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How Becoming a 1950s Pin Up Girl Boosted my Body Image!

pin up girlsLast week I got to be a Bombshell. I’ve always wanted to be a Bombshell and am grateful to chocolate and french bread for making it all possible.

Like a lot of women I always have my eye on what I consider to be my five extra pounds.

I live in Los Angeles, which may explain how I hound those five pounds when they would really like to help fill me out. They keep throwing up their hands and yelling, “Just move to freakin’ Kansas already, because we could use some extra company.”

Stinking L.A., man. It’ll mess with your curves.

So I flew to Boulder, Colorado to meet with one of my #LoveYourBodyNow collaborators, photographer Beth Sanders. We discussed our nascent project and then it all became about me me me. I thought my Married Sex series really needed a vixen to represent it and that vixen should be me.

I asked Beth to make me look as beautiful as humanly possible, then photograph me for time and all eternity as one of a bevy 1950s pin up girls.

I didn’t know if I could pull it off, but once you’re creeping up on 50 you just say, “If not now? When?” and you also begin to quote Risky Business, “What the Fuck! Because ‘What the Fuck’, brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future!”

Beth sent me off to gorgeous make-up artist, Bre Ortola of Alchemy Mineral Blends, and she spackled and painted and glued my face until I looked better than I ever knew I could.

Then it was off to Beth’s studio in a barn on a sprawling farm where weddings and such-like events occur where I squeezed into my vintage-inspired swimsuits and midlife crisis red stilettos and struck a pose or two.

I am thrilled with the results. Being me, I see some flaws, but I also see a lush, laughing, lovely woman enjoying life. And a big part of my big smiles came from posing for a lean, laughing, lovely woman who looked through her approving lens at me and only saw Beauty.

Beth. Thank you thank you thank you. Now I’m off to breath fire and swallow swords, because I feel so badass. xo S

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Are you one of the 1950s pin up girls? Send your photos to shannoncolleary@aol.com and I’ll post them here! And don’t forget to sign up for our free updates below!



16 comments

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  1. AlexandraFunFit
    AlexandraFunFit 26 May, 2014, 12:11

    You are totally a badass with a great ass!! My boys were born in Boulder and we still have our house there. I might return and become a pin-up girl. It’s a very healthy, beauty-incuding town. I love and covet your swimsuits. Wouldn’t mind your face & figure either. blah blah blah

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  2. Frugalistablog
    Frugalistablog 26 May, 2014, 12:38

    You know I love you and these are awesome!

    Reply this comment
  3. Darcy
    Darcy 26 May, 2014, 13:33

    I love these photos of you! I really think the retro/vintage look is gorgeous. The lines seem to enhance and embrace curves rather… very flattering.

    Reply this comment
  4. Jen
    Jen 26 May, 2014, 19:44

    You look totally freakin amazeballs! You body is kickin and you are super pretty. I wish I would look this good when I turn 50 (in 7 years).

    Reply this comment
  5. Kim Jorgensen Gane
    Kim Jorgensen Gane 27 May, 2014, 06:23

    Absolutely, knock out, gorgeous, Shannon! But now you need to change the name of your blog to “currently known as beautiful,” which the rest of us already knew. And I speak for the petite, pleasantly plump among us when I say, thanks for acknowledging that, if any at all, you seriously have only five pounds to “worry” about. Which, PSHT!! This is empowering for many women to own and embrace their beauty, and not apologize or be ashamed of it. Go, YOU!!

    Reply this comment
  6. Lis
    Lis 27 May, 2014, 10:42

    Hi. I’m rather new here, which might make the next sentence seem super awk, but here goes: I think you’ve just become my Internet crush for the week.

    But not in a weird way or anything. More like an “I wish I could have a nice, boozy lunch with the gorgeous lady. She looks like a hoot and we would giggle a lot about life and extra pounds and shit” kind of way.

    Ah, hell. Now I’ve become the stalker-y person from Texas. Except now I think I might move to Kansas, after reading this.

    Carry on witcha bad self.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 27 May, 2014, 12:47

      Lis — are you kidding. I love to be stalked. In fact I think that’s one of the key blogger traits. Stalk at will.

      Reply this comment
  7. Caryl
    Caryl 29 May, 2014, 19:58

    Love the ones of you in the cab!!!!! All are awesome!

    Reply this comment
  8. Doug Smith
    Doug Smith 6 June, 2014, 07:40

    More true confessions – I am totally envious of Beth Sanders. As someone who is passionate about photography and love interacting with people, I suspect you would be a blast to work with, not to mention a fabulous muse. Love her photos of you, but then she had a great starting point.

    The one thing that also caught my attention was your brief discussion of makeup. It looks like Bre Ortola did a great job. What makes it interesting to me is that while a good makeup artist can really help to enhance what is already there, I thoroughly enjoy photographing people without makeup (people generally being women since most me do not worry about makeup – though I do have photos of some guys polishing their nails and one guy that looks a bit like a Hell’s Angel applying powder, it was a alternative rock band). I like seeing people as they are as much as how the little touch-ups make them look.

    Anyway you look fabulous and I think it is a great look for your Married Sex series.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 6 June, 2014, 11:13

      Doug thank you so much. This was by far and away the best photo session I’ve ever had. I’m pretty self-conscious in front of a camera (which might be hard to believe). I worry my chin is too pointy, my teeth are too big, my lips too small blah blah blah, but that’s mostly bc I’ve seen some pretty awful photos of myself. Beth just brought out my humor, bawdiness and confidence. What a difference that makes!

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