About Pinup membership and ‘Pinup School’ are carefully put together products to holistically guide you through success path driven e-learning.  We can’t wait to launch and look forward to joining you on your journey with us!

Novelty Starr, Miss Pinup International, inspires us with her wise words on finding your unique persona.

Miss Lily Cheeksprevious Miss Pinup UK Finalist, talks about being the Pin Cushion Pin-up.

Microbiologist by Day, Pole Queen by Night!

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Microbiologist by Day, Pole Queen by Night! Die Baroness tells us all about how dedication and hard work pays off!

By Die Baroness aka Jenny Schmiedel

Hey, so my name is Jenny Schmiedel and I work as a microbiologist during the day and I run a pole fitness school at night. I always had a keen interest in science but I had so many other interests that I wanted to pursue. One of these interests I got into at the age of 22…this was pole fitness.

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Photo © Christoph Schoder

Inspiring

I had always seen women and men showing their physical strength and beauty and found it so inspiring. It started out as a hobby but I soon fell in love with it and decided to pursue it as a career. Last year I was given the opportunity from my personal trainer to open my own studio up in Cork, Ireland.

Running my own studio

Without hesitation I accepted the offer and I have been running my own pole fitness studio since December 2017. I absolutely love every second of teaching! You can find us on Facebook at EM Fitness & Nutrition Pole Classes. Opening my own studio was anything but easy and I learned more lessons along the way.

Passing on the love

I love to pass on what pole has done for me over the years,

  • confidence in yourself and your body
  • being unique
  • loving yourself for who you are!

One of my biggest inspirations has always been Miss Foxy P Cox, that woman is so hard working and amazing and she taught me so much both on and off the pole. Of course, I can’t forget all the other amazing women and men out there who inspire me every day to get up on that pole and try new moves.

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Supportive parents

My parents have always been so supportive of my goals and I am so grateful to have such amazing parents and supporting family! I am still working as a microbiologist during the day and my colleagues are very interested and supporting in my careers and hobbies outside of my day job which is great! They always ask about my competitions, how classes are going and how my own training is! It’s amazing to get so much support all around!

Competition

I started to compete last year and won in my category for Pole Princess and I came second in the All Ireland Pole Championships in my category. I also had the amazing pleasure of competing in the World Pole Championships in China in May of this year.

Miss Pinup Ireland

I can’t forget my amazing experience with Miss Pinup Ireland where I was place Runner Up last year and I’m really looking forward to judging this year’s competition. The Finals are held at the Dublin International Tattoo Convention on Saturday 18th August. To find out more, click here.

Hard work and dedication pays off

All of my hobbies have turned into such huge parts of my life and I am so happy to have each and every one of them. I hope to inspire people to go after their own dreams and make them a reality like I have done to my dreams! Lots of hard work and dedication pays off!

You can follow Die Baroness on Instagram and Facebook.

Coming up sneak peek:

Membership and Pinup School – The All About Pinup membership and ‘Pinup School’ are carefully put together products to holistically guide you through success path driven e-learning.  We can’t wait to launch and look forward to joining you on your journey with us!

Novelty Starr, Miss Pinup International, inspires us with her wise words on finding your unique persona.

Miss Whiskey Twist, Miss Pinup UK, bares her soul to empower us to take on the World.

Miss Lily Cheeksprevious Miss Pinup UK Finalist, talks about being the Pin Cushion Pin-up.

Ruby Noir talks Wine, Netflix & the Things People Say

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The Things That People Say & How To Successfully Pinup by Ruby Noir

“That must take ages!”

“It looks like so much work.”

These are two of the things that people often comment when they meet me or talk to me about my look and my Pinup style. Also, things like, ‘Surely it must take a lot of time and effort to achieve the pinup look’ and ‘It must be a little bit stressful getting so “dressed up” all the time’.

Sometimes it is! It does take time and effort to achieve that classic pinup style; hair, makeup, corset, stockings, frock, shoes. It’s a lot.

If you rush putting on your stockings, you could end up on the floor!

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Photo credit: Ruby Noir by © 2017 Boudoir Girls

Sometimes, if I’m running late and I’ve still got half a head of rollers in it can be stressful but here’s the secret. My pinup routine, if you will, is as much about making time for myself as it is about anything else. Taking the time to put on a red lip instead before I run out the door can do wonders for my mood and confidence in facing the day. It is putting a little more effort in to leaving the house than is necessary but what’s important is that I am making that effort for myself.

The Most Important Thing About Pinup is That You Enjoy it

“Does that not take forever?”

Of all the questions I get asked, one of the most common is to do with my hair. ‘Does it take a long time? How difficult is it to do?’.

