Old school manners and sassy smarts shape 21st century pin-up pageantry
NEW at Dusty Rebels And The Bombshells this year is the Miss Bombshell Betty pin-up pageant, a first for South Africa. The brains and the beauty behind this is Gabbi Katz, also known as The BlueHaired Betty, herself a pin-up pageant queen having been crowned in Las Vegas earlier this year.
“Rooted in the rockabilly and modern-day pin-up culture which is inspired by the mid-century era, a pin-up pageant is inspired by the old-school beauty pageants that were immensely popular in the first half of the 20th century. Back then you had the likes of Miss Perfect Posture, Miss Lovely Eyes, Miss National Laugh Queen and Miss Sweater Queen,” explains Katz.
“What we take from this in today’s pin-up pageants, is that a pageant doesn’t always have to be about who has the best body. Being a good pin-up girl is not just about having a pretty face. She can be any shape or size, have any hair colour, and be covered in tattoos. It is a culture wherein being attractive and pretty is balanced by more substantial qualities such as intelligence, class, capability, confidence and a sense of ‘genuineness’.”
A modern day pin-up is the perfect combination of mid-20th century and 21st century values and ideals. She is prim and proper but with a streak of rebellion. Pin-ups must always aim to be classy and well-mannered, maintaining these old-school values, despite being strong-minded, modern women, says Katz.
“Talks about hosting a pin-up pageant first came about between myself and the Dusty Rebels & The Bombshells organisers almost two years ago, but with so much else going on, and the idea virtually unknown locally, it was put on the back-burner,” says Katz. “In the interim I made it through as a finalist in the world-renowned Miss Viva Las Vegas pin-up pageant which I attended in Las Vegas and placed as second runner up. Thanks to the amazing media support I received locally, and the global presence of the pageant, I believe this helped to grow the understanding locally on what a pin-up is, and what a pin-up pageant entails.
“It was about so much more than just prancing around on stage. You had to know who and what you stood for, have a strong message to share, and in that process you learn so much about yourself and gain such great confidence. The camaraderie and support among the finalists was so endearing and completely changed my perception of females and competition in general. I had such an amazing experience taking part in the pageant I vowed that my next goal would be to host such an event locally, so the flourishing of pin-up girls in South Africa could experience the same”.
Even with the exposure the Miss Viva Las Vegas pageant created, Katz didn’t know how a pin-up pageant would be received locally. “All I can say is that the response and support has been overwhelming!”
The pageant judging takes place at 5pm. “The Miss Bombshell Betty finalists and I will be mingling around,” says Katz.
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME: Some of the finalists at the Dusty Rebels Meet & Greet. Penelope Peacock, Chantelley Lace, The Blue Haired Betty, Genny Genocide and Miss Marilyn Deathrow.