BenCab Museum: Abby Jocson bag, and a vintage belt

The BenCab Museum near Baguio City was so much fun. Aside from the vast collection of Ben, our guide Ryan gave us a unique experience through the museum. He himself is very artistic, taking our smart phones and incorporate the art into our photos.

 

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My photos are taken in the erotica section, where there are interesting works of art on the…well art of sex. It’s a very popular feature in this museum.

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Obsessed with mermaids, finding this bag was a dream. Abby Jocson has numerous quirky designs from pineapples to hearts. My belt is from Pattye’s Closet, a vintage boutique in Glendale.  It was a score (at just $10). The swallows are classic. Something from Sailor Jerry, or any flash tattoo design.

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Taken at the BenCab Museum,Benguet

The Pin-Up Girl Manila Project: Emily from Indonesia

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My first pin-up of my project. I introduce to you Emily!

I met 26 year old Emily through Instagram about a year ago. She hails from Indonesia and is a certified makeup artist. Oh, and she happens to be a badass MMA fighter too. I can describe her beauty as pinup with a dark twist. With her dark hair, eclectic tattoos and off beat posing, she is a true definition of the alternative pinup model. I asked Emily a few questions on her inspirations, struggles and her tips on being pinup

First off, where has your love for the vintage/pin-up fashion come from?

It all started from the first time I watch the movie called Pin Up Girl with Betty Grable. For the first time, I loved to dress in this vintage classic style. But as  time went on, my style evolved into my own signature pinup look.

How long have you been involved in the pin-up community?

 I’ve known of the pin up culture since 2007, but decided to become a daily pin-up girl  since around 2008-2009. By January 2015 I found my own style which is the alternative dark pinup look.

Has becoming a pin-up changed you in any ways?

Absolutely! I’ve learned how to appreciate myself a lot more, and find who I really am. However, being a pinup girl in this whole new modern world is such a huge challenge. I find people look at me in very distracting ways, talk bad about my style. But I’ve learned to be proud to be different, and take all the stare with pride because at least I know I am being myself.

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Who are your inspirations? 

My biggest inspirations are Bettie Page, Amber Rose, and Ms. Tess Munster.

By being a pin-up , do you see yourself influencing other women and girls?

 Sometimes. Not with the way I dress and my passion in pinup culture, but my confidence. We should always be our kind of beautiful.

What are your favorite pieces to wear that make you feel confident and sexy? 

 I’m proud of my body, and love accentuating my curves and my figure. I love wearing wiggle dresses, skinny jeans and maybe pair it with a crop top. 

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What is your routine for staying fit?

 I do squats, sit ups, jogging and some weight lifting every day. I also do boxing and MMA training 4 times a week also swimming every Saturday. 

Being a pin-up girl in the modern day can be difficult, have you ever experienced backlash or negativity from your community?

Of Course.  I’m  tattooed and decided to go bald  just last week. I get a lot of negativity behind my back, but rise up to the seeing myself as a unique human being, I ignore the negativity and continue to believe in myself. I hold my chin up and be proud. I know that there are those people who are just trying to pull me down and I will prove to them that I’m being real, respect my mind and I love myself for who I am. 

I want everyone to know that you should try to find your true self. Try to combine the classic pinup style to the style that perfectly suits you. Also to not  be scared to be different because being different is actually beautiful. Be as unique as possible because that is the most valuable thing in life.

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Strong words from a strong woman. Thanks Emily for being part of this project. Your words and confidence will be inspiring  so many others out there! I hope all of you follow this pin-up on Instagram and take it from her– you can be anyone you want to be.

xxKelsey

The Pin-Up Girl Manila Project: Getting to know the women of modern day pinup and other bloggers!

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What’s a better way to understand the pin-up community than from the pin-ups themselves!? I have been able to contact a few of my favorite girls for an online interview. I will be conducting write-ups on the women and men who are interested in all things mid-century. I’ll also be doing a few local bloggers!

This project is all about getting to know the faces behind the fashion, and those who love the vintage lifestyle. I’ll be tackling down issues such as body confidence, social judgement, and the importance of fashion. I’ll be posting twice a month so watch out for the upcoming features! If you are interested, or have any suggestions please feel free to contact me! I’m open to anyone who would like to join, pin-up or not.

Let’s do this!

xxKelsey

How Pinup Saved Me From My Body Weight Issues and Bipolar Disorder.

Why can’t we all just say “Today I want a 26” waist with full C cups”  then take a shower, steam a little, and when you come out your glorious body has changed into the perfect hour glass figure you ever so dreamed of. Then the next day, if you feel like you want that thick thigh brow and smaller tits, just hop on into that shower and poof. There you have it.