I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s simple. Styling my hair in a traditionally vintage manner with period techniques has taken time to learn but I love the process of setting my hair. I will often sit down with a glass of wine and Netflix and take the time to roll my hair. It’s a little bit of time dedicated just to myself. It doesn’t take forever; it takes exactly the amount of time I need it to.

I don’t always have the luxury but if I have it, I really love to take the time to get ready. Throw on some tunes, grab a glass of wine (are you sensing a theme here?) and take your time doing your hair and makeup, putting your outfit together. It may seem frivolous at time but how we feel when we walk out the door is important and allowing yourself the luxury of time every now and then can make a massive difference.

The Social Aspect is Key

The social aspect of pinup is one that people often overlook. It is key to what makes the pinup community such a wonderful one. I’ve met such wonderful people at competitions such as Miss Pinup Ireland and Miss Pinup International and there’s a whole range of retro, vintage, pinup and rockabilly events where you can meet and connect with people.

It’s also a great excuse for a silly, girly night in with your friends which definitely calls for more wine.

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Ruby Noir & DialEmma at the Miss Pinup Ireland 2017 Finals. Photo credit: © 2017 Shelby Eaton

Taking the time for pinup, setting my hair and getting ready, is wonderful when possible but it isn’t always. But pinup helps me in other ways to. Often times my look is my armour, getting me ready to face the day.

If I’m having a bad hair day, I know I can throw on a headscarf, turban or pin in a flower and I will feel 50 times better.

If I have a work event that I’m not feeling ready for I can throw on a fabulous wiggle dress and a pair of heels and I am ready to face down a room.

Sometimes Choosing the Dress is the Hard Part

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Ruby Noir choosing her dress at the Miss Pinup Ireland Finals 2017. Photo credit: @2017 Shelby Eaton

I could be having the worst day but putting on some lipstick means I feel that much better to go out in to the world.

As pinups we often hold ourselves to high standards so it is important that we take time for ourselves whatever that may look like. For me, it’s a glass of wine, an episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine and a basket of sponge rollers.


Follow Ruby Noir on Instagram & Facebook

Coming up sneak peek:

Membership and Pinup School – The All About Pinup membership and ‘Pinup School’ are carefully put together products to holistically guide you through success path driven e-learning.  We can’t wait to launch and look forward to joining you on your journey with us!

Novelty Starr, Miss Pinup International, inspires us with her wise words on finding your unique persona.

Miss Whiskey Twist, Miss Pinup UK, bares her soul to empower us to take on the World.

Miss Lily Cheeksprevious Miss Pinup UK Finalist, talks about being the Pin Cushion Pin-up.

Take A Stand Against Body Shaming

Think before you comment on Social Media – by Miss Chan Delier

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#PINUPSAGAINSTBODYSHAMING – Search it and use it today and stand with us!

There is no doubt that social media has a big place in our daily lives. We are always scrolling through Instagram, checking out hashtags, Facebook, snapchat, you name it and we all do it!

I personally spend a lot of time on Instagram and I love how small the world becomes on social media.

Making Comparisons
But it’s also a backside of it. We get to compare ourselves to so many people. Compare our hair, makeup, outfits, marriages and body’s. We want to show ourselves from our best side.

I wanted to make a change after I was body-shamed on Instagram
A famous clothing brand reposted my photo, a photo of me when I was wearing their dress. A dress I felt and still feel fabulous wearing. After the brand had reposted my photo, within 3-4 days I started to receive screenshots of the comments under that photo. “She is too fat for that dress, she need to wear corset, this dress need to be wore with shape wear, this would look great if she was skinny”, you know the drill!

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Should the comments be removed?

This was comments being made 3-4 days ago. And they were still standing. They were still there! I had ladies text me and they compared themselves to me. “If you are too fat, what about me?”.

I kindly asked if the brand could delete these comments, but I didn’t get a reply. The photo had over 200 comments and they didn’t react.

I was concerned about this, not for myself, but for others commenting. So, I contacted my friend and body activist, Fifi Von Tassel and asked her for advice. Follow Fifi on Instagram and Facebook.

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Take responsibility
How can I change this? How can we get brands, big accounts and magazines to take responsibility on social media? OUR social media is OUR responsibility.
I believe we all have a responsibility for making our world better. The Pinup Community is all about sisterhood, empowerment and embracing each other, no matter what we look like; and I want us to make this message even stronger.

We can all make a change
Why I think this matters:

  • Body shaming is hurtful and unnecessary
  • affects those being targeted
  • it also affects the people reading it
  • and can lead to depression, eating disorders, and/or low self-esteem
  • Brands needs to take their share of the reasonability

Let’s make these our goals:

  • Make the bigger brands take a stand when talking about body positivity
  • Make guidelines for body shaming on their social media page
  • Stand by those guidelines and remove people who violate them

Many of the bigger brands repost pictures showing their customers, essential non-models, and although no one deserves to be body shamed, non-models might be less prepared for potential body shaming.

