Remind Me Again Why I’m Doing Contests?

Screenshot 2016-03-02 09.29.21

This Instagram contest is giving me ulcers.

Only slightly joking here. First there’s just the organization. At the moment we’re almost fully booked through APRIL. Crazy, right? As of today we have 43 women in the cue to try and win a chance to be in the online film. It’s a full time gig just organizing the contest. And I already have a full time gig.

But for me the bigger problem is the contest itself. January ran along nice and smoothly. We had one clear winner each week and then did a second chance contest where the top runners up could vie for a spot. Then I sent it to the judges. As it turned out, as the judges were tallying their votes, the contestant would would become the second place winner won a pin up contest at the Grand Nationals with Mitzi and Co. Photography – and I offered a prize of a spot in the film to the winner. So everything was good. Miss Ruby Rotten won the Instagram contest, but K Von Spun would also get a slot in the film.

Not so clear-cut this second time around.

Me, this month.

Me, this month.

First let’s start with the weekly vote. In two of the weeks we had gals so close together in the popular vote (like one vote off or a dead heat) that I made a call – two of them would go forward. So we ended up with 7 finalists instead of 5. FOR THE SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR.

And then the vote itself. Our eventual winner, Kitty Mansfield, was so moved by the story of one of the other contestants that she donated all her viewer votes to her. We had a second clump of finalists right behind her, who were basically tied for second. Including what would be our first two European pin ups. One of the models clearly won the popular vote, while another the judges thought had the overwhelming best reason to be in the project. A third was right behind in both categories.


So I’m making an executive decision. Kitty Mansfield won the contest – and as the winner is going to get a special this-month-only perk – a role in a music video we’re shooting later this year.

But the other three – Pin Up Sunshine, Rita Fend and Serenity Pinup (or Serenity Siren) – will each get a feature in the online film.

Here’s my disclaimer: I won’t do this every month. And I’ve got to figure out a way to harden myself to these stories.


And I’ve got to say a abhor that “everyone gets a gold star for trying” mentality that seems to infect things. Sometimes things work out for you and sometimes they don’t. This isn’t one of those cases. These are four women who the judges, the audience and me (to a lesser degree) feel should be represented in the film.

But the fact of the matter is that I really come to like the women who I’m virtually meeting through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I’ve said this before – I’ve gotten WAY to close to this project for a supposed “impartial” academic. But I admire their drive, their devotion to the craft, their sisterhood even to people they don’t know personally, and their personal explanations for how pin up has made them into someone more powerful.


So yeah, shortest month, four “winners.” So sue me. It’s my party.

Speaking of which…

3 thoughts on “Remind Me Again Why I’m Doing Contests?

  1. Hi! This is @oddddreeee from the February round of finalists and I wanted to say thank you again for including me. Seeing the work of all these lovey ladies as a newcomer gives me so much to aspire to!
    I also wanted to comment that something I greatly appreciated was your inclusion of clearly non-professional or even pre-planned shoot photos. Since actually deciding to give this thing a shot, I have to declare that BEING A PINUP IS F*ING EXPENSIVE. Asides from having to invest in wardrobe and makeup, time to learn different styling techniques, researching the many components that go into the concept “pinup” historically to present day, understanding of your personal style and how to express it best in this form, shoes, nails, events, cars, and so on, not everyone has the honor yet of being contacted by professional photographers for collaborative shoots or being paid to shoot, so getting initial images takes a good deal of cash – not to mention the cost of retouching/post, if you’re aiming at that super-authentic look.
    I really hope you continue and maybe even give a little extra consideration to (if the judges don’t already) those of us who are doing this on less than a dime. I do want to point out that asides from the inspiring @pinup_sunshine, all of the front runners are pro models or have been able to do pro-quality shoots. Honestly, given how few actual shoots I’ve been on, I didn’t think I could ever hope to call myself a “pinup”.
    I only wish to point this out because this whole process made me revise my definition of what being a pinup actually involves. I don’t believe it has anything to do with success or money. It calls back to a simpler time and simpler pleasures for a reason. The looks we’ve come strive to copy were achieved with effort and love and invoke an atmosphere built on those values, not a styling team and lighting. Being a pinup is something to which anyone who wants it can aspire, because the source of that glowing smile and sparkling eyes is usually a person more beautiful, who lives their life with a heart more beautiful, than the final image being captured.
    These are all things I kinda wish I had been able to say before – the statement part seemed more formality, less contribution. Which was a wrong thought on my part, because as society has evolved, so has being a pinup; where it maybe once was purely about aesthetics, it’s now about the meaning of those aesthetics. Maybe even give the coming months’ girls the opportunity to expound via the blog rather than the character (and attention) limits of Instagram?
    At any rate, I really love your project and will be watching with cheers for my fellow pinup gals all along the way. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this and be able to grow with this experience.
    With gratitude and admiration, and a kiss thrown with hearts in my eyes,
    Oddree (@oddddreeee)

    • Thanks, Oddree. These are all great ideas – especially the thought of guest blog posts. To date the blog has really (frankly) been a way for me to just jot down notes during the process. But inviting people to help contribute is really not a bad idea (and requires nothing more than me organizing the post publication dates). You’ve got my brain working…
      And I LOVED your images. Drop dead gorgeous. I hope you keep sharing.

  2. Pingback: Access | Pin Up! The Blog

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