Sadly, God did not give us that magnificent shower that rains holy water for body transformation. He did however, give us the beautiful blessing of making each and every one of us different. It took me a few years to accept that everyone’s body is different. When I moved here to the Philippines in 2005, I was 135 lbs., fourteen years old and 5’6”. An uncommon size at the time.   High school made it harder, since wearing a uniform meant having to get the only sizes the store carried. I would then of course, compare myself to everyone around me. I felt like a crazy giant towering over the average sized Filipina (and Filipino).  The Philippine culture is very judgmental, as hard as we deny it. Filipinos are not afraid to say things like  “Tumaba ka, pero ang ganda mo!”; “You got fat, but you’re still really pretty.”  Regina George much.

By senior year of high school, in one year, I dropped from being 135lbs. to 113lbs. Thin as a fucking rail. I never exercised and I rarely ate. It was horrifying and ultimately unhealthy. I knew it was bad when some teachers were asking me if I was experimenting with drugs (NO. I was not!) , and my best friend came to my prom, grabbed my arm and said “How did you get so thin?” (Not in a positive tone) To tell you the truth, yes it was peer pressure, and it was about a boy. Yes, a boy. I cringe even thinking about it.

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2009.

I have always loved pinup since I was a child. I also had issues with my body type. I have these big hips, small waist and broad shoulders. Making me bottom heavy and insecure. (Ironic? Now it’s all about the booty these days). So when I was searching for a prom dress online, I came about to Pinupgirlclothing and I saw the most beautiful dresses, and not only that the beautiful models. The greatest thing about it was they embraced their curves, and created the clothing to accentuate every part. And not only that! They modeled the same pieces in both regular AND plus size. I began looking into other brands, such a Hell Bunny, Unique Vintage and Starlets and Harlets and they all offered sizes xxs-4xl.

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The range of sizes made me feel so good knowing that there is a place where they know there is an existence of girls out there who are not “one size fits all“. It really changed my perspective about myself. Especially since this was the most popular thing in fashion at the time:

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What was this about?

Once I began college, the freshman fifteen took over. By graduation I was at a healthy 148lbs. I was happy enough with my weight and size, and by that time I had realized it didn’t matter what size I was. I was lucky to have a boyfriend, family and friends who supported me through my “weight gain“. I graduated in 2013 and got my first official job one  month later. Now, I have been working since college. I worked part time as a makeup artist through my last two years of school, I also took two internships in between. So getting a job right away made me feel lucky, yet unsure if I was ready for this. My job was stressful, long hours and did I say stressful? I began to feel overwhelmed, depressed and excited all at the same time. My brain was on a constant creativity mode with tons of rejections.  I have been through anxiety and depression before, so going through this phase with work was something I thought was…just another phase?

It’s hard to explain what had happened, but I eventually had to quit my job and I was at the lowest point in my life. I gained 40 lbs. putting me at 182lbs. Yes. Yes near 200lbs. And when I had an incident that changed my life forever, I knew I had to get the right kind of help. Friends, family, doctors…they all helped me to this day.

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The most unexpected help I got was from the pinup community. I’ve made friends from the past 3 years who are involved in the love of all things mid-century. They are all beautiful men and women who sent words of encouragement and gave my confidence a boost with their lovely shout outs and “likes”. It brought me back to finding my confidence in that “pin up world”. Other girls were also talking about their issues with disorders, and I felt so happy to have people to relate to. They were and still are so brave for sharing, which is why I feel confident in sharing my writings now. They come from all over the world, UK, US, Australia, Indonesia…seriously everywhere.

This is where I went wrong. Because I was comforted by the fact that pinup clothing and community came in all shapes and sizes, I didn’t care about how much weight I had gained while I was working. I was wrong because even if I had gained a little weight, it was unnatural. I was back to that point in my life where I was being unhealthy. Instead of being underweight now, I was overweight. *Why is it so hard to find the middle?* I had high cholesterol, my body fat percentage was off as well as my BMI. Blaming work and my disorder could work, but I only had myself to blame. I was being confused with the idea of being confident at any size, with being unhealthy.

Today, I have changed. I strive for a healthy lifestyle, with getting better every day. It’s a struggle, but then again what isn’t? Each day you grow and each day you learn. There are some things that cannot be explained, or that you just don’t understand immediately. Most days are good, but there are days that are down-right shit. But have a strong support system whether it be from those closest to you, or those half way around the world. It helps me get to the point in my life where I am happy.

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March 2015.

How to be Pin-Up at the Office and Cover Your Tattoos

I began a new job this week, and it wasn’t like my former job where the dress code was casual. I had to now shift into a corporate-chic look. But, I still want to be pin-up!!! (whines.)

