Archive | May 2016

Honoring the Fallen. Memorial Day Etiquette.

Hello Darlings!

The weather is warming, the flowers are blooming, and summer is nipping at our heels. It’s nearly time for BBQs and pool parties. For many, the three day weekend, known here in the USA as Memorial Day Weekend, is the unofficial kick-off to the summer season. Through the years and the BBQs and the extra day off work, the true meaning of Memorial Day has been lost. I cringe every time I hear “Happy Memorial Day”, a personal peeve of mine. In an effort to make the world (or at least my little corner of it) a more polite place, I’d like to share some important Memorial Day etiquette tips.

 

I have had the extreme pleasure and honor to work with some of the finest men and women on the planet, the men and women of the United States military. Through my charity work with the Pinup Patriettes I’ve learned a great deal about the sometimes complex  realm of military etiquette. Memorial Day etiquette, however, isn’t military etiquette. Memorial Day etiquette is something every single American should know. Sadly, the majority of Americans don’t know the first thing about Memorial Day, save for summer parties and store sales. Many Americans believe Memorial Day is a day to honor veterans and active duty military members. Not so. Memorial Day is the day that we honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We honor the fallen.

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The Pinup Patriettes volunteering at the Veterans + Labor food drive

Memorial Day was first observed after the Civil War when on May 30th, then known as Decoration Day, citizens would decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers. Fast forward 100 + years, Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May to honor the sacrifice of every American man and woman who have given their lives in the service of their nation. It is a solemn day, a sobering reminder of the cost of war and the price of freedom. So here are some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind this Memorial Day.

Do observe Memorial Day. It is proper to say you are observing Memorial Day rather than celebrating it. There are many ways to observe the holiday and honor the fallen: attend a Memorial Day service at a local cemetery, watch a Memorial Day procession (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a parade), volunteer with a local group to place flags on the graves of fallen veterans, even attend a patriotic bbq or pool party, whatever you do, keep the true meaning of the day present. Remember, someone gave their life for your three day weekend.

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Memorial Day observances in cemeteries are becoming more and more scarce as people forget the reason for their three day weekend. If you have an opportunity to attend such a ceremony, do not pass it up. It is a powerful experience indeed.

Don’t greet anyone with “Happy Memorial Day”. Remember, it is a solemn day, a day of remembrance. One wouldn’t offer up a cheerful “Happy 9/11” or “Happy funeral”, but that is essentially what a “happy Memorial Day” greeting is. I’ve heard all kinds of defense of and excuses for offering such a greeting: “I’m celebrating the lives of our soldiers” or “I’m showing how happy I am for my freedom”. While I realize no malice is intended, keep in mind to those who have actually lost someone, this sort of greeting is very insensitive. Memorial Day isn’t celebrated, it is observed.

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Gold Star moms remembering the their sons lost in battle.

Do fly the American flag at half-mast. There are etiquette protocols for raising a ceremonial half-mast flag. The Flag is sharply raised to full-mast (the top of the flag pole), and then solemnly lowered to half-mast. The Flag stays at half mast (in a mourning position) until noon, then it is raised is up again to full mast as a promise by the living to lift the memories of the fallen, to never forget, and to carry on the fight for freedom and liberty. The Flag should then be taken down at sundown. If your flag pole is stationary and the Flag cannot be raised up or down, then you may show observance for the day by flying a black ribbon or sash from the top of the pole. Please be sure to show the Flag proper respect by following regular flag etiquette.

Don’t (accidentally) disrespect the Flag. This one in particular is for the pinup girls planning patriotic photo shoots. Old Glory is not a carpet, a cape, or a blanket. Do not sit on the Flag. Do not stand on it or let it drape on the floor. If you want to use the Flag as a prop, display it using proper flag etiquette. Show your patriotism by showing Old Glory the resect she deserves.

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A few of the Pinup Patriettes posing with American flags. Notice no one is sitting on them or using them as clothing.

