Last weekend it was time for this year’s big Scandinavian final. The battle of the North, one might say;-)
For the 3rd year Miss Retro Pinup Scandinavia was crowned at Rat Fink Reunion hosted by Mooneyes Sweden in Avesta, Sweden. This contest has grown so much since 2014! And I am happy and very thankful for getting the chance to be a part of this, both as a contestant and a judge. And now also a collaboration partner through our network Retro Pinup Scandinavia.
My first year involved I was a terrified and super anxious fresh-to-the-scene pinup. I was a mess, haha. But I was also fascinated by how the pinup community is – supporting, loving and genuine.
I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought I would become a part of this to the extent that I am now. Back then it just seemed like some unachievable fantasy to be the one sitting among the other judges, or being the one getting Norwegian pinups to the final, or just being someone who has created anything of significance. Honestly, back then all I cared about was surviving the contest and getting back home to my safe little nest where I could hide and be anonymous.
But the boss lady herself, MirAnna Morehell, had different plans for me. She saw something I never have seen in me and she backed me up in everything I did. She was (and still is) my mentor, I would not have gotten where I am today without her. And it has made me realize how incredible important it is to just be supportive and encouraging for the ones around you.
For me it hasn’t been easy starting off on my own with the Retro Pinup Norway network. I have been terrified of being seen as a hoax, or not getting people to understand what its all about or just laughed at. I always had MirAnna to help me with lots and lots of practical things, but it has been so lonely at times and more than once I have been on the verge of just quitting it all. I have doubted myself and what I do all the way and having no one with me in creating all this has been tough. I’ve been so far down in the darkness at times and I didn’t see the light.
Being sucked into the pinup world has been a lifesaver and a HUGE eye opener for me. I’ve always believed in the values pinup stands for, and discovering that you can use pinup itself as a platform to influence and inspire others was kinda mind-blowing.
Pinup I already knew existed but before I ended up in it myself, I honestly have to say that for me it looked like it was about taking pictures and looking good. And nothing of that was for me. But as I became deeper involved I learned that its about taking a stand. Taking a stand against bullying, body shaming and just be a shining light in this world of pressure, conformity, negativity and struggles. Every pinup has a story to tell. Every pinup has been through tough times. And that is why many women choose pinup, because pinup lets you be who you are in every way. And through pinup you have to power to tell your story, to spread positivity and just give back. Pay it forward. This world can be cruel and pinup is a refuge. Here you meet compassionate, caring and supporting women. We are here to say to you that you are beautiful. You are good enough. Don’t ever doubt yourself or hold yourself down. You can do it.
And if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have cared to become a pinup. If pinup was nothing more than pretending to be glamorous and collecting likes on Facebook I would not even think about it. Its all about the message pinup has that makes it so giving and so rewarding to put myself out there and constantly push my own boundaries. My comfort zone has been shattered more than once while doing pinup, but it only makes me grow. And to this day I still crumble and think that nothing I do is good enough. I still lack faith in me and what I do.
Last year it all took a different turn when I met the only Norwegian girl competing in the Scandinavian final, Betty HellKat. I asked her if she might be interested in joining me in Retro Pinup Norway and luckily she was! She has been like a vitamin injection for me, finally I had someone Norwegian with me and we do make a great team. She is so happy and passionate about this and that was just what I needed (and still need). Together we made this grow and this June we arranged our very first Miss Retro Pinup Norway! We worked so hard on this! I’m shocked over the support we got from people wanting to support this and also by all the women wanting to be in the contest. I was scared shitless that no one would care to enter. We got more entries that expected and to read every story from the women was touching. Me doubting it all had to admit that we seemed to have reached out and gotten our message out there. Reading what the entrants had to tell about themselves brought a tear to my eye. Here I was, believing I was shit, reading about others thinking the exact same of themselves and saying they looked up to me or Betty. And looking at their pictures, all I saw was beautiful women – and they don’t see that.
I’m so thankful we managed to pull our contest off and with that send 3 girls to the Scandinavian final. Most of all, I’m so thankful of meeting the Norwegian contestants and making new friends. To be lucky enough to meet such sweet and kind women, women who share both my and Bettys thoughts and values. We support them and they support us. In every day life it warms my heart to know I will always have someone out there to have my back when I need it. I have felt so alone that you wouldn’t believe it.
From having ONE contestant each year (me as the first, Betty as the second) and things just going slow with Retro Pinup Norway to this year with the 3 placing women from our final and 2 wildcards, Norway really got to shine this year! We got lucky enough to get 2 wildcards since we have been so poorly represented earlier and all the 5 women are beautiful inside and out. I use the word thankful a lot now but that is what I am. Thankful for getting to know these ladies and following them in this final. And humble for their support in what I’ve been trying to create, a place for every girl and woman to turn to if they ever are in need of help, support or if they’re just curious of pinup. A place where you are accepted and we see the real you – and we love that person.
This weekend has been filled with love, laughter and fun. I’ve been told so much encouraging things and gotten so much support that I was overwhelmed. At a loss for words! Like, «What? You’ve been following me and what I do? You’re proud of me? Of ME?» I was thinking «How can you be proud of me when I’m not?» And I just lost the ability to speak because I was so baffled. I felt the good old lump in my throat. I do have people believing in me. Watching my every step without me knowing it and thinking I do good things. And you know what, I DID work hard this past year even though I didn’t believe in me for a second. I HAVE made great things happen even if I have refused to tell myself that. I DO matter. I just have to really realize and admit that to myself.
Pinup, I love you! You’re a life saver! And to all pinups out there, and all women struggling and not believing in themselves – I love you, too! And I believe in you! You are worth your weight in gold.
Aaaaand, last but not least, I am so happy and proud and excited to tell anyone out there who doesn’t know yet (really?) who the lucky winner of Miss Retro Pinup Scandinavia 2016 is *drumroll*
FIFI VON TASSEL representing Norway! Yaaaaay! We (or well, she) did it! Fifi has her head in the right place, she fights for body positivism (the word itself she more or less introduced to the Norwegian people, its her brand so to say) and she is a firecracker! She is so confident in her skin that is makes me jealous. She shines on stage, she is a very good writer and she is a voice for women of all shapes. Go Fifi!
Please check our fb-pages and IG for pictures from this weekend and see what’s going on up here in the far North:
Retro Pinup Norway on Facebook, IG @retro_pinup_norway
Retro Pinup Sweden on Facebook, IG @retropinupsweden
Pin-up.fi model agency on Facebook, IG @pinupfi_modelagency
Retro Pinup Scandinavia on Facebook, IG @retropinupscandinavia
Follow us on this crazy journey to unite pinups across borders and spreading the pinup-love!