Monday, May 26, 2008

Having an Audience

One thing that can be a little disconcerting about living as a pinup is all the attention one gets. I know what some would say to this--that they wish they got so many looks, or perhaps that this is conceit and vanity on my part--but I'm here to tell you that in any case, it's not easy having a constant audience.

I started modeling my everyday style after 1950s pinups about two or three years ago. At first when people were staring at me, it felt awkward. It feels like a cross between flattery and espionage, and often times I wondered if something hanging from my nose was the reason for the attention. By now, though, I've gotten fairly used to it. Little boys and little girls sometimes snicker at me on the subway, older women lean in and whisper together with their eyes locked on my face, and men's eyes travel me up and down. I imagine that some people like the look, some think it's exhibitionist, and at its worst maybe they think I'm a freak of some kind. Perhaps still others wonder if they're walking by a celebrity--after all, big sunglasses and hats are common props for disguise, and famous people are always so polished, right?

Here I am making guesses at what may be going through the
minds of the onlookers, because only a fraction of them actually say something. When they do, it's often to compliment the look as a whole or in pieces, and there have been some humorous ones too. I was standing on an escalator one day when a woman ran up it with great urgency to tell me that my seamed stockings were crooked. It was as though she thought I should stop right there, hitch up my skirt and adjust my garter among the other morning commuters. Another time, a woman asked me if I just came from one of the theaters, because do I know that I'm dressed entirely in vintage?

Unfortunately, yes, some of the comments are not welcome, but these are few and far between. I think this has to do with the fact that I dress like a lady, and my look commands that I be treated like one. No one has ever said anything so inappropriate to me that I started screaming at them on the street, no one has rubbed up against me or grabbed me. Generally I'm thanking someone who kindly told me that I look nice, or I'm spelling out the name of the website where I got my dress/stockings/makeup for someone scribbling on a piece of paper they dug out of their bag. Oddly enough, the reason I never pursued acting was because I didn't like being watched. Like I said, I'm better with it than I used to be, enjoy it sometimes and tire of it at other times. In the end, I hope that I'm one of many to inspire others to make classic beauty a part of their daily life. You only live once, and there's no reason not to look your best doing it.


Adelaide Moonshine said...

<3 I'm so glad to see you back!
I still haven't started my adventures since everything has been in absolute disarray on this end, but I'm happy that you haven't completely thrown your journal by the wayside.
I know what you mean by acting, I worked as a techie most of my high school years to avoid the spotlight yet still enjoy the brilliance that is show business. When dressing up though, you do get a few stares that can be quite unnerving every once in awhile especially when you live in the back hills of VA.
As for your dress and getting comments on it, if you ever feel like trading site links I'm open ;)
I also recently stumbled on a CD I don't know if you'd enjoy or not but thought I'd pass along the word. It's called Cookin': Choice Cuts From the Famous Fifties. I found it when looking for "it takes two to tango" by Pearl Bailey and it's the only place I've seen it so far (catchy song). Hope to see you post when you can!


katie said...

Welcome back! And I agree with you wholeheartedly. You have such a great perspective and keep it alive for us all!

Oolala said...

I'm simply inspired by your bravery. As much as I love vintage fashion and aspire to pinup, I don't have the courage to dress that way in my life. Sure, I'll wear a vintage piece every now and then, but I don't go all out in the way I'd like to. It probably wouldn't get anything but sneers here in K-town, TN, anyway!

Great blog! I've just started my own Pinup and Vintage inspired blog. Please check it out and if you like, perhaps we could link to one another?


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Pinup Tales by Kitty du Vert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.