It’s about time I properly discuss my adventures as a Miss Pinup International 2019 finalist, so here we go!
Last year, competing in Pinup Doll Australia, we were told that the winner would receive a Golden Ticket that instantly qualifies them to be a finalist in the following years Miss Pinup International competition. I really wanted the chance to compete on an international stage just to prove to myself that I had what it takes. It was a crazy step I gave myself as part of my journey to reach my ultimate dream. Coming runner up at Pinup Doll Australia by only one point was bittersweet as it meant that I may not be able to go, so I decided to take the long way around and I’m so glad I did.
When the time to apply to Miss Pinup International, I sent in my application very last minute and waited with bated breath to see the outcome. Normally there is a voting round meaning I would have to beg for votes to compete. Personally, I tend to avoid such competitions unless its something I really want so I was a little nervous but the organisers decided not to have a voting round this time. Hurray! Oh wait, that means they would judge me based on my application which made me just as nervous. After a few days, I heard back, I was accepted as a finalist. WOO HOO!… OH MY GOSH!
Now what I have failed to mention is that I was already planning to go to Europe to visit my mother and the competion was to take place whilst I was in Europe. I was also booked to leave just four days after I got notified that I am to compete. NO PRESSURE AT ALL! The limited time frame meant that I had no time to stress or freak out, I just had to get everything done and as quickly as I could. Now the pageant had two main rounds, talent and a Q&A, then they had the results/crowning. So here’s how I planned everything.
Talent: I had recently had some major Endometriosis issues and my doctor recommended I do not dance as the stretching could agrivate my Endo as I healed from a major flare up. Well, there goes my fan dancing routine. What else can I do that can qualify as a talent? I can eat a lot, I can also sniff out a vintage bargain and I can drive my partner crazy but these were all things that didn’t translate well on the International stage. What about knitting? Yeah, I can knit, but how do I turn that into a talent that can be performed (why can’t I just take singing lessons?!). After a bit of brainstorming, I planned to show off some of my knitted creations and also teach my audience how to knit, not exciting I know but it’s all Ive got and I’m running out of time. I also needed an outfit; luckily I had some cute cotton dress fabric covered in images of yarn balls on it so I sewed up a simple dress and to add a little extra flare to it, I self drafter a cummerbund with a big bow on the back, much like the iconic Betty Draper dress. Hmm, not crazy MonMon level enough, it needs a head piece. So out of two polystyrene balls and a headband, i created two ‘yarn balls with needles’ to wear on my head so the judges know I’m a little mad when it comes to crafting. I sort of looked like Miss Frizzle from the Magic Schoolbus if she ever got really into knitting. Talent; done.
Organising my Q&A and crowning sections was a little simpler. I pulled two of my favourite dresses from my wardrobe, gave them the once over to see if they needed fixing and found that my Q&A dress needed a few seams fixed. I raced it over to my amazing seamstress friend Beata Ridley from Chen Noir Designz and she sewed up the dress making it perfect. We were sent a list of possible questions and I mentally rehearsed some answers, you never know what you are going to be asked so I made sure I had an answer for each, even if it was silly. I could always think of something on the spot.
My bags were packed, I still needed to order some shoes but they would have to be sent to my mums apartment. I had spare rhinestones, a mini sewing kit and a few other things such as glue and pins as an emergency repair kit if needed. I had one full suitcase of just things for the pageant and it was heavy! Phew! But off I went, no turning back now for the adventure awaits. Spending time with my mother was lovely but I was always alittle nervous about the pageant up ahead. You just never know what can happen on the day or what the judges will see in you. Luckily, I wasn’t alone, I knew that Bambi Lamour and Miss Melissa Kay were also Aussies who will be competing and I couldnt be more excited to have some friends by my side. These girls are some of the sweetest and beautiful pinups you will ever meet. It was so liberating doing this pageant with girls who didn’t idolize winning above everything else. We all saw this as an opportunity to grow, learn, share and make new friends. There has never been a time where this many Aussies were on the Miss Pinup International stage so it was very exciting. Personally, I didn’t see the competition as me competing against the other girls, I just wanted to try something new, have some fun and see what happened. Also, against the other Aussie pinups, we saw ourselves as a team, not as individual competitors. Go team Aussie Pinups!
I’m going to fast forward to pageant day or else I’ll just blab on for ages and get carried away. Miss Pinup International 2019 was to be held in Dublin (also known as my second home) at Drop Dead Twice. When pageant day finally arrived, I was both nervous and excited. All us girls got ready at the venue and we all just chatted and helped each other zip up and straighten stockings. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of love and talent in the room. We were all so different, representing many different types of pinup yet I saw no one being horrible to another person and we were all really accepting of who we were. I’ve done pageants where some people are very rude and just ignore the other contestants which is always a shame; this pageant was super supportive and it felt like I had known these ladies for a very long time.
The talent round was a blur of amazing! There was sewing, dancing, glitter showers, singing, goats, saxophones and yodelling (and that was just the first couple of acts) so I was definitely getting nervous. If I can pass on one piece of advise, it’s don’t compare yourself to others at a pageant, just be yourself! I remembered that as I came onto the stage to perform my talent. I was shaking so much from nerves but as soon as I set up, I took a deep breath and started telling the audience about myself. I had so much fun on stage! Probably the most amount of fun anyone who has ever performed knitting on stage has ever had! I was very proud of myself when I finished my set; I had performed something new and fresh and completely different but I had so much fun doing it.
The Questions and Answers round was really fun to listen to. It gave each contestant a chance to tell the audience and judges about themselves which is something not done often in pageants I have gone to. I really loved this section and if I ever run my own pageant, I will make sure theres a round for the girls to talk in. I loved learning a little bit about each contestant and what their hopes and dreams were. Some nearly bought me to tears and others made me laugh so much I nearly snorted. For my own set, I was asked what the number one thing on my bucket list was and about my pinup life back home. I was also asked what, out of the five values of Miss Pinup International, did I think was the most important which was something that made me love the pageant even more. There aren’t many pageants where values such as Empowerment, Support, Inspire Family and Positivity so I knew this pageant was special.
When it came time for crowning, I honestly felt that everyone deserved the winning title. Cliche I know but each girl had something unique, inspirational and valuable where something new could be added to the title. At the end of the day, it was a hat trick with Myself and Miss Melissa Kay being the runner ups, and Miss Bambi taking home to top title. Team Australia had done it and it took me a while to let it all sink in. I was so proud of my team for doing so well but also to every contestant on that stage who poured their heart out to the audience. It was such a close call that anyone could have taken home to title.
I didn’t post much about this pageat on my socials as there were a lot of personal things I was dealing with so I’m sorry you couldn’t follow my journey with me until the end. In saying that, thank you to all those who sent love and support during any time whilst I knew I was competing and straightaway after. Your support meant the world to me and I couldn’t have done it without you all cheering me on. A special thanks to my partner and best friend for being in the crowd with me and helping me stay calm when the nerves started kicking in.
The biggest thank you goes to all the organisers, sponsors and other competitors. This was such a supportive, inspiring and empowering pageant and I’m sad it’s over. Thank you for organisng and putting together such an incredible experience. It has helped shape my future goals and has been a milestone in my personal pinup journey. I am forever changed and grateful to you all.
Credit to all photos and organisers link: