Reflecting on my months so-far as Pinup Doll Australia 2017, it’s amazing to think of everything that has happened since first accepting my entry into the competition. It’s been five months since taking the title, and I can honestly say my pinup journey has reached its peak. Thanks to the PDA journey, I’m continuing to kick all of my pinup goals and it feels amazing!
As a bit of background, I found pinup when I was 14 and ever since I have seeked every pinup opportunity I could. Through my university years I worked at vintage reproduction store ‘That Shop’ and this is where I was first exposed to the world of pinup competitions.
I would prepare ladies for their comps; consulting on their outfits and the perfect matching hair ‘do. I heard about every comp on the scene and who organised what – and all of the gossip in between.
Early on I completely ruled out pinup competitions because, honestly, I love pinup. Not just for the clothes and not just for the hair. Not even for the stunning red lipstick. I fell in love with pinup for the history and for the lifestyle, and I never wanted the drama of social status or subculture trends to change my love for it.
Eventually though, curiosity got the best of me. I don’t know why or how, but in 2015 I entered my first competition. I qualified for PDA in 2016 after winning my first title and – to be completely honest – I hesitated to accept. Unfortunately the only things I had heard of national competitions were negative (notably of the only other national competition we have in Australia) and I was completely uninterested in entering a scene like that.
I am so beyond happy to have made the decision to reach out to previous contestants of PDA 2016. The girls I spoke to were encouraging and spoke extremely highly of their experience. Fairly quickly it was obvious to me that I should be doing this, and I accepted straight away! I think I was the 8th person to accept that year and it felt fantastic to secure myself a spot.
As soon as Belles B Ringing confirmed my entry, I got to planning. I honestly had my first outfit planned and purchased in the first week. Although I didn’t know it, I was really ready for PDA and it turned out to be exactly what I needed to push, what I now call, my ‘craft’ of pinup.
To describe PDA to those who aren’t in the scene, I say that PDA is ‘Pinup Olympics’. The process, the number of categories and the amount of outfits you have to prepare really gets you thinking about who you are as a pinup. The fantastic preparation schedule that is in place gives you a chance to truly identify what kind of ‘pinup’ you are; what your favourite era is, any kind of theme you might have and what style represents you best.
My competition prep confirmed my fairly new pinup identity of ‘The Flying Pinup’ and helped me to build my own personal brand. It pushed me creatively and mentally. It gave me clarity on why I love what we do and what my next pinup goals were.
Trust me when I say there is no secret formula to winning PDA, but here are my top tips to getting the most out of your own PDA journey;
♦ Say yes! It’s that easy. In the words of Tina Fey, “Say yes. You’ll figure it out afterward”
♦ Use the long preparation time to do exactly that – to prepare. Plan out your 5 months and use it as effectively as possible. Fortunately Belles B Ringing is a massive help in keeping you on track for this!
♦ Understand why you are doing it. Are you looking to further your pinup career? Are you using it as a creative outlet? Will it help you to clarify your personal pinup brand? Having a goal for your journey will make it so much more than just a competition.
♦ Take the opportunity to express your true self! PDA is one of the few pinup competitions that gives you full creative licence. Think about what you want to bring to the stage and how you will stand out.
♦ Give it everything you’ve got! You have the chance to be launched onto the international scene after this journey. Take the opportunity, make yourself worthy, and give it 100% of your energy.
It’s fair to say that PDA has set me up to kick every pinup goal I’ve ever dreamt of since I was 14. I am beyond excited to see how high the next PDA winner will soar!
Good luck lovelies!
Kelly ‘The Flying Pinup’ Xx