Dapper Day – Orland, FL

What better way to guest blog on here but to cover Dapper Day here in Orlando! I know, about a month late but who doesn’t like remising on such a magical day? This year was truly a special one as well! Instead of being held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios it was held at Epcot due to Hollywood Studios being under so much construction leaving less than half the park available to people visiting. (But who can’t wait for Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land?! I know I can’t!!) Even better, we got to have our own mini Expo! This was something that I’ve been eager to see over here.

Picture1.jpg

Picture2.jpg

Picture3.jpg

About 90% of my outfit was vintage bought at various shops on Etsy and in Orlando. The dress was bought of Etsy but the hat, gloves and purse were bought at a vintage shop. The dress came with a sash to tie in the back for a bow but that didn’t work out for me so I decided to wear it as a kind of scarf, reminded me of Grace Kelly. The coolest part of my outfit, to me at least, was the purse because it came with a small mirror attached on the inside so you could check your lipstick whenever you needed! So cool, right?!?

Picture4.jpg

Picture5.jpg

Picture6.jpg

I was accompanied by Kasi (@pinupbarber), her husband Elliot and my boyfriend Jade. Kasi was sweet enough to buy my ticket to the Expo before it sold out. The park was very crowded that we ended up parking at Hollywood Studios then took the boat over. We went straight to the Living with the Seas lounge where the expo was taking place. What makes this even more amazing is the fact this is a place that rarely sees the public eye. It was beyond gorgeous. As soon as you walked in you were welcomed to a huge aquarium that took up the whole back wall of the lounge. There were drinks and hors d’oeuvres being served. Pinup Girl Clothing and Orlando Vintage were there selling goodies! In the back part of the lounge, there was a photo background set up that you could take photos with, which we gladly took advantage of. We met so many other lovely ladies there, some I knew and some Kasi knew. We ended up with a whole group of wonderful looking ladies at once. The whole event lasted only a few hours but it was beyond perfect and I truly hope they decide to host another one.

Picture7.jpg

Picture8.jpg

Picture9.jpg

When we got out from the expo, it was time to eat around the world for the Food & Wine festival. The Food & Wine is probably one of the best events that Disney puts on. They have so many different booths from around the world serving tapas style food and drinks, so you can be sure to try tons of different food. Once the sun started to set, Jade and I headed next door to take pictures at the Boardwalk Resort because it’s just drop dead gorgeous there. Towards the end of the evening we went to Beach Club resort to eat at their soda shop style restaurant, Beaches and Cream. It was truly a perfect way to end fall Dapper Day.

Thank you to the beautiful Holly Mae Woods for inviting me to guest blog for her. Be sure to check out her guest post on my own blog The Dapper Dames. If you want more Walt Disney World adventure be sure to follow me on Instagram @miss.cara.astaire

Picture10.jpg

Until next time!

-Cara Astaire

Bettie Page: Pinup Feminist?

I want to thank Ani for graciously inviting me to share my thoughts on her fabulous blog. Please check out my site, The Pinup Professor, for more articles about feminism and pinup fashion.  Thanks for reading!

Virgin or slut? Madonna or whore? For centuries, these reductive dichotomies have distinguished and characterized female sexual identity. We women are often forced to negotiate between tautological extremes, hoping to avoid allegations of promiscuity while maintaining our sexual autonomy. In a world full of Kardashians, we’re told, be an Audrey. We judge ourselves, and other women, based on binary systems of evaluation. But these dueling stereotypes can never fully capture our sexuality and our identity as women.

 

Throughout history, feminists have confronted oppressive constructions of female identity, including the Victorian “cult of true womanhood” and the feminine mystique of the mid-century. While many women, like Betty Friedan, articulated their objections through the written word, another Bettie chose quite a different medium to challenge patriarchal norms.

Now, it would be disingenuous to suggest that Bettie Page’s motivation for modeling was to “smash the patriarchy.” It wasn’t. Nevertheless, her ability to add complexity and nuance to the pinup genre, which, at the time, had been hijacked by the one-dimensional “Playmate,” was, in its own way, revolutionary, and dare I say…feminist?

photo_2

When Bettie Page first appeared in Bizarre magazine, pinup art had devolved from the empowered and subversive Vargas Girl to the submissive and childlike Playboy Playmate. Maria Buszek, in her book Pin-up Grrrls, attributes the regression to the postwar climate in America. Starting from the trauma of war, patriarchal America was anxious to return to a simpler time with clearly delineated gender roles. Men worked. Women stayed at home. Gone were the complicated, dangerous femme fatales; they were quickly replaced by images of subdued and compliant bombshells. As Hugh Hefner related, “Playboy is not interested in the mysterious, difficult woman…” His magazine, saturated with the male gaze, was unapologetically produced for the exclusive perusal and enjoyment of men.

Photo_3.jpg

It was into this particular milieu that Bettie Page interjected her brazen good looks and lighthearted personality. Rather than being reduced to a sex object, Bettie Page turned herself into the subject of a particular brand of bondage-and-domination (B-D) photography. Instead of pigeon-holing herself as a “top” or a “bottom” (which was customary within the genre), Page performed both roles with her signature, over-the-top playfulness. Her sexuality was multidimensional, self-directed, and fun. She was also photographed by women (the indelible Bunny Yeager) for both male and female audiences. In effect, Bettie Page completely subverted the pinup standard of the day.