Do take a moment at 3 PM to remember our fallen, to show your respect, to reflect. The National Moment of Remembrance is observed at 3 PM on Memorial Day. It is a moment where Americans, no matter where they are or what they are doing, stop to remember, observe a moment of silence, or listen to Taps. The Stater Brothers grocery chain officially observes the National Moment of Remembrance by making an announcement asking their customers to take that 60 seconds to honor the fallen.

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I have had the honor to sing at so many welcome home celebrations, Memorial Day services, and every sort of patriotic event imaginable. I can never get trough a song without choking up.

Don’t be obnoxious with the sales. This is really more for shop keepers, but it also applies to consumers. I love to save money just as much as the next gal, but mobbing the local boutiques or electronic stores for a holiday discount seems, well, in poor taste. I’m not saying you shouldn’t shop or take advantage of a good deal, just remember why that store is offering a sale. If you are a shop keeper, again, remember what Memorial Day is really about. Be respectful and sensitive about offering “huge Memorial Day blowout sales”.

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The Pinup Patriettes love hamming it up with fans and new friends, but we never lose sight of why we do the work we do. There are so many who never made it home, and we will never forget them.

Do know what holiday you’re observing. On Memorial Day we honor those who have died in service of our country. On Veterans Day we celebrate and say thank you to the veterans who have  previously served in the military. On Armed Forces Day we celebrate and say thank you to the men and women currently serving in the US military.

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My Mr and I took our little boy with us as we Hiked for Heroes. Educating our children will keep these important traditions alive.

Do buy Buddy Poppies from the VFW. Outside grocery stores (especially the afore mentioned Stater Bros.) you will likely see representatives from the VFW selling Buddy Poppies, buy one…or twelve. These traditional flowers of Memorial Day, inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields, are made by disabled veterans and the proceeds go to veteran’s charities. “Honor the dead by helping the living.”

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A veteran salutes the flag with a Buddy Poppy in his cap.

I hope you’ve found this little etiquette piece informative. If you’d like to learn more about the Pinup Patriettes and what we do…or leave a much appreciated donation, please visit us at pinuppatriettes.com

XOXO,

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

 

 

Pinup 101: The Devil is in the Details

Hello Darlings!

I am pleased to announce we have finally moved into our new home. It has taken much longer than we expected, and because of an asbestos issue, we have yet to unpack. With everything boxed up, I thought this would be a wonderful time to get back to our chat about how to become a professional pinup model. Let’s dish, shall we?

The Devil is in the Details

When it comes to recreating or paying homage to any historic art form, it is imperative that one does it right. It all boils down to the details, hair, make-up, manicure, pedicure, pose, wardrobe, everything!  Once your visage is on film, and subsequently on the page, those little details will make all the difference. The details you miss will haunt your dreams! I kid, I kid, but not really. So, how do you know you’re crossing every and dotting every i? I’ve whipped up a handy dandy little Top Five list to help you hone your craft.

Dolly Marlowe’s Top Five (in no particular order) Must Do Before You Step in Front of a Camera List. Sorry, I’m at a loss for a pithy title.

1. Do your homework. What does that mean? It means study the masters. Get to know the great pinup artists of the day. You may have heard of Alberto Vargas, but what about George Petty, Gil Elvgren, Art Frahm, Zoe Mozert, or Enoch Bolles? Can you spot their work? Do you know what they’re known for? You should. Nothing screams fraud, especially to true pinup art aficionados, like a model pretending to be in the know. You will learn everything you need to know about hair, make-up, posing, and wardrobe by becoming familiar with original pinup art.

