I was recently invited and asked to do and interview with The Pin-Up Pages Magazine. This is the premiere issue of this new pinup magazine and I was honored to have been asked to be apart of it.
I want to send a warm thanks to Mike for contacting me and making this such a great piece!
This interview is published in the first issue of The Pin-Up Pages Magazine along with some of my photos taken by myself, Christie Conyer Photography, Keddy B Photography and Point Of View Photography.
Photo by Keddy B Photography
PPM- How do you think the new European modeling laws regarding healthy weight for models will impact the industry and more importantly aspiring models?
TVD- "I recently saw this on Facebook and was impressed. I shared it on my page saying that this is a great way to protect models in the industry who's bodies have been abused for so long by these brands. They are expected to have these unrealistically thin bodies that just aren't the norm for most. I'm 98lbs on a good day. I'm naturally very thin but at times I'm not even as thin as mainstream fashion models. after I shared this post with my support I was told by a girl that I made her insecure for embracing my natural body type and promoting body health instead of body image. She then told me I should do shoots with curvy models to show I support that body type as if they were props or freaks of some sort! If you break it down, the modeling industry is not here and was not created to be an example to women. They are here to make money. They use and show what makes the most money. They don't care if they make a teenage girl self conscious. They don't think twice about that. Models are walking hangers and they choose them based off the fashions they create and how their product will be displayed. Why this new law is important is because it brings models back into the world as humans and not robots that can be molded into unhealthy mannequins. They are people and so many of them are sick and deathly thin due to the standards right now. It's time to focus on health. Embrace natural bodies and healthy bodies. I think the industry would boom by doing this."
PPM- I know that you have to deal with criticism on a professional level and also on a personal level because of your body type. Will changes in the modeling industry help curb some of that criticism for all women? Or is it a society problem fed by the fashion industry
TVD- "I think people suck. I think people are cruel and there will always be those types. I think that we feed off social media and products propaganda and that's what women think they are suppose to look like because it's crammed down their throats on a daily basis. Even I don't fit the standard of perfect beauty. There is no such thing. Today's version of perfection is an illusion created by the industry, marketing and Photoshop to get people to spend money trying to achieve this. I think by changing the industry you will change a lot of standards that people hold themselves to. It's a huge step in the right direction."
PPM- The runway fashion model success of Madeline Stuart (who has downs syndrome), and the success of other models who are not the “typical model” seems to indicate that the industry has become more open to women of all types. As an insider in the modeling world, do you feel that the modeling world is really changing?
TVD- "I think the industry capitalizes on the attention things like that bring honestly. I think they think they gain attention from it and underestimate the potential these very normal women have. I think there are people in the industry that are honest and genuine and trying so hard to make the world see that women like Madeline are just as beautiful and capable as anyone else and deserve to have their dreams and passions fulfilled. They aren't different. They are people. They are women. They deserve the same chances anyone else does. You see these things happen and thanks to social media they go viral for a week then what? You don't hear anything else about them. I truly hope that things like that become more often and people use their voices to say this is bullshit and everyone should have a chance."
PPM- The Paris runway super model in million dollar dresses is only a tiny fraction of the modeling world. What advice can you give to women who want to get into modeling either for fun or as a profession?
TVD-"I think girls have this illusion of what modeling is but really have no clue. It isn't top model. It isn't glamorous and fancy life styles. It's stress and hard work and a lot of heart break when you constantly feel like you aren't good enough for anything because you are turned down so much. People think my life is this awesome vintage haze of shoots and fancy dresses when really I work all day, go home, vacuum my cats hair off my bed and then lay there answering millions of messages for companies and fans. Modeling isn't for fun. It's a serious career and cut throat industry. If you want to do photo shoots as a hobby because hell yea they are fun and empowering I say go for it. But modeling and hobby shooting are two different things. One is totally in your control and you can do what you want and there is no pressure. The other comes with a lot of pressure. Girls think they are going to get into "modeling" and you just do photo shoots and look pretty and make money! I get emails all the time. "Dear Doll I want to get into modeling how do I do it? How long before I get paid?" Oh honey let me tell you! Pinup modeling and mainstream modeling are so different. The industry's are very different and what works in one isn't what works in another. I can offer one piece of advice. Being a model is hard work and if it isn't your true passion and what you love then it isn't for you. Stick to hobby shooting and having fun with your girls. That's real talk."
