Body positivity and confidence part 4

“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.” – Louise Hay

• • •

Body self love is a life long lesson and journey, with twists and turns that come with our ever changing bodies from such things as weight gain and loss, pregnacy, age, illness etc. It doesn’t come easily and it takes working on it every single day. This has taken me years and years to get to the stage I’m at right now and even then, I’m still struggling.

For pretty much all my life, well as far back as I can remember anyhow, I’ve had body image issues and for the last 5 years or so I’ve been working hard to look at myself in a kind and loving way rather than hating on myself. Finding the world of pinup certainly helped me in huge way. I was always trying to dress to the current fashion, which 95% of the time was not made for my body shape. The pinup style is perfect for my curves. I love everything about the vintage and retro style, and dressing in that way was a massive break through for me. Not having to try to keep up with current fashion trends makes my life much easier. Dressing pinup is who I am. It brings me so much joy. The pinup lifestyle and fashion, so to speak, isn’t for everyone but it’s definitely for me.

Recently I’ve been really reflecting on my life and how I see myself. I’ve pondered about what I may of thought if 19 year old me could of seen a pic of 39 year old me. Not even going to lie, 19 year old me would of ended up with an awful eating disorder or become obsessed with exercise in absolute fear of ending up just how I am today. I’m being totally honest, that’s right, I would have been horrified to know that I would be the size I am (and I’m not even that ‘big’). I was after all a 90s teen and back then, skinny was the ‘in’ thing. Thigh gaps (or as I call them, ‘bang gaps’) were all the rage. Curvy girls were considered ‘fat’. Cellulite was one of the scariest things on the planet to teenager (more than likely still is) and don’t even get me started about spider veins. But what if 19 year old me could also be preview to how happy I am, then things would more than likely be different within teenage me’s reaction to late 30s me. What if, what if??

I’m in no way the same person I was 20 years ago, nor even 5 years ago. I absolutely love my curves and embrace them. As much as I’m never going to be 100% happy, seriously what woman is, I’m pretty darn close. Like 90% there.

One thing that has always been my biggest issue with my body is my thighs. My darn thunder thighs. The size doesn’t bother me so much anymore (not like it use to) but the cellulite and the nasty spider veins are what get to me these days. Being a Beauty Therapist means being on my feet for the most part of the day. This, and my age, has contributed to those beautiful purple spider web looking veins appearing on my legs. For these 2 reasons, I’ve not wanted to show my bare legs in public much at all. I’ve over come wearing a bathing suit in public but would you believe, up until a few months ago I had never ever performed on stage bare leg for an entire act.

Ok, ok, I have been on stage twice without stockings and in bathers of all things (stockings and bathers just don’t go), which scared me more than being on stage in the first place, but this was for 2 different pinup competitions. Both of which I actually won. Go figure. Pinup competitions don’t include removing your clothing (well no actual strip tease elements anyways), so it’s a bit different to burlesque. I’ve never performed any of my burlesque acts without stockings on. Yep, I always wear stockings. ALWAYS! It’s a little safety net for me…… but I finally did it. I went on stage bare leg.

I recently revamped my 2nd ever solo act from almost 5 years ago. I had kept the original cardboard bath tub I made (so crafty), and always thought that maybe one day I’d bring the act back. Originally I wore thigh high stockings and took them off on stage right before I stepped into the bath. This time I made the decision to face my fears and not wear stockings at all. This may seem so trivial to most but this was a huge thing for me.

I was so nervous, more nervous than I had been for a very long time. I used shimmer lotion and glitter spray to make me all nice and sparkly and also in the hopes of hiding some of the imperfections. I stood back stage and all of a sudden it dawned me…. I looked over at Madame Demi Diva & Bettie Bombshell and said “have I just hidden the cellulite or highlighted it?”…. Oh shit, too late it’s done now and it’s time to go on stage.

I felt so nervous and I had the shakes so bad…. but I got through the act, I felt good about it, I felt amazing and I felt empowered. I did it! I faced my fears and I’ve never been so proud of myself in my personal self love and body positivity journey.

Getting the photos back from any show is always scary for me and this show even more so. But I absolutely love them, so much so that I asked my beautiful friend, Elise from Fate Photography to do a little bit of her magic (she is a magician) so I could have them printed on glass and displayed in my home, to honour such an achievement of mine.


Celebrate the wins, no matter how small or trivial they may seem. Try to be kind to yourself throughout your own personal journey. We are all hard on ourselves and we all have things we don’t like about our bodies but you can find an acceptance and an approval of it and love it for what it is. We all have flaws but even flaws can be beautiful.

Next time you look in the mirror look at the parts you love and tell yourself you love them, then look at the parts you don’t like so much and tell yourself you love them even though you don’t like them. The more you love on yourself the more you will believe it. It’s hard at first but day by day it gets easier.

Love Delza xoxo

Crack The Mirror Of Perfection

Body Positivity and Confidence part 3

This is not an advice article, it is all written from my own personal view based on my knowledge and experiences in my own life, hugely influenced by my burlesque and pinup side of life. Combined with quotes gathered from others within the burlesque and pinup community and also friends of mine, all with their own personal thoughts, journeys, knowledge and experiences.

{Get comfy, this is a long one. I have a lot to say, clearly}

What is perfection? Who decides what is or isn’t perfect? Should society depict what and how we should or shouldn’t look?

Hell to the NO! Why should we allow society to tell us what or how we should look. Chasing the never ending pursuit of what is deemed ‘perfect’. Who even makes these choices of what is or isn’t perfect? Seriously we are all so unique, why do we all need to look the same, that’s just boring.

Growing up as a teenager in the 90s, yep last century, the ‘in look’ was to be skinny. I mean super thin. Like, if your thighs were touching that was not going to cut it. This being the case I never felt like I was skinny enough. Even being a size 6 to 8 AUS, my thighs still touched, so that little voice inside my head was constantly telling me “you’re fat”. If only I knew earlier that the reason my thighs touched was because of my body shape. Go figure, good old genetics. A lot of pressure is put on us to have the perfect body, well what we are told is the perfect body anyhow. These days curvy bodies are so much more represented and accepted, in actual fact all body types are. Hooray!

