As most of you all know I am working on pinup magazine, a magazine that will correlate with this page. I will admit it's easier said than done. And I won't lie I'm scared out of my mind. So far I only have myself and another lady that I will be working with soon. As the date gets closer to releasing the magazine (I'm going for January to coincide with the page's birthday) more doubts are entering my mind. I do feel overwhelmed asking myself what did I get myself into? I know that there are lot of Pinup Lovelies and Burlesque Lovelies that are excited about the first modern day black pinup magazine. Seeing how few and far between they are featured in modern day pinup magazines. I just want this magazine to be the best that it can possibly be the Ebony version of pinup magazines. I do have big dreams for life and for Black Pinups and I often wonder how in the world will I get to accomplish them.
Lately, I've been thinking about giving up on the project and just sticking with the page. Moving to a new place, trying to furnish it, expenses and seeing how the paycheck just isn't enough I wonder what I'm doing and if this will happen. Something keeps me going though, I don't know what it is despite being thisclose to throwing in the towel only this morning, something won't let me. I hate not having internet, I hate not being able to attend events that Burlesque Lovelies invite me to, and I hate not being able to work for myself. I do try a lot with this page. So bear with me if it doesn't get updated throughout the week. I have to travel to Starbucks to get Wifi because the library 5 minutes down the road has crazy hours and their Wifi is absolutely horrible!
I just thought I would share my feelings I'm open for comments and if you know of anyone that can help me out. I'm doing this not just for me but it's long overdue and I want the world to know that brown pinups are fierce and lovely!
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Recently, I was asked to write an article on Black Pinups. Why are Black Pinups so rare and my experience on it. I also decided to do some research on Google to find out more reading the frustrations and rants on why there are hardly any Black Pinups. And it made my heart sad to see that in this day and age it’s like nothing has changed from the 1950s.
It’s been 10 years since I discovered Dorothy Dandridge thanks to seeing her biopic played by Halle Berry. I remember when there was media frenzy over who would play Dorothy and I remember shrugging my shoulders thinking “What’s the big deal?” in my ignorant 12 year old mind I had yet to realize why she was so important and thought of how good-looking she was. When I finally did get into her a few years later I was intrigued. I liked Carmen Jones and felt sympathy to Dorothy’s plight. I wanted to know more but there wasn’t much more on her. So I continued my love obsession with old movies. I spent countless nights watching TCM, looking up on Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn and all the while there was a small voice that asked a burgeoning question; “Where are all the black actors?” I knew of Sidney Poitier only because I’ve heard his name around knew he must have been a man of importance. I knew of Harry Belafonte only because of Carmen Jones and that was it. Surely, these two men Josephine Baker and Dorothy Dandridge weren’t the only ones.
When I was becoming a fanatic of Marilyn Monroe I noticed that she was a model and yet my mind couldn’t run away from the question, “Are there any black models from that time?” Being a history nerd I knew of the struggles among African-Americans in this country and the lack of recognition that went unnoticed. Fast forward to the end of the decade and I got more into the retro scene always loving anything that had to do with that time. It was around this time I discovered pinup models and was so enamored with it. And yet again the question, “Where all the black models?” I had no problem trying to style myself after the white pin up models I loved how they looked and I was even more happier when I saw that there were modern day pinups. A little part of me was sad to not see any modern black pinups. Again the questions: “Where were they? Does anyone know of them? Are they hiding? Maybe it’s not cool to be a black woman and like anything retro and that it’s a thing of a past.”
Then I moved out to California still not seeing anyone that looked like me that loved what I loved. It was fun seeing how many young ladies were into the rockabilly, pinup, and retro scene but the more that I went to car shows, rockabilly shows, and anything retro related I started to feel a little sadness. Then one day I decided to go on Google and type in Black Pinups and there I saw pictures of pinups from the past and then I came across the prettiest pinup since Dorothy Dandridge, Angelique Noire. I went on her Tumblr and was floored! You can imagine the happiness I felt. And then I came across Ashleeta Beauchamp and as I was on Google and Facebook that’s when I thought why not make a page for Black Pinups past and present. 17 months later a quest for finding anything all things pinup related has turned into a love that I can’t do without.
I now feel like I was put here to bring awareness. It’s never a bad thing to be yourself. It’s never a bad thing to like something that makes you happy even if others don’t get it. I want the world to know that there are black pinups and that it’s okay to dress like you’re from a different era. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Normal and routine gets stale. Being different and being you is unique and a breath of fresh air. You must strut to the sound of your stilettos and walk like you own the town. You must accept yourself for who you are. There are some models that will always be skinny, like Audrey Hepburn skinny no matter if they eat eight hamburgers in a row. There are some ladies (like myself) who loathe at the slight thought of working out. Hey pinup models did not have the J.Lo booties, they didn’t have abs like Janet and they were considered women. They had a little pudge, a little flab and can you believe there was a pill to make a skinny woman gain weight to get more attention? WOW! If you’re a size 0 or a size 20 are happy with what you have and work with it. If you want to gain or lose weight do it the right way. The world is your oyster take that pearl and make fabulous jewelry with it!