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?”

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, who 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; a barn on a sprawling farm where weddings and such-like events occur .

There I squeezed into my vintage-inspired swimsuits, 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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16 thoughts on “How Becoming a 1950s Pin Up Girl Boosted my Body Image!”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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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