Body Positive Shoot – organised & photographed by Ella Hackleton Photography

*Since this shoot, I’ve had the confidence to wear a bathing suit in public

“Body positivity is something that is very close to my heart, as someone who has always struggled with the way I see myself!
I organised this photoshoot to show women of all types and backgrounds that it is ok to be you, that you are gorgeous and worthy just as you are!
As women, it is so important to stick together and support one another rather than tearing each other apart and that was something I think we achieved at the shoot, women who may have not usually met each other in the real world, coming together and embracing each other!” – Ella Hackleton

Ok, I’m going to get a bit personal right now (please don’t hate, like for real, I’m a very sensitive person) …. Lately I’ve had a few people refer to me as plus size. For the life of me I can’t figure out if they are giving me a compliment or if it is a nice way of calling me, well for lack of any other word, fat. Is this the 90s teen still inside of me with that voice ringing in her ear “you’re fat”…. My gosh, the word ‘fat’ is so harsh! Being called plus size isn’t the issue, I don’t even find it offensive in any way, but growing up, way back… you know, last century, plus size was referred to as a large person, much larger than I. It starts to play on my mind that maybe I see myself differently to others. I’m a proud curvy girl, 100% happy about that, I have those thick thighs with the booty to match, a cinched in waist and an E cup bust (an hourglass figure to be precise) but am I plus size [puzzled look on face] ? I personally believe there is a difference between curvy and plus size but very unsure of how it is defined exactly. Why does it even matter and why does this make me second guess how I see myself, because deep down how others see us still lingers in the back of our minds. This is when we need to remind ourselves that what we think, look and feel about ourselves is more important than what others do. Whatever labels are placed on us, we need to remember those are just words, that’s all.

That’s me on stage at ‘A Night At The Opera’ : A Queen Tribute Burlesque Show (Fringe World Perth 2020) produced by Ivy Cabaret – Photo by Fate Photography


“Yes, I do consider myself to be curvy, but not plus size. To me, my curves are a love hate relationship, some times I love the body I have and feel so good being able to show them off, but sometimes I feel frumpy and uncomfortable when clothes don’t fit or feel right.” – Madame Demi Diva

Madame Demi Diva – Photo by Fate Photography


“I do consider myself plus size, it’s when magazines/media or sometimes even people who are skinny (a size 8) that say “ah I’m so fat I need to go on a diet and lose weight” or magazines consider a size 12-14 to be plus size. That’s what shits me. Plus size to me is 18 an over.”

“Since losing weight I have gained more confidence. But, since dancing. Omg so so so much more confidence. ‘I’m bringing sexy back’ is how I feel. I am a lot happier than what I was 2 years ago. I feel lighter on my feet. I feel that I can get more done. I’ve gone out a couple times and I’ve had compliments on what I’m wearing, where as 2 years ago I would of just got a stare because it was too revealing.” – Debbie Does

Debbie Does on stage at ‘Tricky Thicc: A Fat Burlesque Revue’ produced by Glamazon
Photo by Stephanie Clare


“I do feel that performers should be the one to classify themselves as plus size, as there are a lot of variables that can go into that label. For example, I see myself as plus size, due to my body shape and that I’m not a ‘commercial’ size. I have wobbly bits, and they do bother me at times, but I am constantly becoming more comfortable with my body. After giving birth a year ago, my body changed again. I had to get used to those changes and how they felt. I have performed at 8 months pregnant, and 8 months after having my daughter and find that putting on my makeup, my glitter and my outfit helps me to feel powerful, strong, confident. Like I don’t need to care what others think! That confidence fuels my performances and helps me to feel gorgeous for who I am. That it is who I am, wobbly bits and all, that the audience loves on stage.” – Kitty White

Kitty White on stage at Burlesque Idol Australia – Photo by Digital Image Studio

I’m finding a lot (not all) of my (salon) clients that are in their teens or early to mid 20s are still extremely self conscious of their bodies and pick at ‘normal’ body issues as if they were the worst thing in the world, as if their body was unusual or gross. I try my best at helping them understand that this is all perfectly normal and they aren’t alone. As much as the media shows more and more diversity (they are trying anyways) it’s apparent that young women, and I’m sure men too, are still feeling the pressures of society’s ‘perfect’ body. Cellulite is a reality, stretch marks are a reality (at any age), your body jiggles. Darn it girls, who cares if your thighs touch, at least your phone won’t drop in the toilet when you are sitting there scrolling your socials. I get it. I’ve been there, I was this age once upon a time. Nothing is wrong with your body, you are ‘perfectly imperfectly perfect’. Real life is not airbrushed or filtered, it is raw and real.


“For myself I actually couldn’t give a shit what people think. I have in the past been accused of being anorexic, but I feel what I’m putting in my body is my decision and no one should have the right to judge what I look like. But I do know people my age that feel that they are pressured into looking a certain way and feel like they are judged on their appearance.
The only pressure I feel, is towards myself, as I am in a sport that revolves around how my body looks. But I don’t feel the need to look a certain way for others. But once again with my friends, their are certain pressures from peer groups, society and media.” – Sarah (Sezzi)


“I think that growing up and especially reaching my early to mid 20’s, I feel I’ve had unrealistic expectations on how I ‘should’ look…
I don’t know if this stemmed from not having a constant female figure in my life when I was at the age of learning and understanding my body or if it purely came down to how I viewed women on TV or social media and came to the conclusion that, that’s how I need to look”

“Training 6 days a week and having an active recovery rest day once a week, for me is more for my metal health. It’s only this past year that I’ve started to achieve the goals of how I want to look from learning about my nutritional needs. Food is so important to having the energy to train as much as I do.”

“If I’m honest though my journey might have started out wanting to look a certain way from comparing myself to fitness influencers and women in my life. However, it quickly became less about other people and completely about myself. When I started smashing my own goals and feeling happy about myself and how I look to myself, I knew I was now doing it all for the right reasons.” – Emily

Photos of Emily during a workout

When it comes to talking about body positivity and confidence the focus is hugely directed at body shape and size. Learning to love your body just as it is, is a huge part of the journey to finding body positivity, confidence and self love but there are so many other aspects that aren’t as openly spoken about or seem to be a little detached from the body positive movement. If we are going to preach and advocate for the movement then we need to be inclusive of all bodies. That means not just shape and size but also gender, disability, colour, height, age and even how we look after and groom our bodies.