PPM- In a recent video you opened with some comments about the new modeling healthy weight laws. You then made the comment that “we are all absolutely flawed and we are all beautiful”. The laws were created because women are harming themselves so they won’t be considered “flawed”. Why do you think it is so hard for women to embrace the “flawed but beautiful” concept?
TVD- "Photoshop. Even I didn't realize the extent of Photoshop until I got into modeling. I stopped working with a photographer over her mindset on a lot of things but one thing she use to do was make me thicker so people wouldn't pick on me and it upset me. I started thinking maybe if I was thicker I would be better off or more attractive, then realized her negative body ideas were taking over my own self confidence. I don't want to put out a fake version of myself to have girls hold themselves in comparison to. Bodies are not turned out of a factory. We weren't created to look perfect and sell products, we were created to live life and enjoy it and embrace experiences and not focus on appearance. Women have so much crap any more that they are told they need to change for, and even men for that matter! It comes down to one thing. If you don't look like perfect photo shopped images walking around you will never find love, you will never be accepted, you will never get the best job, you will never be beautiful. It's shit. All of that is shit. People don't think they can be flawed because we live in our phones feeding our brains fake images of the human body and that's what we hold ourselves to. Look up! Look at life and look at the beautiful thing that is the human body and what it can do! We are amazing creatures and the less we care about what the industry and what marketing for products says we need to be the better off we will live because the more you love yourself without regret the happier you are."
PPM- Most of the women we interact with who are Pin-Up enthusiasts are everyday women working full time jobs. They are wives, mothers, students, and a dozen other things. Pin-Up modeling and events are opportunities for them to dress up and escape for a few hours of fun As a working mother yourself, what advice do you have for them?
TVD- "I come from such a different generation of pinup. The end of a pinup era in a sense I guess you could say. Before social media was a thing and is was all about a life style, music and just fun. I come from the rockabilly generation where pinup was just a look rockabilly girls had. There were pinup models like Bernie Dexter, but it was not as popular as it is now. The girls who did it were doing it because it was a part of a culture they loved. There was no Facebook and social media. There was no social media contests or like contests or share my page. It was just a part of the rockabilly scene and fun and what we did. Now pinup is becoming its own being, a sub culture of rockabilly almost. I think it's because women are catching on to the confidence and self empowering nature of it. Pinup gives no apologies for what it is. It's confident, empowered, strong women who embrace themselves and their sexuality for themselves. What people don't get is most "pinups" are pinups all day everyday. We are who we are and dress how we dress just like anyone else with any other style. It isn't different or odd for us. I get asked all the time "So what is this that you are wearing? What is this look?" It's my clothes man it's illegal to leave the house naked haha I mean come on! I get emails all the time from women asking how I do this daily. I'm just myself! I'm no different than anyone else, my style just embodies either a time gone by or a culture inspired by some of the best music around! Women who want to embrace the modern pinup style or rockabilly culture just need to stop apologizing for what they like. People are going to stare and judge and ask you why. You reply with "Why not?" It's only as complicated as you allow others to make it. Be who you are and like what you want to like. Being a pinup or dressing retro doesn't have to be a past time. If it is who you are don't separate the two."
PPM- The opportunities for the average person to become a Pin-Up public figure used to be very limited. In recent years the internet and facebook have made it easy for women interested in Pin-Up modeling to have a public persona. As a person with a greater internet following than many movie stars, how do you balance that internet persona with the person you are in real life?
