5 Things I Wish I Knew About Pinup Pageants
Jun 09, 2022

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Pinup Pageants

I am not going to lie, pageants and being up on stage is exhilarating and scary. Unless you are a natural born performer, strutting your stuff in front of a (sometimes unresponsive) crowd at a busy car show can be confronting. I remember shaking my little heels off the first time I was on stage at the Greazefest Pinups on Parade in 2014. Luckily my trembling knees and hands were not captured on camera but I still remember that hot/cold anxiety driven excitement and fear while lining up side stage waiting for my turn.

So here are 5 things I wish I knew about pinup pageants:

Greazefest Pinups on Parade 2014 - Photographer: Bill Struthers


  1. Everyone gets nervous

It was then, side stage at Greazefest when the pinup next to me also uttered the words "Oh, I'm so nervous!" It was the then purple haired Miss Diamond Divine. A lady I highly admired within the pinup scene and idolized her as a famous local pinup model. So, the reality is that everyone gets nervous and you shouldn't let your nerves get the better of you. 


  1. The friendships and connections you make are far more valuable than any sashes or prizes

The majority of my close friends I have made, within the pinup community, have been from pageants. There is nothing that compares to the sisterhood that is bound side stage before, during and after pageants. You can only reign a title until the next girl gets crowned, but forming a friendship with other like minded women can last a lifetime.


Time Warp Festival 2017 - Photographer: Lisa J Photography


  1. Confidence and stage presence count more than perfect hair and makeup

While most pageants have specific judging criteria that might take into account hair, makeup and outfits, in my opinion, stage presence far over rules any of those details on the day. You can have dropping curls, smudged eyeliner, but truly shine and captivate the audience on stage. Never have I heard any one say that a contestant's outstanding performance would have been better if their eyeliner was perfect. So don't stress too much! But remember if we (the Sunshine Coast Pinup School) are trading at the event, we can take some of the stress away by doing a professional vintage hairstyle for you ;) 

Downunder Beachfest 2016 - Photographer: Freyee Photography


  1. Props are handy

Props in pageants can really add to the entertainment and performance. It does seem that some props are going really above and beyond lately, but sometimes just a simple appropriate prop can do wonders for your performance. If nothing, it gives you something to do on stage when you have run out of poses. A twirl of a parasol, taking off gloves or a jacket, a cheeky wink over a pair of sunglasses are just a few ways you can shine on stage.


Time Warp Festival 2017 - Photographer: Ty Tamblyn 


  1. Learn to how to improvise and go with the flow

As anyone in show business would say, just go with the flow! There are bound to be little hiccups in any event. From technical and wardrobe malfunctions to a stumble on stage. This comes down to stage presence again, if you can improvise any little hiccups the audience might not even notice anything out of the ordinary happened. I know some girls improvise all of their performances and play to the crowd and what feels natural on the day.

Time Warp Festival 2017 - Photographer: Ty Tamblyn

And remember - Being a pinup is not all about titles!

There are many things that we all love about pinup and vintage styling. Some people prefer to do more photo shoots rather than pageants. If you love the style, the fashion and feel confident in it - guess what? You ARE a pinup!

Don't let anyone stop you from embracing your inner vintage siren and flaunt your individuality. 


This blog post is also featured in 'Beginners Guide to Pinup' e-book


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