Which brings me to the topic of body hair. Society heavily suggests that women in particular should remove body hair, society also says men should at a minimum ‘manscape’. But shouldn’t we be the ones to decide if we do or don’t remove our body hair. Recently it came to my attention that more and more women are making the decision to go au naturel. Especially over the COVID-19 lockdown and beauty salons being banned from operating (darn corona, what have you done to my business). Personally (my personal opinion, don’t get all attacky, sit back down Karen) I don’t like the au naturel look for myself. Perhaps the Beauty Therapist side of me but I feel sexier being freshly waxed, shaved, plucked and hair free. But this is my choice, I don’t feel like I’m forced to do this at all. I’m a grown ass woman who can make her own choices. But some feel the constant pressure of having to shave their legs and armpits. If you feel more confident and happy being au naturel then you should 100% do it and rock it. Gosh, I do envy the extra time and money you must have not having to constantly be removing hair. All the same I’m still going to continue on my merry little way of hair removal torture.

“When quarantine started I challenged myself to stop shaving everything. I wanted a break from conforming to societies (and pinups) standards, I just wanted to find me again! (Plus the cost of razors? Am I right!!!!). The choice made me feel more at home, more myself, because as much as I dress up at events, I’m a pretty chilled, down-to-earth person (as most people who meet me, know).”

Bettie Butcher – Photo by Pandom Images

“As a teenager I felt ashamed for having hair (crazy ey, hair! We’ve all got it!) I even remember being called names and made fun of. I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs until my teens and I remember it being the biggest deal ever. But why should it be? Its just hair!
I wanted to be brave and show people that its okay to be proud of your body hair, its a part of you and you should love every little bit of yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you different because you are beautiful, with, or without body hair” – Bettie Butcher


“I started shaving less about ten years ago, and then stopped almost entirely about five years ago. I have pangs of insecurity every once in a while. A longing for a smooth and pretty leg, but I always had stubble by the end of the day, and red sensitivity everywhere, so even shaved my legs weren’t winning beauty contests. Overall I’m much more comfortable physically and mentally than I was when I shaved.”

Mona Minx – Photo by Lauren Reagan

“I’ve had bonding moments with other furry performers, and have had others mention that they wish they felt comfortable doing the same, but I’ve never faced any negativity backstage. On a couple of occasions, audience members have sought me out after my performance to excitedly show off their unshaved pits, and I’m really into it. If it makes someone else feel safer in their own skin, I’ll never shave again.” – Mona Minx

Mona Minx – Photo by Jeffrey Freer


“For one of my acts I didn’t shave my armpits, it was a neo routine and there wasn’t any real reason why I didn’t shave, I just wanted to embrace the hair since the routine was incredibly raw.” – Ida Ocean

Ida Ocean – Photos by John Leonard Photography


“I have had mixed reactions on my body hair as a burlesque performer. One producer asked me to show it off as a statement as I was the only performer in the show with body hair. On another occasion, an audience member complained to the producer about my body hair; thankfully the producer supported me and told the audience member they were welcome to never come again.”

Fi Bonacci – Photo by Express Eyrie

“In my personal life, I have had a few men express distaste for my choice not to shave, although women have generally been fine with it. Thankfully my partner supports my bodily autonomy.” – Fi Bonacci

While on the topic of hair, let’s talk colouring our hair. Personally I love seeing outrageous unnatural hair colours. It’s an amazing way to express our individuality and creativity. On the other hand their are many of us colouring our hair to a reasonably natural colour to hide those silver strands. Why is it that society makes it seem so awful for a woman to show her grey hair but a man is considered a ‘silver fox’. So many people out there spend a huge chunk of money on colouring their hair to hide those pesky greys (in my case, pure white). Do we do it because we feel like it shows our age, do we feel like we need to, because society says so? In all honesty, I’m really not ready to do away with colouring my hair. I love my dark locks, so I’ll continue to colour those bad boys as soon as they appear. I have black hair and white hair sure does show very easily. I’m not kidding I’m turning into Cruella de Vil, like for real, minus the whole stealing puppies part. What is so wrong with having grey hair, really? We are all going to end up with grey or white hair eventually. It is, after all, a natural progression of life. Oh, and heads up…. the downstairs hair goes grey too…. yep!

“I had been thinking about going au naturel for a long while but whenever I would go to the hairdresser they would suggest a little toning .. and I’d end up losing all the natural colour! In 2018 my hairdresser moved and it took me a while to find a new one who could work with my curly hair, so I used that time to let my hair grow through. I was 48 at the time and I had been on a bit of a journey discovering who I was and embracing all of me. As a bigger girl all my life I have struggled with my body image and being good enough. Through burlesque, (which I started when I was 47) I had come to love my body all the lumps and bumps but I still was colouring away the greys and it didnt seem to make sense any more.”

Polly Poussey – Photo by Crooked Images

“Going grey has been so freeing. I’m not stuck seeing a hairdresser every 5 weeks to hide my skunk line. Its cheaper… I probably save over $2000 a year! I love it… I find the comments interesting. Some ppl think Im brave (wtf!!) Some ppl compliment me.. but quickly follow up with “but I couldnt do it!” Others tell me how much darker hair suits me! But tbh I really don’t care what they say… its the natural me and just like my lumps and bumps I love it.” – Polly Poussey


“I stopped colouring my hair about 8 months ago when I started realising that I have been covering up the true person I really am – I have been dying my strawberry blonde hair since I was 16 years old, probably in an attempt to change myself and feel like someone else, and maybe some deep seeded reason also is that I was not proud to be me. But 32 years later I am only just understanding who I am and embracing it greys and all. Growing out my natural colour is still a work in progress but I really love the colour and am excited about being natural, being me and not needing to hide me.” – Kathryn


“I colour my hair as an outlet for my creativity. I love colours and the energy they hold. I feel confident, and unique with wild hair. Purple is my ‘normal’ hair colour. This is a colour of magic and spirituality, which reflects my life. Therefore it is the best colour to represent my personality.” – Fanny Fatale