TVD- "I think the moment you try to turn yourself into someone you aren't is the moment you fail. It has been crazy to see the pinup style and pinup sub culture take off the way it has over the past six years. Women everywhere are getting involved and creating these online lives that people follow. I think I've been so successful at what I do because through all of it I have always stayed who I am. I'm never fake, I never put on a show, I never pretend I'm this famous model because I'm not. I've built an online brand of something real! I really do go out and get burgers at 12am in a ninja turtle beanie and rock out to teenage girl pop music because it's who i am. Not because I do it for social media attention. My personal life and my internet life are all one thing. It's all the same. I'm not two people. Yea, The Doll is a hell of a lot more confident and out going than me, but Emily is catching up to her in that field lol. I balance my life because with out balance you live in chaos. I have two kids, I have a car payment, and bills, and school functions to pay for, doctor bills and everything everyone else has. I don't just sit pretty all day. I make videos for my page while going into work. I lay next to my kids at night while they fall asleep after I get home from work answering emails. My pinup life is me. The Vintage Doll is me. I have learned to juggle and sometimes I drop the ball here and there but I'm only human and I'm real about that and people respect me for being real."
PPM- Every Pin-Up photoshoot shoot we do has challenges for the photographer and the ladies in the shoot. What do you think has been your greatest professional challenge as a model?
TVD- "Anxiety and embodying sex appeal. Crazy right? People assume that I am confident and just go into everything like a boss but that's not true. I have such bad anxiety when it comes to things that involve me being the center of attention. It's taken me a long time to be able to go to shoots and not be nervous. I still remember my anxiety levels at an all time high this past year when I got to shoot with Roy Varga. Never in my life have I been so nervous to shoot. I've followed and respected his work for so long now he's going to shoot me and I was about to pass out lol!! He's as amazing as you would think he is though. Just a swell fella. Very humble and very good at what he does. I've had to learn that it isn't going to hurt me and at the end of the day I will be in my bed with my cat so I shouldn't let my emotions in that moment steal a huge opportunity from me. Also being sexy. People laugh at that one but I am not the sexy type. I'm the dances in the middle of the store and makes a funny voice when placing an order type. I enter the room with the common phrase "What's shakin bacon" lol so I don't see my self as sexy. I see my self as a total dork so embracing that sexy side has been a task for me. Working with Christie Conyer this year has helped a lot with that. She has shown me a side I doubted. I'm grateful for her. It just really goes to show that even someone like me who people assume to have it all figured out have hurtles to get over."
PPM- At 27 you are a successful model with a family. Do you see your role in the Pin-Up / modeling world expanding into model promotions or businesses with your brand in the future?
TVD- "Oh most definitely. I never wanted to be a model until I became a part of the pinup industry. Pinup is my passion and I am good at modeling. I enjoy it and I enjoy expressing myself in that way. I do want to take what I do to different levels and down different alleys. My career is put on hold a lot for my kids. I don't go to a lot of shows or travel to big events because I have a job and my kids are very little. I do have plans for the future though. Big ones. I didn't expect my brand to even be a brand but now that it is and I see what it does for people I can't help but want to take it higher. Right now I do what I can when I can and am enjoying it"
PPM- Just for fun. We want to know if you ride motorcycles and if you have your own Indian bike?
TVD- "Haha! No, not yet. My mom says I walk into walls so a bike might not be the safest for me but I have the itch now that will need to be scratched. At the moment I am focused on learning to ride and then maybe a vintage Indian will be in my future but not before I get and restore my 58' Edsel!"
I want to thank The Pin-Up Pages Magazine for inviting me to be intervied and published in their premiere issue. It is an honor to be involved in the pinup community and the magazine that help keep it growing.
I hope you all enjoyed my interview!
To find more on The Pin-Up Pages Magazine visit them on facebook!
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"Remember To Always Be Yourself, And You Will Always Be In Style!"
XOXO Emily Doll TVD