Today I’m thrilled to bring you a lovely guest post from Ruby of Ruby’s Musings, a fabulous retro housewife (her words!) who blogs about all aspects of her vintage-style life. This post tells the wonderful story of a pinup finding herself again by re-embracing the style that had fallen by the wayside for her during life’s trials and her mistaken belief that she might be ‘too old’ for the style she has always loved.
Finding Empowerment by Re-embracing My Inner Pin Up Girl by Ruby of Ruby’s Musings
I find myself laying on my bed, in a vintage night gown, posing while my daughter takes my photo, and I forget that I recently had breast surgery that was for the removal of breast implants, that are still healing, and much smaller than I have been in 20 plus years. I ignore my lumpy bumpy skin texture, my stretch marks even the fact that the skin my neck is not as firm as it once was. I am embracing my inner pin up, after a 10 year break, at the age of 49. Before long, I am touching up my cat eye make up, re-applying my red lip stick and putting on my petticoat under my recently purchased vintage dress so that I can pose for some more photos to use for my blog and facebook page, even Instagram …. not feeling at all silly as I do pose after pose with cheeky facial expressions and jetting my hip out in an exaggerated manner to get just the right shot. I have come a very long way.
There was a time that I dressed in vintage and reproduction clothing, pretty much 24-7. I lived and breathed the past, from our decor to the music I listened to and the movies I watched. I was known in my smaller hometown by quite a few people for my rockabilly/retro/pinup style; people would tell me that they waited to see what I was wearing each day. It was a very nice feeling to be accepted and complimented for my style, a style I had been wearing a version of since I was in high school. There was a small community of like minded and dressed people in my area, shops that catered to the life style and even regular large gatherings on any given weekend. It was fun and I felt very comfortable and yes, even empowered by my chosen style.
Then life happened, as it often does, moving, not once but twice, across country, health issues, chronic and never ending, the loss of friends, the loss of our dream home, and then more moves, not as major, but still continued changes. The biggest of them being edging closer to the mid-century mark age-wise. I thought for sure it was time, as I was not seeing anyone my age wearing the same style of clothing, to throw away that black eye liner and retire the full skirts and hair flowers. Then something happened. I joined a style group full of women of all ages, and among the many every day style ladies, blending into each other was a few individual that were just that individuals.
Very long story short, the cliff notes version, slowly I found myself again. It took some time, and I began slowly evolving my style, started looking for the sources where I once bought clothing, joined Instagram and started following popular pin up ladies, reading their blogs and eventually “met” a lady on line that told me I was not too old, that there were others in the world just like me!
I eventually got brave enough to share with my blog followers, my FB fans and then on Instagram my renewed style, the renewed me. It was met with overwhelming support and cheering on and not just from my readers/fans, but also some of the pin ups that I was following (talk about a fan girl moment or two!)… even my family was in my corner, and was all for me going down this road again.
With each thumbs up and with each compliment, my self esteem and resolve became stronger. Walking into my local coffee shop and being told how much my style is admired by strangers, even having women tell me “thank you “ for dressing this way, for bringing back the beauty, grace and, in my case, modesty (until the nighty photo shoot giggle) back, and for being of a certain age and not letting that define my style. I have women of all ages cheering me on and it is indeed empowering… and not going to lie, it is a great boost to my ego. It does not seem to matter that I have salt and pepper hair, or as I like to say my pewter and silver strands. It matters not that age has made a mark on my face in the form of laugh and smile and yes frown lines…all well earned, mind you. It does not seem to matter what having three children, a roller coaster of weight ups and downs, or my health has done to my body…. all anyone ever says is how lovely, beautiful, cute…even inspiring I am, as well as how refreshing it is that I have adopted this style and own it.
If that is not encouraging and once again empowering I don’t know what is?! I do not see myself walking away from myself or my pin up style (or as I am still more comfortable calling it “my retro housewife style”…still trying to own the pin up title) any time soon. It may evolve, become a more mature version of what it is now, but I think it is here to stay, and I for one am more happy for it.