Part-time princess: a peek into the world of pin-up modelling
By Viv Steele, Sex Correspondent
Trixie Terror, Port Coquitlam-based pin-up model and burlesque performer, sits across the table from me in her kitchen. She’s wearing a Vancouver Canucks tee, her blonde-and-blue hair pulled back in a high ponytail. It’s a far cry from the look she sports in her artistic work, where she’s usually found wearing corsets, skimpy undies, and a full face of makeup. Trixie is one of many women in a growing trend, a girl next door who’s a part-time princess, a multi-tasking diva who can go from zero to sexy in 60 seconds.
Burlesque performances (stripteases culminating in undies and tasslled nipple-pasties) are characterized by a keen sense of humour, an over-the-top display of femininity that borders on satire. With multiple burlesque performances weekly and salons dedicated to the sultry, retro pin-up style, Vancouver is becoming known for sassy, gorgeous women decked out in frilly finery.
Performances are elaborate and hilarious, or if you’re Trixie Terror, they can be very gory. Trixie performs something called “gorelesque,” which is exactly how it sounds: burlesque dancing with lots of fake blood! Trixie says performing is one of the more empowering things a woman can do for herself.
“When I first started I was very shy about my body,” she says. “I was nervous and didn’t really like [my body]. Now I’ll walk around naked.” She speaks very animatedly about how gorelesque and pin-up modelling have improved her confidence, and offers some advice: “I think that every woman should do a sexy photo shoot, for herself. It’s fun. It makes you feel beautiful.”
As a freelance model and performer, Trixie gets to work for herself and mostly on her own schedule. She tells me that she seeks out photographers on networking websites like ModelMayhem.com, and she often has creative control over her hair, makeup, and wardrobe. She describes pin-up as “cheesecakey,” walking the line between sexy and classy, yet landing firmly on the former of the two.
“It’s all based on the clothes you wear and the poses you do. My trademark thing is my legs. I always have them prominent, so that’s kind of sexy because my legs are over my head or straight out.” Trixie works mostly on a TFP basis, which stands for “time-for-prints.” It’s a way to get exposure and build a portfolio as a model who’s in the early stages of her career.
Pin-up is an attractive trend for a reason. It’s characterized by an alternative style, an openness to the different or weird. Most models have a 1950s vibe, updated for the current time with tattoos and piercings. Trixie has 10 tattoos. The industry is also open to more growth: “In the past two years, maybe, [pin-up] has taken off… it’s all over the place,” says Trixie. “So that means there are a lot of terrible models out there, but then you find people who you would never think would be doing it, but they’re doing it and they’re brilliant at it.”
Trixie relies on support from a strong social media network. She’s a self-professed Twitter and Facebook addict, sites which she uses to promote herself and support other women who work either as a hobby or for their livelihood. She posts both pin-up shots and candid shots on her Facebook page and is working towards getting featured in magazines, but for now, Trixie Terror remains a part-time princess. A girl who loves the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Cowboys, a woman who spends her days raising her five-year-old son, and a sexy vixen in front of the camera, always game to play in bathtubs full of fake blood and gore.
Image from Casseiopea Photography