“I colour my hair because yeah I do feel more confident and I like to stand out from the crowd also orange is my favourite colour and its also the colour of Halloween my favourite time of year.” – Miss Kat Destiny

Miss Kat Destiny – Photos by Angie Delarie Pinup Photography (L) & Fate Photography (R)

Even things like cellulite, spider veins, stretch marks, dimples, freckles, scars and skin imperfections are all completely ‘normal’ things found on almost every person. No one is perfect, no one. We all have our flaws and things that make us feel insecure but that doesn’t mean we need to be ashamed of them or feel the need to cover it up. I totally understand the feeling of wanting hide or cover up the things that make you feel insecure. I’ve hidden my legs away for years and only started to feel confident in a bathing suit in last few years (remember that shoot at the start of this blog). I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% happy or confident about showing my bare legs but I don’t allow it to stop me from going to the beach or pools with my family and friends. I’m not going to lie, I use leg makeup (sometimes) to help hide my spider veins because it helps me to feel better about showing my legs. Whatever helps you to feel better within yourself do it. Don’t allow these things to hold you back from enjoying life.

“The struggle for me has been my 2 scars on my chest. I worked at BNT and I wanted to be a lingerie model but when I had a pacemaker and heart surgery it left massive scars on my chest. I would refuse to show them I wore turtle necks for most of my early 20’s and I had the best body. My first photoshoot I thought I was going to mortify people but showing my big ugly scars. It took me so long to wear a bikini. I think the hardest thing about body positivity is that people always compare themselves to the beautiful models in the media. I’d walk into bras n things and hang posters of beautiful flawless women and think that was the ultimate standard. That if I didn’t look like that I would never be a model. Who wants to see scars between breasts anyway?”

“I realised if I don’t love it and accept it no one ever will. I wanted to feel confident leave the turtle necks in the closet wear the bikini and not give a shit what anyone thought was beauty standards. A lot of people saw the scar and took pity on me. I didn’t want pity I wanted people to know I fuckin survived what I believed would kill me at 21 and if I’m going to hide my body and feel ashamed forever then the stupid fuckin media won. They won their stupid beauty standards. And what about the other girls out there having scars and thinking they are gross what kinda message does that send. That if you fight for your life your ugly. No! I wasn’t going to have that! Why should I hide what has made me, me because of these standards of beauty everyone else perceived. It scared people. I was asked to hide my pacemaker scar once because it made someone feel uncomfortable. In my early 20’s I would have cried and hid it. But now I think if you don’t like it look away. Putting up posters of beautiful woman in their lingerie all day at work for 10 years made me believe that that was beautiful. In reality accepting your body and loving who you are is way more beautiful.” – Miss Lexi Heart

After becoming a mum my body changed, not in a huge way for me, but never the less it changed. I’d put on weight, I had some stretch marks on my tummy (not a lot, I got lucky so to speak, that oiling ritual every night must of helped), my boobs grew (even my nipples and areola changed colour and size…. yep that happens), my body wasn’t the same anymore. It was hard for me to look in the mirror. I felt yuck and very unattractive. How could my husband look at this if I can’t. I know I’m not alone with these feelings. Accepting that our bodies change after having a baby is a pretty hard thing to swallow. We sure as hell shouldn’t be hating on ourselves, we just grew a tiny human inside of us, but we still do.

“Prior to having kids I was a size 6-8, 48kg aspiring model. After gaining between 22 and 25 kgs with each of my pregnancies, it was very hard to lose the weight. I was sad and couldnt come to terms with the fact my taught small figure was replaced with stretch marks and jiggly bits.”

Coco Corbeau – pre kids & now, after kids

“After my divorce and realising the amazing things my body could do like bring humans into the world, lift heavy things and withstand side effects from mental health issues, I started wearing my stretch marks and jiggly bits as trophies. I became proud of my body and its achievements and started being kinder to myself. I no longer have scales in my house and we talk about being healthy and strong not skinny especially around the kids. I was proud when my daughter said recently that she wanted to have a big booty so she could look like me. Own what you have. Wear it proudly and listen to those who support you not those who want to change you to fit their idea of what attractive is.” – Coco Corbeau


“During Primary School I was a big tomboy, that was how I coped with being a chubbier kid. Going into High School, like a lot of girls then, I stopped playing sport, so my weight stayed up. While I never remember feeling huge pressure about my body, I do know I never felt happy or comfortable with my body.
During my first year at Uni, I had a self realisation moment, (I still remember the date!) I had been eating horribly while going between classes and work all the time. I had just bought some take away, I felt my pants were quite tight on my tummy, I looked down and thought to myself, I need to change this. So that next morning I went for a walk and ate breakfast, which I never did. Over the next 10 months I progressed from walking, to jogging, to running and then to playing netball which I had always loved. In the end I lost 17kg. While I was now pretty fit and feeling good, I now realise I had developed a bit of an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. I was a bit obsessive, I would beat myself up if I missed a run or ate something unhealthy.”

Chelsea – (comparison photos) Top left : Age 18, Bottom left (red dress) : Age 22, Right : now age 32

“So once I became pregnant, it was a bit scary for me to put weight on again and not feel in control of my own body. However, I kept up moderate exercise (which I attribute for having an easy pregnancy and recovery) Slowly started to embrace my pregnant body.
Once I had my little girl, I got back into my exercise routine pretty quickly (with the approval of my doctor). It was around this time my attention started to change from wanting to be ‘skinny’ to wanting to be ‘fit and strong’. So I started lifting and as well as running and netball. That for me, was life changing. I now celebrate what my body can do and achieve rather than just how it looks. I no longer own scales, I measure through my progress in my fitness.
I love my body now more than I ever have and feel comfortable in my own skin. Because I’m doing what I’m doing for me, not anyone else.
I only hope I can set this as an example for my own daughter.” – Chelsea


“During my late teens and 20s, I was a professional model. I usually specialised in swimwear and underwear due to my figure! I remember feeling very comfortable about my body but still my confidence was not always the best despite outward appearances.