Photo_4 .jpg
I suppose that’s why I find it surprising that, just earlier this year, a house mural of Bettie Page was defaced with the note, “Stop exploiting women’s bodies” signed by “some feminists.” The argument, unfortunately, is one that has persisted within the women’s movement for quite some time. I have read too many many feminist blogs slut-shaming women for participating in burlesque or for wearing “revealing” clothing. While perhaps well-intentioned, these women are complicit in the same type of dichotomic thinking which reduces women to sluts or saints by conflating sexual expression with exploitation. The owner of the Washington house mural, Jessica Baxter, responded perfectly by obscuring the “feminist” message with one of her own: “Autonomous sexuality is empowerment. Telling a woman to cover up is oppression.”

Photo_5.jpeg

I think it’s about time that we abandon the archaic and rigid binaries that have defined us for so long. While I would personally never cover up for religious reasons or bare all as a pinup model, many women who do so are exercising personal agency, and that—in and of itself—is a feminist undertaking. And based on that criterion alone, Bettie Page may have very well have been a pinup feminist.

  

Emily: History of the World, Part I

[I’m really honored to feature Emily as my first guest writer. She first asked me to guest write for her blog, which prompted me to begin my own blog. Without her, the Museum Pinup wouldn’t exist.]

Hi everyone, I’m Emily from Thoroughly Modern Emily, and I’m over-the-moon excited to be here on Ani’s fabulous blog! Ani is one of my fave pinup pals – she’s as kind as she is smart and gorgeous! – and I was so delighted when she decided to start a style blog to showcase her amazing art-inspired outfits and share her incredible art-history knowledge with the world!

Like Ani, I’m also a museum pinup: I work at a natural history museum in Chicago. For this post, I decided to embrace the theme of this blog and take you inside the incredible world of life in a natural history museum.

Photo #1.jpg

Ani could tell you what type of columns these are, but I can’t ;). I love where I work so much that I sometimes visit on the weekends!

Many people are surprised to learn that what they see in a museum is often only a small fraction of all the items in that museum’s collections. This is definitely true at the Field Museum: of the approximately 27 million specimens in our collections, less than 1% are on display at any given time! You might be wondering: what on earth do they do with the other 26,730,000 specimens?

The answer, folks, is research! The museum I work at is essentially a Cave of Wonders for scientists, many of whom travel from all over the world to do research there. The people who finally figured out what type of animal Illinois’ state fossil actually was? Museum scientists! The people who figured out that DDT was killing off peregrine falcons in the 1950s and 1960s? Collections of peregrine falcon eggs in natural-history museums helped them to unravel the mystery!

Photo #2

These two signs are on either side of the door to the herbarium. Science humor is the best humor!

Photo #3

#everythingisdead

I learn something new at work almost every single day, and it’s awesome. My other favorite perk of the job is being able to wear whatever I want to work. It’s basically the only workplace I’ve ever encountered where my Deadly Dames Venus flytrap dress is the most work-appropriate item in my wardrobe (owing to the massive botany collection, of course! Everyone on the bus made ‘Feed me, Seymour’ comments; my coworkers complimented my Dionaea muscipula print.)

Photo #4

In putting together a natural history museum-themed outfit for this post, I decided to make reference to the four overarching scientific disciplines housed inside the museum: botany, anthropology, zoology, and geology. Botany was the easiest to represent, since hair flowers and pinup dresses go together like grilled and cheese. I chose my all-time favorite hair flower, the orange rose double from Daisy Jean Floral Designs.

The Nancy dress from Pinup Girl Clothing is one of my favorite silhouettes that they make; I have it in three difference colors! It was a challenge to choose between this peach Mary Blair butterfly print and my pink lemonade version, but in the end, I went with the butterfly print to represent zoology and pay homage to the enormous insects collection.

Fun fact: There are over 8 million specimens in the insects collection alone. The insects collection includes 19,000 of what’s called ‘bulk samples:’ jars that contain a variety of species collected in a single place at a single time. Bulk samples are incredibly valuable to scientists, who can learn a great deal about a particular ecosystem and the relations between species by studying them. I’ve been told that scientists frequently discover new species when they pop open a bulk sample to study something else, and it blows my mind to think about how many species we still know nothing about.

Photo #5

Geology was a difficult choice, since the Museum has the largest collection of meteorites in a private institution and I have a soft spot in my heart for the many space-themed garments in my closet. I went back and forth on whether to swap the Nancy for one of my space skirts, but ultimately decided to honor the Museum’s most famous exhibit, Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, with my Atomic Lucite brooch.

Photo #6

Dinosaur brooches are among my most work-appropriate accessories.

Finding an anthropology-related piece was the hardest of them all. I racked my brain for ages, wondering if it was cheating to say that my engagement ring was a reference to anthropology, since I’m fascinated in cultural practices around courtship, before remembering my stroll through the Hall of the Pacific a few weeks ago. Many of the garments and artifacts on display were made out of plants, so I chose this vintage wicker purse as a nod to the woven bags used by many women all over the world.

Photo #7Photo #8

The next time you visit a natural history museum, I hope you will think a little about all the hard work that scientists put in to gather and study those specimens so that all of us can learn a little more about the 4 billion year-long story of Planet Earth. Where else in the world can you see rocks from the Moon, 8-carat diamonds, actual dinosaurs, long-extinct birds, plants from all over the planet, and an entire room of ceremonial malaggans, all under one roof?

It’s been an honor to share two of my favorite things with all of you, and I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my world. Stop by on my Instagram (I’m @emily.hallock), Facebook, Twitter, or over on my blog and say hi!