This is a guest blog post by local New Zealand pinup Miss Kitty Kat.
Miss Kitty Kat comes from a small town and wanted to share her thoughts and knowledge on how sometimes it can be difficult to embrace your style and feel confident within such a small group of people.
A small town pinup girl
Six years ago I never imagined I would be where I am now, both place and life wise. I was kicking it in Auckland, with a small collection of vintage items and my kitties (plus some family and friends) by my side. It would take the hardest day of my life to lead me to where I am now and honestly, to being the happiest I have ever been.
Returning to the small town of Kawerau, where I had grown up, provided a few challenges, including finding work, but discovering who I really am was a fantastic bonus. It was just over a year after coming home that I began to fully immerse myself in the world of pinup and for me, it’s been a truly amazing experience.
While I do have days where I dress fairly relaxed, often I do dress Pinup when either in town or visiting the neighbouring towns of Whakatane, Rotorua and Tauranga. Now, there aren’t too many women, or lads, who dress this way and to say I stand out would be a little bit of an understatement. And yet, not once in any of these places have I received any negativity, or rude comments. In fact what is more often the case is I am complimented on my outfit, or people just smile at me as I stroll down the street or go into various stores.
These positive experiences are why I was so surprised to hear that some women had been laughed at, made fun of or been asked rude questions when dressing in a similar way in these towns. I do know there are frankly rude or horrible people out there, but having not seen this myself I found myself contemplating why some people are teased etc about wearing pinup in small towns, yet others are not.
A brief explanation
For years we had a woman who lived in town and worked at the local college. She was fierce, empathetic and always incredibly stylish. Not once did you see her without makeup or well dressed (well I never did). Not once did this woman look unkempt and I feel that perhaps she is partly to thank for people in Kawerau not looking at me sideways.
There is a saying: Wear your clothes, don’t let your clothes wear you.
To me you have to be confident in wearing whatever you want. You need to wear those clothes and not let them consume or overwhelm you because if you aren’t comfortable it shows.
I have made the mistake of wearing ridiculous heels and I’m certain I looked a little silly because I had no confidence in them. Very tetter tottery! I learned my lesson.
Other ways I feel confident
I ignore the haters. Now I’m not naïve, I know there are certainly going to be those who can’t stand how I dress or my love for pinup/vintage. But I DON’T CARE. As the song goes, haters gonna hate and they will, but if I let that get to me I’d be a rotten mess. I learnt a long time ago that I need to ignore those who look at me funny, or laugh etc because it will wear me down. They are the ones with the problems, not me.
My last piece of advice – I LOVE this town and the surrounding areas and I embrace it. Many of my photos are taken in Kawerau or the towns nearby. When events are coming up I do my best to support them. We got married here and had our reception at the local Cossie Club. I proudly tell people I come from Kawerau and defend this town when needed.
The point is, if you are embarrassed by your small town and get down or negative on it, those who also live there will see that and could react negatively. Now I am not justifying people being horrible because of that, it’s just something to keep in mind.
Find something about where you live (or came from if visiting) that you simply adore and embrace it. If it’s a lovely place, then get some beautiful photos taken there and share them. Show others what you love about that place and the residents will appreciate it.
I hope if you are living in a small town like me, this has helped you if even just a little bit. If you have other thoughts or ideas I’d love to hear them, as getting different perspectives is always great. Just remember, these are just my ideas and thoughts as I know every person feels and thinks differently.
Remember, be proud…
Of yourself, your town and your identity.
Miss Kitty Kat is a pinup from the small town of Kawerau in the beautiful Bay of Plenty. She had the privilege of being the first lady from the BOP to be selected for Miss Pinup New Zealand (2016). When she’s not being a pinup or adding to her shoe or vintage collection she writes, creates pretty things, goes exploring New Zealand with her hubby or chills out with her furry kitties.