When I was 28 I met my husband and was heavily involved in the fitness industry as a personal trainer so my body image was positive despite ongoing insecurities about the way I looked. I was always self conscious about my legs and hardly ever showed them.”

Louise – left : modelling in her 20s, Right : personal trainer late 20s

“At about the age of 32 we tried to have children to no avail so we decided to start IVF. My life changed dramatically. My body changed due to all the hormones and my body image plummeted. However IVF was successful and I was pregnant with my first child at 37, my weight went from 51kg to 95kg. Post baby my body looked like a melted candle, a large one at that. I hated the sight of my body.”

“Low self esteem, low self-worth ensued affecting my relationship with my husband. I was so unhappy and to make matters worse I got really bad post natal depression. As well as an umbilical hernia, I had to have my abs sown together !!! So no more abs for me !!!!!

I did loose the weight through weight watchers eventually but my body was never the same !!!!”

“Around 42 I decided to embark on my university education to become a registered nurse. I gained 12kg which affected my mental health and body image ! I hated my reflection with a passion. I also experienced burnout so I decided to get into shape again with a trainer/coach. The results are astounding to me. I feel even more confident than I did as a model. I competed in my first fitness competition and came 4th. I went from 84kg down to 61kg for the competition !!!

Louise – Left : after, Right : before
Louise – on stage competing

“For me, I feel better being fit and I see it as an older mum my responsibility to be as healthy as I can so I can be around for longer. I am happy with my body but still conscious of my legs and now my tummy but I can deal with that because I think I’m ok for 49 years old !! – Louise

Learning to love our ‘new’, ‘mum’ bodies is the start of a whole new journey of self love. Some of us bounce back pretty darn quick and others don’t. We are all so different and many things factor into what and how our bodies change during pregnancy and after giving birth. Body type, skin type, metabolism, genetics and lifestyle just to name a few. Regardless of how well, or not so well our bodies ‘bounce back’ after having our babies shouldn’t mean hiding away. Wear those tiger stripes with pride, remember there are many women out there wishing they had those. Let’s celebrate all mum bods, from the rock hard toned ones to the softer rolly ones.

Now, I know I talk a lot about the burlesque and pinup community, these are my people after all, but these communities truly do encourage all things body positive, confidence and inclusivity. Well for the most part anyways. Like 99% of the time. Look, to be completely honest, there will always be a very small minority not being inclusive and upsetting others in all aspects of life. Some people are just assholes and usually not very well recieved in the community. However, finding the amazing world of burlesque and pinup completely changed the way I saw my body and where I started to find my body confidence. These are 2 places/groups of people where I’ve found that ALL bodies are represented and accepted. Let’s be honest, burlesque artists are some of the most confident people you’ll ever come across.

“Burlesque is a feminist political art form. As a fat woman, the messages I see in the media tell me: be invisible, nobody wants to see you, your body is wrong. But by performing on stage, I am demanding to be seen and to take up space that people don’t want me to occupy. I am demanding that my body be accepted as it is and not what magazines and diet ads tell me it should be. I value body diversity and positivity, and being body positive means supporting ALL bodies. Producers should strive to offer gigs to BIPOC, fat, trans, and disabled dancers. As performers, we can encourage producers and other performers to demand more diversity. We can strive to nourish our political roots and show radical body positivity in our community. Our world is full of beautiful, unique, magnificent bodies and burlesque has the opportunity to celebrate those bodies in all of their glory.” – Honey Nightingale

Honey Nightingale – Photos by Amanda Gagnon


“Burlesque to me is all about body positivity. I have grown up hating my body, and punishing myself with constant dieting or emotional eating. Over the last 20 years I have lost, and regained, over 100kg (not all at once). It never occurred to me to accept my body as it was, that it was enough, until I had been doing burlesque classes for about a year. I began to examine my internal dialogue, and have simply changed the conversation I have with myself. As soon as I criticise myself, I replace the thought with a positive one. I walk around telling myself I’m hot, and that my bum is my best feature. Burlesque as a practice has taught me to love the individual me, and given me more confidence than anything else I have done.” – Cherry Charleston

Cherry Charleston – 50 year old burlesque performer | Cancer survivor | Body positivity advocate –
Photo by 42nd St Photography


“As a male burlesque performer and being plus size my burlesque journey has been filled with love and support but it was an uphill challenge to gain not only acceptance from the audience but also fellow performers when I was starting out. I remember doing my first shows interstate and internationally walking into tech where I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me, I was viewed as the token boylesque and the plus size performer. Many of the performers on the bill had never seen me perform and I felt isolated and like I had a challenge to prove why I’m here and why I got booked for the show. It wasn’t until I performed that I felt accepted by them. A lot of my acts start out quite ‘tame’, which is done on purpose, I want the audience to think – oh he’s a nice dancer isn’t he or that’s a beautiful costume or his facial expressions are funny before I really let loose on stage and throw the audience through a loop with some crazy kicks, leaps and splits. I like to show them something they aren’t expecting from a plus size performer.”

Trigger Happy on stage at Burlesque Idol Australia – Perth 2020 (Guest Performer & Judge) – Photo by Jason Matz Photography

“I’ve always been confident but I never had body confidence until I started performing boylesque- the thrill of audience members screaming and cheering for you while you take your clothes off onstage is exhilarating!” – Trigger Happy

Trigger Happy – Photo by KTB

Not only are we seeing more and more diversity within the burlesque community with performers from all walks of life including gender, race, and background but we are also slowly starting to see disability being represented more and more. When you hear the word disability, you don’t really think sexy, sensual or desirable. Be honest, the majority out there don’t. There are many performers now shining a sparkly bright light out there and proving that any and all disabilities can be seen as sexy, sensual and desirable.

“I think it is very important to show that disabled people, especially women, are still able to be ‘sexy’ or sensual, there is such intense stigma that disabled people don’t like sex or have any form of sexuality and thats just not even close to true and we have the right to express that as much as anyone. So I think disbaled people in a traditionally able-bodied ‘sexy space’ is really critical for acceptance, that visibility can help change minds.”

Empress Eyrie – Self Portrait

“I think burlesque is starting to become more aware of those with disabilities and I myself have been involved in a few shows about inclusiveness that featured disabled performers. I am also seeing that more disabled performers are getting booked for main stream shows which is wonderful and some shows are really working hard on accessible spaces.”