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This image was taken for a Pinups for Pitbulls promotion. It was inspired by Gil Elvgren’s painting “Neat Trick”. Photographer: Alisha Cryderman Models: Dolly Marlowe, Petunia, and Rerun  HMUA: Dolly Marlowe

2. Learn how to do your own hair and make-up. You may know how to paint your face and style your coiffeur for everyday, but styling for the camera is very different. While many photographers work with hair and make-up artists, they aren’t always available. I almost always do my own hair and make-up. I prefer to do it myself, but I have on several occasions had to do my own hair and make-up because the artist either didn’t show, or fell behind schedule with other models during a shoot. I have even had to un-do what a HMUA had done because she wasn’t skilled in vintage make-up techniques. Knowing how to do my own hair and make-up makes me more marketable to photographers and brands. They don’t need to hire anyone extra for a shoot because I can do it all! A word to the wise, make sure you know what you’re doing! Don’t advertise yourself as able to do your hair and make-up if you can’t do a professional job. Hot messes don’t get a call back.

 

3. Practice makes perfect. Just as dancers practice in front of a mirror, models should do the same. Practicing in front of a mirror helps you get a mental image of how a pose feels. That facial expression you think looks like smoldering seduction (in your head) may in reality look like constipation. Try different poses and expressions. Make a note of how you’re holding your hands and feet. Chin up, chin down. Look left, look right. Don’t slouch! Chest up, bottom out. It may feel silly, but practice will keep you from looking silly on set. Remember those classic pinup artists you’re supposed to be studying? Use them for inspiration. Memorize every detail. Make posing second nature because once the mirror is gone and the lights are on, your nerves may get the best of you. Being prepared is what will get you past that.

4. Pay attention to detail. Noticing a theme? I’m a stickler for details. I’ve seen some really great photos ruined by a model’s squared off french manicure or too modern jewelry or not quite right hair or cliche’ polkadot dress and flower hair clip (guilty as charged). Pay attention! Are your legs and under arms shaved? Is your polish chipped? Is your wardrobe steamed?  If you’re tattooed like me, you need to work extra hard to get your audience to look past the ink and see the vintage beauty (news flash: not everyone likes tattoos), so nail those details. Scrutinize everything! You’ll thank me later.

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One of those nagging missed details: my nose piercing. We had a long day of shooting, and I simply forgot to remove it. I love this set so very much, but I’m always kicking myself for missing that one little thing. Photographer: Margo Von Pigtails Model: Dolly Marlowe HMUA:Dolly Marlowe

5. Be yourself…if only a little better. Every pinup girl is a reflection of the pinup girls who came before. Bringing back that timeless beauty and elegance is kind of the point of what we do. But a word of caution, my darlings, don’t become a carbon copy of someone else. Dita Von Teese shares a great story in her book Burlesque and the Art of the Teese when she realizes her look was patterned a little too closely to Bettie Page after meeting pinup artist Olivia De Berardinis. She promptly set out to craft her own, and even better, trademark image. While every bit of her look is borrowed from the pinups of yesteryear, put together the image is uniquely Dita. That is what every pinup model must strive for, a unique image inspired by and crafted from those authentic details. An example: my own beauty mark. Strikingly similar to Dita’s, non? Well it’s a detail I borrowed to hide a childhood scar that looks a bit like a red pimple. Rather than requesting it be edited out of every photoshoot, I just covered it (it is now permanently covered and part of my face). I got the idea, not from Dita, but rather from my mother who used to paint beauty marks on me when we would play dress-up. She got the inspiration from the 17th century mouches beauty patches (and I’d wager this is where Ms. Von Teese also draws her inspiration). Because Dita’s beauty mark is so very iconic, I must be careful not to copy her look because we have other details in common: naturally pale skin and black hair (though mine grows out of my head this way). I’m not at all comparing myself to Dita Von Teese, but rather illustrating the slippery slope that comes with any historical look. We all eventually draw inspiration from the same places, so be sure to draw from as many places as possible to avoid becoming a clone. If you like Bettie Bangs, by all means, wear them! Just be sure the rest of your look is you.

In closing, remember that ultimately it is your job to make you look good. The photographer is responsible for the overall look of the shoot, but they can’t make the model something she isn’t nor should they. I hope you’ve found this installment of Pinup 101  informative. As always, if you have a question or comment, you can leave them here on my diary or drop me a line via the electronic post: dollymarlowe “at” gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

xoxo

Dolly Marlowe