Old school man­ners and sassy smarts shape 21st cen­tury pin-up pageantry

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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.

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