“I am still ‘new’ to my disability, for lack of better words, I only started using my cane full time in the last two years or so and coming to terms with that through my perfomace art and using that as a form of visibility has become really important to me in helping me understand this identity. It really is hard to feel sexy sometimes when your body is failing you and everything hurts but burlesque reminds me that it is very important to channel that inner passion that can feel lost sometimes.” – Empress Eyrie

Empress Eyrie – Photo by Starkiller Creations


“Being plus size in this society can be hard. Being disabled in this society can be harder. Being both is rough. Not only am I fighting what society thinks of me, but what I think of me. After leaving an abusive relationship, I knew I had to find something that made me happy – all of me. The burlesque, drag and cirque community is truly a community. Every size, shape, identity and color are included, represented and welcomed. Through burlesque I gained confidence, friends and a new purpose – shine a spotlight on performers with disabilities who are often overlooked.”

Minda Mae – Photo by Dena Denny

“I noticed the lack of representation of people with in the cabaret community and its associated shows. After speaking with performers with varied life experiences in relation to ability, I realized that a festival exclusively for disabled performers would be important for helping performers feel included, seen and valued. It also would spread awareness and visibility for this underrepresented community. The DisabiliTease Festival will be a place where performers do not feel like the “token performer with disabilities” or as the one performer who is different from others in a show.” – Minda Mae

Minda Mae – Photo by Greytree Studios

There is beauty to be found in ALL bodies and ALL people. Be proud of who you are. You deserve to be seen, you deserve to take up space, you deserve respect no matter what. If people don’t like it then they can make the choice to look away. There is no need to pass judgement and speak your mind of distaste. Keep your lips zipped shut. Reserve your judgement for your own private thoughts or to a private conversation if you must (we are all guilty of this, don’t try to act like you are all high and mighty and have never done it). If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all. Simple.

There was a time (many years ago) that I would have allowed society to dictate to me how to look and even dress, always keeping up with the latest styles, trends and even diets, but not anymore. I am my own person now. I may seem like a bit of a ‘princess’ to some, and I’ve been judge by this. Regardless, I’ll proudly own it. I like to wear makeup (everyday), I remove almost all my body hair (this girl is as pale as a ghost with black hair), I colour my hair, I keep my nails manicured, I like to dress up, I like to wear sexy lingerie…. why? …. because I want to, because it makes me feel good, it makes me feel confident, it makes me happy. Full stop! This is me and I will not apologise for it. No, I’m not scared to be seen in public without my makeup on or hair done. There are plenty of photos on my Instagram fresh faced and makeup free. I don’t go to the gym fully made up…. and anyhow so what if I did. Stop that judgey eye roll, Karen. Whatever makes you feel like your ‘best’ self is all that should matter.

Photo by Fate Photography

We all need to stop worrying so much about what society says we should look like, what is sexy, what is ‘healthy’. Stop comparing ourselves to others. Stop the negative thoughts from creeping into our heads. We are all unique, every one of us. Start accepting people for who they are and what they look like. Just be a nice person for shit sakes. What one person finds or deems attractive, another doesn’t and that’s ok. How you feel about yourself and how you see yourself in the mirror matters more than anything else. The pressures of society can be too much and sometimes extremely detrimental to your metal health and even physical health.

Call yourself plus size, curvy, skinny, roly poly, fit, even fat or whatever shape you want to identify as. Wear makeup, or don’t, tan, or don’t, shave/wax, or don’t, colour your hair, or don’t …. you do you, I’ll do me. Body positivity, confidence and self love grows from within. You need to find it for yourself. It’s your journey and it won’t be the same as anyone else’s.

My ultimate goal is to inspire, encourage and empower others on their own journey to body positivity, confidence and self love. Together we can

Crack the mirror of perfection!”

Love Delza xoxo

*Huge thank you to all the lovely people who helped contribute to this blog

Part 1 – Body Positivity and Confidence

Part 2 – Curve Loading

‘Crack The Mirror Of Perfection’

t-shirts available from my Etsy store


Want to know more about me, check out my About Me page

Photo by Fate Photography

Get Your Pose On

A guide to help you prepare for a pinup shoot with advice, experiences and thoughts from myself and other professionals in the field.

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Shoe room shoot at Diamond Heels – Photo by Fate Photography

Have you been thinking of booking in for a pinup shoot? Wanting to try something new, possibly a little out of your comfort zone or already into pinup and wanting to start your portfolio. Stepping in front of a camera can be scary, especially if it’s your first time.

I have been a pinup for close to 6 years now and I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time in front of the camera and also behind it. You guessed it, I’m a photographer too (yes, I know, multi-talented little old me), so I have experience on both sides of the lense. Boy, have I grown over the years and always learning more and more. So, I want to share my knowledge and experiences with you so that you can be as prepared as possible for your pinup shoot.

Firstly, yes you will be nervous. This is a completely ‘normal’ feeling. Being prepared will certainly help ease your mind. Having everything ready prior to arriving at your shoot at least a night or 2 before the shoot date is best. You do not want to be rushing around on the day and stressing about more than you need to be stressing about.

Things to have ready before the shoot date :