So, here are my alternatives to keeping it corporate, yet pin-up all at the same time.

I have several tattoos which are all mostly visible. I work as a sales representative for a high-end company, so when meeting with certain clients tattoos can be a no-no. Ways I cover up my tattoos are easy. Opting for long sleeve polos and dresses, and going to leggings and dark jeans help cover both my arm and leg tattoos. Keeping it pin-up can be hard, since corporate attire basically screams uniform in a pant-suit. So I like keeping the prints like polka-dots or the sailor top. And structures like the black pencil skirt and pumps. I also love how having basic pieces lets me mix and match. And I never forget my red lipstick!
  

How Women’s Magazines are just as Dirty as Men’s; my Vintage Nugget Magazine

We all know Playboy. Playboy fueled the everyday man’s fantasy, lifestyle and let’s say…inspiration. Their famous centerfolds from aspiring models, famous women and rising stars. To men’s tips on the perfect golf swig and the right color tie to bring out your masculinity.

Society views Playboy as sexualizing women. Opinions are made where men’s reading material is known to be dirty, vulgar and disrespectful. Even towards the women who choose to pose in those nudie spreads receive shame from the conservative. However, I see no difference with women’s magazines. Women’s magazines can be just as dirty, with countless ‘advice’ columns on how to reach an orgasm and those ‘confessions’ famous in Cosmopolitan, and even to the women gracing the covers in a sexual manner. But how come those women don’t receive shame, rather praise? Women sexualize men just as they do in Playboy. We spread men on our centerfolds with nothing but a pair of jeans or undies. (not complaining)

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Women’s Health vs. FHM-is there a difference?

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Of course, Playboy isn’t the only magazine that carry this kind of content. There are countless titles from FHM, Maxim, Nuts, GQ, Esquire.…And for the women? Cosmopolitan, In Style, Glamour, Marie Claire, and even Women’s Health…more, I know there is more.  So, women are just as dirty as men making it a fair game. Today we see the progress in women’s magazines becoming equal to that of men’s. But it is not enough, there is still the stigma of being overtly sexual as a woman.  There is a misconception of today’s feminist that stand against these ‘dirty men’s magazines’, but they tend to forget that we too expose the men. So, why do we see them differently?

Before the epic 1953 launch of Playboy making sex mainstream, popular pornographic material was kept underground. Society liked to keep things secret. Owning such material was considered dirty, like a fetish of some sort. We also have to look at how mid-century women’s magazines were pre-women’s lib. Articles strictly stuck to keeping house, matching your drapes to the perfect foyer and the recipe to Susie’s favorite chocolate chip cookies. You won’t find Jenny, 23 from Makati with her confession of a quickie with Tom in the janitor’s closet. And that defines the difference as to why we view these sexual magazines as taboo.

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Marilyn Monroe gracing the first issue of Playboy

Like I said Playboy wasn’t the only dirty magazine. My friend Adi got me something amazing for my birthday. He found a 1957 issue of Nugget Magazine at an antique store in Quezon City. A little frail around the edges and the seam, which I saved by enclosing in a plastic cover. The colors of the pages are still as vibrant as it would be when it was orignally published. Nugget was  one of those wannabe Playboys. It’s basically the poor man’s Playboy. Articles are bland, from fantasy stories about women, to how to cook a perfect steak. Their centerfolds aren’t exactly the top of the list either. Mostly unknowns, these women are much more vulgar (for a 1957 issue that is). The photography seems to be shot by an amateur, but nevertheless the women are beautiful. Illustrations full of cheeky jokes, and many many photos of women and their assets.

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The equivilant to the women’s perfect meat loaf.
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An article on Howard Hughes.
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“Hi, Tommy…and Linda too? Now this is a surprise” (Original caption.)

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Terrible humor in today’s standards.

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Featured is Joy Harmon, best known for her infamous car wash scene from “Cool Hand Luke” (Starring Paul Newman). This scene launched the iconic sexiness of washing a car!

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The centerfold’s came with no proper interviews, rather a commentary of the photoshoot. Specifying on a seduction and sexual advances between model and photographer.

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For me, this is a special rare find. Nugget was unknown to me and it still is. I literally could not find anything online besides former covers on Google Images. There seems to be no website, or even a Wikipedia page. If anyone does find something please let me know I would love to learn more about this publication! Owning this magazine is one of the greatest gifts I have received. Being able to gaze through the dated articles and detailed editorials let’s me be in 1957 from a man’s perspective. It gives an authentic idea of how times have definitely changed.

Thank you Adi!