The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Naughty but nice
A couple of women recently asked me why I pose in vintage lingerie, baring my soul and other parts, to the world.

I had to think about the answer to this. It's not just about nostalgia. Anyone can collect nostalgia. Most women don't display it. There must be something a bit exhibitionist about me. Mainly though, it's about rebelling against the whole pop culture - fashion industry that believes that every woman must be built like an adolescent boy. If you have breasts or hips, somehow you are perceived by the fashion industry as "too fat."

Why women buy into this (young ones, especially,) I have no idea. Do young women really think that if their BMI is 19, that they'll be spotted by a talent scout and made famous? Off the top of my head, I can think of three women that happened to: Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, and Claudia Schiffer. Two of those women are curvy women, and as much as I thought Twiggy was cute in the '60's, I never had an inclination to look like her.

When I was in second grade - all of 7 years old - I announced to my friends that I wanted to be a pinup model. I didn't see anything wrong with it. The Vargas pinups I'd seen, (thought to be hidden from prying eyes) seemed to be very happy with their femininity. The images were beautiful - larger than life to my mind. The soft and exaggerated forms celebrated the female gender, and I wanted to be like that. There seemed to be a hidden power they possessed - and I wanted some of that. I couldn't wait to grow up.

Of course, in my teens and twenties, and even into my thirties, I completely lacked the courage and confidence it takes to emphasise ones curves for the camera - especially since curves seemed to have gone out of fashion with the '80's. I was in my twenties in the 1980's, but busy with kids and family life. Posing for pinup photos was the last thing on my mind.

But something happened once I hit age 40. Realising that I was getting older, I decided that I needed to start living some of my dreams. And I'm so glad that I did. One day I will be an old woman and I'll have some fabulous photos to look back on. I'll just see that little girl who wanted to be a Vargas pinup, and I'll still be rebelling, even if it's just for an audience of one. And I'll probably be wearing a bullet bra, too.
posted by Melanie O. at 8:32 PM -
  • At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Marty said…

    Every time I get around to commenting on one of your blogs, you’ve written another interesting one. As far as the music goes, your blog sent a chill up my spine because that very day I was out shopping for some Petulia Clark and Monkee Cd’s for our shop. The third group I was looking for was the Dave Clark Five. Do you remember the weekday afternoon show “Where the Action is”? Paul Revere and the Raiders were on it quite often. No one seems to remember that show though….on the topic of mental illness, we are still in our infancy as far as understanding the brain as compared to other organs in our body. Most people understand heart disease, ulcers, diabetes, and on and on. Someday, probably generations from now, mental illness will be seen and treated in the same way other illnesses are today….and someday people will look back and shake their heads at how ignorant we (today’s society) were in our understanding of mental illness…..on a happier note, keep on modeling!!!!! You put today’s anorexic models to shame. I’ve blogged about this topic several times in the past because it’s one of my pet peeves. Society has made it so that the women with the best bodies (the curvy ones) are ashamed to faunt it, while the androgynous ones are going around strutting their stuff. A sad sight indeed. Most younger men probably don’t know what they’re missing though. As far as vintage lingerie goes (and I have blogged about this before too), part of the sex appeal of it is that much of what was sexy was also functional - girdles were worn to enhance curves, garters were the only practical way to hold up stockings, etc. Also, women generally didn’t want the guy seeing any of this, and that made it even more intriguing. Today’s “sexy” lingerie is all for show and very bland by comparison…….take care….

  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Hi Marty - you know, you have just reminded me take a look at Little Pink Dress and see what's new!

    Thanks so much for the kind words - and weird about the musical nostalgia. I remember the Dave Clark Five, definitely. I have to say, I don't remember Where the Action Is, but I was an American Bandstand junkie! :-)

  • At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Age is only a number! Be and do whatever you desire especially on the WWW. Anything goes here and I for another 4-0 am glad.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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