  • Nails – make sure your nails are clean and tidy. You do not have to go and get false nails put on but you should have them filed nicely and have a coat of polish on. I highly recommend red, even on short nails. Remember you are wanting that pinup look. Also, if you are wearing open toed shoes please do your toe nails too and also scrub those heel. Cracked dry feet never look good in pretty heels.
  • Outfit/s – choose and try on your outfits. Make sure they fit and check there are no holes or stains anywhere. Iron/steam out wrinkles best you can.
  • Accessories – choose your jewellery, heels, scarfs, hats etc. Try on with your outfits to make sure it all goes well together. You may not need to walk around in the heels but can you stand in them and pose. Even I own a pair of heels or 2 (or more) that are ‘photo shoot heels’. Which means they are fine to stand in but not great for walking in. However you still need to be able to balance yourself in them.
  • Body Hair – I’m not saying you have to shave or wax your body hair, that is 100% your choice, but please keep in mind any body hair left on exposed areas will be seen in the photos. Do not, I repeat DO NOT ask your photographer to photoshop your body hair out. If you make the choice not to remove it then that’s your ‘too bad’ moment right there. So please consider this when prepping for your shoot. Will your legs be on display? Will you be in lingerie and need that bikini line tidied up? What about your underarms? Of course shaving can be left to the day but waxing I recommended at least a day or 2 before. You don’t want to look like you have chicken pox in your photos.
  • Hair – obviously any hair styling will be left to the day of but please colour your regrowth and if you are setting your hair in rollers you may want to do this the night before and sleep in them.
  • Skin prep – giving yourself a simple facial a few days prior will help your makeup go on and sit nicely on your skin. Keep in mind…. Sometimes, depending on what products you use, your skin can break out after a facial. However, facials will only pull out the underlying crap in your skin they will not create blemishes that weren’t already waiting to appear. A good exfoliant and hydration mask are best for prepping before a shoot.
  • Check the location of the shoot – How long will it take to get there. Check if there is parking available or close by. Or if you are catching public transport, check the route. You do not want to be late to your shoot. This could mean your session being cut short. Also, this creates more stress for you and you will end up arriving in a fluster and you won’t be able to relax.

Honestly doing all this before the day of the shoot will set your mind at ease.

Boudoir shoot – Hair/Makeup/Photo by Red Leopard Photography

“While getting ready the night before, I prep my hair and make sure I have a vision with the look I’m wanting to create ..nothing like not being organised. I find if I don’t plan, I rush and go into a major panic, not great for your mentality going into a shoot. Be prepared!!”

“Mentally prepping I will practice posing looks in the mirror and see what angles work best for the shoot in question. Working on the best points of your body ..that being points you love about yourself. Your smile, your eyes, your waist the list goes on. The best advice I can give is breathe relax and let your natural beauty shine.” – Miss Joycurve

Now, to the day of the shoot :

  • Hair & Makeup – I always recommend arriving at your shoot ready. Unless you are attending a workshop style shoot where you have allocated time to do hair and makeup with the group. If you are feeling confident in doing your own hair and makeup great. If you are unsure but on a budget there are many great tutorials online that are great so you can have a go at it yourself (practise before hand though). If you are not feeling confident what so ever then I recommend booking in with a professional that specialises in pinup and vintage styling.
  • Drink Water – drinking water will help keep you hydrated and also help with muscle cramps. Yes, posing is hard work.
  • Eat – eat something light before you head off to your shoot. You may be there for a few hours and you dont want to be getting light headed, especially standing in heels. Also if you take snacks, make sure they are quick and easy to eat. You don’t want to get bits of food stuck in your teeth.
  • Moisturize – moisturize your whole body so your skin looks and feels fresh.
  • Pack your bag – pack everything in a bag or suitcase. Include makeup for touch ups, hair brush, hair spray and bobbie pins.
  • Dressed ready to go – usually if it is an indoor/studio shoot you will be able to get changed into your outfit once you arrive but if it’s an outdoor/location shoot keep in mind there might not be anywhere for you to change. Either go already dressed in your shoot outfit or be prepared to change behind a car or even a tree.

I know this all seems like a lot to do but it’s honestly best to be prepared so that your shoot runs smoothly and you get the absolute best shots possible.

“I always chat online with all my clients. Asking questions lets me know more about them prior to the shoot (Hobbies, interests, talking points). I always ask clients to rock up a little earlier if they are a newbie. Punctuallity is a major thing for me, being a natural light photographer we only have a few hours to get those shots completed so running on time is essential. Also running on time allows me to get that conversation going before jumping straight into the photo shoot, keeping my client more relaxed.” – Angie from Angie Delarie Pinup Photography

Now let’s talk posing. Having some idea of some basic posing will help you a lot. Most photographers are good with helping you pose and giving direction but some aren’t, so having a little bit of an idea will help the shoot run smoother. There are some great tutorials online to help with this. Standing in front of a mirror and trying different poses will help you to see how your body looks in a particular pose and what suits your body shape. We are all different shapes and sizes and also have different insecurities about our bodies so knowing how you look standing or sitting in a particular way can help you avoid showing those insecurities. For example, I have tuck shop lady arms (I totally do), so I try not to pose in way that allows my upper arm to hang or I tense it so it doesn’t appear as loose. A simple turn of the hips or shoulders can change your pose from meh to great. Stick to poses you can comfortably achieve. Us models make it look easy but it’s not. I end up pretty sore the day after a shoot just from the poses alone. I help with posing and direction for a lot of Fate Photography’s group shoots. I find having someone there to help with the posing helps greatly. Just fixing up hair, straps, jewellery and being able to say lift your chin or even pose so the model can copy me helps out immensely.

“The best advice I can give to someone who’s new to shooting or taking part in their first pinup photoshoot is to let go and have fun! To get the most out of your shoot, practice your poses in a mirror and see what suits your body, break down different body alignments like arm lines and leg lines, and work on expressive facial expressions. I imagine posing is like a slow motion dance changing my movement to create lines as the photographer shoots. The biggest issue most people have in a shoot is being nervous, tension shows in your body and face, which affects your poses, by letting go and just having fun you’ll have the most fabulous photo captured. Whether you picture yourself as the glamorous pinup queen that you are or if you channel Bettie Page or Dita Von Teese to help you feel in character, it will give you fabulous results! The first photoshoot I took part in was to help a friend with a project, and I fell in love with the whole process, stepping out of your comfort zone just might find you your new passion!” – Miss Lady Lace

*Miss Lady Lace has some incredible videos on how to pose in her Pinup Posing Series. Plus hair and makeup tutorials and so much more. Check out her YouTube channel

“I’ve had many photoshoots over the years I have been a burlesque performer so the number one tip is CONFIDENCE! Its always scary to be vulnerable in front of a camera you have no control over. Find yourself a Photographer who can chat with you and keep you laughing! My favourite in Perth is Chayla Taylor or Wild Kat Photography. The next thing is to find some poses that work best for you. Your photographer can help you pose, but it is everyones personal preference to flaunt their best features. I’m a corset wearing gal most of the time so poses that work for me are standing or on my knees with arms up to flatter a little waist and my giant balloon boobies. When you finish your first photoshoot and do another, try to experiment a bit with your poses so you can boost up your range… and of course have FUN!” – Sugar Du Joure

Choosing a photographer. There are many incredible photographers out there and there are also some pretty crappy ones too. There are a few things to consider when choosing the photographer that is right for you.