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Use these #PinupsAgainstBodyShaming images to take your stand!

We need more reality
As of now, most brands just ignore this happening. How about, use models of different sizes, skin tones, ethnicity, and include bodies of abilities. Use a bigger variation of models than what we have seen so far. I’m talking about both professional and non-professional models. By normalising EVERY body, we also reduce the body shaming.

I don’t want to shut people down, but simply make people STOP AND THINK before they post.

If the bigger brands take a stand, this will affect all of us, it will affect every brand and every customer.

Let’s make a stand together!

Follow Miss Chan Delier on Instagram & Facebook.

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Miss Chan Delier by Are Knudsen

I don’t care what you think!

How to go around life not caring what people think and conquer your fear.

By Rio Wild

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Rio Wild – Pinup Lounge at the London Tattoo Convention – © 2017 Sin Bozkurt

But what does not caring what people think and conquering fear have in common?

I watched an interview with one of my favourite women of all time, Reese Witherspoon. Reese, pointed out that the attention span of a person is short, so you shouldn’t worry about saying something you think is stupid and replaying the fateful moment over and over again.

For example, you’ve just been introduced to somebody, it’s an awkward engagement and you say something that you think is stupid. They will have forgotten and moved on within approximately 14 minutes (or up to twenty, but what’s 6 minutes between nerves?) to think about something else.

There have been countless experiments involving multiple stimulus and various apparatus and it all boils down to, who can really be bothered to keep thinking about what somebody said to you 14/20 minutes ago when you’re perusing the cocktail list and wondering whether you should have worn the other heels/remembered to feed the cat/sent the e-mail……..

Continue reading “I don’t care what you think!”

Bee-lieving In What’s Right!

Talking bees with Miss Betty Bee

Miss Betty Bee – © Veronika Marx – Vs Anchor Studio

Miss Betty Bee, our current reigning Miss Pinup UK Runner Up talks to us about the importance of the EU ban on neonicotinoids:

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Miss Betty Bee © 2018 Sonia Belsey

Last month the EU passed a complete ban on neonicotinoids, now to most that probably doesn’t mean much- it may not even sound like English- but to beekeepers like myself it means the world. It big news in the beekeeping world but what even are neonicotinoids?

Neonicotinoids are nasty insecticides, they’re sprayed onto crops and many agricultural seeds are coated with them before planting. They work their way throughout the entire plant, the stem, leaves, flowers and therefore into the pollen. Their aim is to destroy pests but they don’t discriminate and affect all insects. When the bees consume this contaminated pollen it can cause damage to their nervous system, meaning they struggling with navigating, feeding and reproducing. Neonicotinoids have even been possibly connected to the loss of thousands of bee colonies, known as colony collapse disorder, across Europe. It even ends up in honey!

This all means the ban is great news; it’s highlighted that governments need to care about our bees and has also educated the public in their plight. Without them our economy would suffer and the countryside would never be the same again. Last year at the Miss Pinup UK Finals I hoped to get people buzzing about our bees and their importance, most people see them as being annoying unwanted picnic guests, but they do so much for our environment and economy, plus up close they’re quite cute and fluffy!

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Bees at the hive entrance © 2017 Sonia Belsey

I’m a beekeeper who wears pretty dresses and dreams of one day having hundreds of beehives. I started keeping bees about 5 years ago, I love my girls (yes a hive is predominately female) and enjoy supplying the people of Kent local honey. Beekeeping was close to becoming a dying art but has had a revival in the last few years, Miss Pinup UK was a brilliant platform to share what beekeeping means to me and gave me the confidence to share my world with others. It’s even given me the confidence to enter my honey into local and county shows and given me the boost I needed to sit my bee exams this summer (yes bee exams are a real thing!).

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Miss Betty Bee at The Miss Pinup UK Semi Finals ©XC Photography

Since then I’ve also taken to promoting the plight of our bumblebees- we have 25 species in the UK, some of which we are scarily close to losing. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust have set up projects, such as my local “Making a Buzz for the Coast”, and are hoping to preserve habitat and increase numbers of some of these rare species.

The ban on neonicotinoids means not only our bees but also our butterflies and other insects are safe, neonicotinoids also seep into our soil and waterways so subsequently our fish and birds are now protected too- they all have a fighting chance in surviving in the modern world.

It also means that beekeepers have one less thing to worry about, bees are wild insects and beekeepers can look after them but we can’t protect them from everything, hopefully this news means beekeepers and their bees have a bright future. I hope it’s a ban that the UK will still back once we leave the EU.

You can read more about my pinup beekeeping world at https://missbettybee.blogspot.co.uk/ or my Instagram miss_betty_bee

 

Words: Miss Betty Bee