Hollandsch Meisje

Why you should enter a pin up contest or pageant even if they're 'not you'

A Pin Up contest or pageant may sound like a feminist nightmare of superficial horror at first, but it has not been my personal experience at all.

Let start with the word Pin Up. I don’t consider myself a Pin Up but for these events, where the term is used in an empowering way, I have no issues being called a Pin Up. This might be a regional meaning so if you join in anywhere be sure to confirm who hosts and organises an event and with what intent. If you agree with the description of what a contestant should represent that’s the first hurdle out of the way.

My closest contest is Miss Pin Up Benelux. Hosted by Vivian Kramer Gezegd Freher who has made it her life’s mission to make women feel confident no matter their age or shape. She’s tries to respectfully accommodate for everyone while hyping them up consistently. And that outlook and attitude is contagious! Both times I’ve attended she makes most overcome their nerves and enables them to shine in front of a jury of their peers. Which brings me to my next reason why you should join in a contest.

It’s a great place for making friends who share similar interests with you. During these events it is easy to get to talking with others. Will you like everyone? No. But chances are high you make a handful of new connections that might just become your friends. Which benefits you even when the contest is done. 

Photo by Eva Schweizer
Photo by Eva Schweizer

 You might end up in new circles and get some new perspectives within your community. Turning a single common interest into something that brings you diversity and broader experiences. I for one now always have someone to take to a burlesque show!

The most popular ‘Yes, but..’ is that it is scary. Well yes, you’re exposing yourself, you’re the center of attention for a while, people will notice you. But the point is that you are noticed for being you. Confidence is something you build as nobody starts out being instantly confident. And everyone there is feeling the exact same thing, but might just be better at hiding it.

‘Yes, but..’ what if I fail?! Trying and failing is always better than regretting. Especially in a setting where failing means very little in the grand scheme of things. There are no lives depending on your performance or any sense of being less than anyone else. You just have a chance to present what makes you ‘You’ and you might get to do it again on a bigger stage. Its bound to be more fun (and lead to more fun) than it is stressful I promise!

Are you based in the Benelux and exited to join in on the Miss Pin Up Benelux fun? Register in November 2022 to be a part of Miss Pin Up Benelux 2023 Preliminaries take place in Februari 2023 in several locations. More info: miss-pinup.nl or their instagram page