Miss Pinup New Zealand 2015 Bettie Rage.
Pinup style has grown rapidly in popularity over the last decade and the Miss Pinup New Zealand pageant sees ten lovely ladies vie for the crown every year, including pinup queen Bettie Rage who won the 2015 pageant. Hamiltonian Bettie Rage (real name Anjelique Jones) lives and breathes the pinup style and even manages a vintage-inspired diner where the red lipped look is part of her uniform.
We’re fascinated by the new interpretations of vintage looks and are looking forward to The Very Vintage Day Out tomorrow at Alexandra Park where there will many vintage inspired stalls and the Miss Pinup New Zealand 2016 competition taking to the stage. We chatted to Bettie about how to embrace the pinup style, what it was like to win MPUNZ and how her life has changed since then.
How did you first get involved in pinup style and what attracted you to it?
I’ve always been in awe of the silver screen beauties of the late 30s, 40s and 50s and would watch old movies and musicals when ever I could (many on repeat), so I guess it came as a natural progression into pinup when I realised that I could dress and LIVE that life.
How would you describe your personal style and how you represent it on your blog and social media?
I am very much the bad girl/sultry pinup. I love hot rods, tattoos and tight clothes. So I guess you could say I put more of a modern twist to the classic pinup. A rebel pinup.
Congratulations on winning Miss Pinup New Zealand 2015, how did it feel to win the crown and what was the experience of being in the pageant like?
Thank you! It felt amazing, a little bit of a shock as I was sure someone else had taken it out when Charlotte was given the runner up title (I thought she was going to win). It was very surreal really but an absolute blast! The pageant was great, the girls were amazing and we made each other feel like family. Helping each other when needed etc. There was a lot of nervous tension in the air backstage but we kept each other calm and grounded and just had fun. But BOY! was it a lot of work!
Has your life changed at all since winning MPUNZ and what has the past year been like as the titleholder?
Life carried on, though it has become busier! Balancing working at the diner and trying to attend as many events as I can became quite difficult. But I managed in the end and was able to pick and choose which events suited what I was about. I still am taken a back when people say “Hey you’re Bettie!” or ” Didn’t you win Miss Pinup?” and have to remind myself that yes I did win Miss Pinup NZ 2015! It’s so great to see so many women, people in general, really excited to meet me or see me in person and say how much they love what I am doing.
Clearly you know a great deal about pin up style, what are your tips for people who want to embrace the pin up look?
Find what works for you and OWN IT! Yes, you may see something that another pin up has done and want it to be how you look, but don’t become disgruntled if it doesn’t look quite right on you. It takes a little patience and practice to find your own unique pinup-ness.
You’ve won several pageants now and been photographed for magazines, what are your tips for being confident in front of the camera or on stage?
It carries on from the previous question. Find what works for you and OWN IT!. I also tell girls not to worry about the people in the crowd and what they think, if you feel like a million dollars when you do it then it will come across that way. There will always be people who don’t like something about you or something you have done, and that’s fine. That’s their problem. If you feel confident within yourself then it will show through.
Animal welfare and veganism are both subjects close to your heart, how have you used your platform as MPUNZ to promote those causes that mean something to you?
Mainly attending events such as the Humane Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming Charity (HURRAH) Fundraiser for Kira. Joining up with and becoming an ambassador for SAFE was a big one which led to an article in Woman’s Day and segment on Breakfast TV with Miss Grand International NZ and Miss Earth NZ as New Zealand’s vegan beauty queens, and small things like utilizing my social media platforms as MPUNZ to help spread awareness for animal welfare and the vegan lifestyle. My title as MPUNZ helped me to gain a little ground when spreading the awareness and I must say helped many people re-think a few things. I had so many messaging me asking about going vegan or how they could help stop certain dog breeds from getting a bad rap or how they could helped chained dogs gain freedom. It’s things like that that my title has helped me gain.
The Miss Pinup New Zealand 2016 finalists with Bettie Rage (centre right).
You’ll be at The Very Vintage Day Out this year to crown the MPUNZ 2016 winner, what do you most enjoy about the VVDO and what are you planning to do at this year’s event?
This year I am planning to just really enjoy the day! Last year there was a lot of running around making sure I was ready for the pageant and any other things I needed to be present for. I will really love being able to take in the atmosphere, watch the people and really check out the stalls. All the while hopefully inspiring the baby pinups that want to give it a go to enter next year!
What have been the highlights of your pin up journey so far and do you have a favourite moment that stands out above the rest?
Winning MPUNZ was definitely at the top! But gaining exposure in american magazines and calendars while shooting with Mitzi & Co was a major moment. But I think for me, being a part of SAFE and HURRAH and seeing that work do some good because I was a part of it, just making that little bit of a difference was amazing. I also adore hearing that I have inspired other women to take the step to becoming their own strong, unique pinup!
Where do you see yourself heading from here and do you have any goals you’re working to achieve in future?
Well, becoming a bad ass tattooed, pinup mama is at the top of my list at the moment. And I mean, I’m still doing photoshoots even with a soccer ball attached to my front and I LOVE IT! I love that I can show that just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean it is all track pants and crocs. You can still be a babe’n pinup goddess with a little pinup or greaser in training growing inside.
Images from Miss T Pinups.