  • What look are you wanting to achieve? Shoot style? Setting? Eg: Studio/white back drop, outdoor/garden, boudior, portrait etc.  Think about what sort of shoot you are wanting and what outfits you are you wanting to wear will help decide this. Does the photographer offer the set you are thinking of. There’s no point wanting a luxury boudior shoot if the photographer you choose only has a white backdrop and no props.
  • What is your budget? Think about how much you are willing to spend. Check prices with photographers before booking them. You don’t want to fall in love with your photos only to find out that your budget doesn’t allow you to purchase any images. Some photographers include a certain amount of images with your shoot. Others have a shoot cost plus image cost on top. Some offer digital copies, others only offer printed copies. These are things you need to know up front to avoid disappointment later.
  • What style of photography are you wanting? Eg: vintage aesthetic (where the photo looks aged), pinup/magazine vibes, raw/natural (not a lot of editing) etc. My style as a photographer is pretty raw with minimal editing using mostly natural light. I also mostly photograph babies and families so that suits exactly what I do. I always advise any potential clients to look through my work before booking me. If you don’t like my style then please don’t book me as I don’t want to disappoint you. Look through any potential photographers galleries so you know what you are getting. All photographers offer different looks and have different skill sets.
  • Ask around for recommendations – ask your friends or fellow pinups who they recommend, who they have shot with, what was the photographer like, how long does it take to receive your completed/edited images. Everyone will have different opinions and experiences but this could help you decide.
  • Do you want a one on one experience or would you prefer to do a group shoot so you aren’t alone? Group shoots can be great as you have other pinups/models there to help guide you through your shoot. It’s also a great way to meet like minded people and possibly make new friends.

Personally I would recommend either a studio portrait shoot or a group themed shoot for your first pinup shoot. This is completely up to you but I really wouldn’t recommend anything along the lines of lingerie shoots straight off unless you go to a photographer that specialises in this and you know they will make you feel comfortable. Getting photos taken in lingerie or semi nude, even nude nude, is a huge deal. You need to feel safe and know your photographer has only the best intentions for you. Again do your research!

What is the best part about running Pin Up Workshops at Lady Velvet Cabaret?

“For me there are so many favourite parts about running the workshops. First is always meeting new people. We get a wide range of experienced Pin-Up fashionistas, to beginners who want to give it a try for the first time. Everyone gets along so well together and it’s amazing to see the experienced gals help out others with their own Pin Up tips. I always leave a workshop with new tips and tricks and new friends” – Sugar Du Joure

“One golden rule that is clear before you even start…. the photo shoot is not about you, it’s about the person you are shooting. Keep your clients happy, relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera and around yourself and always have FUN!
Communication is the key for any sucessful photo shoot. Build a positive connection!
I love one on one client photoshoots it allows more time to get to know my client but I’ve also found in the past 3 years that running small group shoots are an absolute hit, especially if their newbies. Everyone helps out, more hands on deck and the atmosphere is amazing” – Angie from Angie Delarie Pinup Photography

I’m just going to say this one…… don’t choose cheap just because it’s cheap. Yes, have a budget but do not go with your cheapest option simply because it’s the cheapest. Not saying cheap shoots always equal low quality but usually when its really cheap it’s honestly not going to be amazing. Alright, there is the odd exception. But seriously, don’t let that be your deciding factor. Just like going with the most expensive doesn’t always guarantee the best either. Again, look at the galleries. Check the photographers work. You’ll find group shoots can usually come with a slightly lower price than a solo shoot, as the photographer is shooting more people in one session, therefore the cost of the shoot time is being split between the group.

“I’ve had a rough time in the past year because of cheaper companies taking a lot of my business. I cannot compete with $20 photoshoots. I’ve actually had to lower my prices because of this. So, normally the shoot itself runs for half an hour / 45mins, then there’s editing time on top of that, which can end up being 3+ hours on one shoot that I’m charging $100 for, and that includes images. That roughly works out to be $33 per hour, I’m earning. It’s not much for something that has taken me 8+ years of training, experience and expensive equipment. I still have bills to pay.” – Elise from Fate Photography

Elise (Miss Van Dutch) – Fate Photography

Also look at what shoot packages may be on offer and what is included in these packages. For example a shoot may cost $250 and include 10 images or it may be $150 and include 3 images. $250 seems more expensive but in fact you are paying $25 per image as opposed to the cheaper shoot working out to be $50 per image. I know what you are thinking, this is all becoming confusing but really these are things you need to be aware of.

While we are talking prices and costs…. DO NOT ask for free shoots! Exposure does not pay the bills. Many photographers will offer TFP (time for print), that’s right, they offer it. Don’t ask for it. Telling them you will share it on social media to your less than 1000 Instagram followers is not cool. If you do wish to approach a photographer for a possible collaboration, then be prepared…. what are you offering in exchange for their time and skills? Perhaps come to some sort of arrangement for a discounted rate or maybe allow them to use the images for their own advertising. If you do come to some sort of arrangement please make sure you tag them on your socials and share their pages and recommend them. Remember they are helping you so help them in return.

Coming from the photographer side of things, please do not think our job is easy and that we get paid a lot for doing bugger all work. Your shoot may only take an hour but there is also set up time, pack up time and not to mention the editing time that goes into every single shoot. Personally I don’t do a lot of editing to my images (remember this is my style and way of doing things) but it still can take me hours to edit one shoot.

A few shots I took of my beautiful friend Dominica Black. I know you were wondering what my photos look like.

This brings me to the whole Photoshop thing. Not every photographer uses Photoshop (yes, a lot do, but not all, that’s myself included). Stop saying “you can just Photoshop that out, right”…… grrrrr. If you actually knew just how bloody long it takes to Photoshop something out you wouldn’t even ask. Simple things like blemishes can be easily fixed up but asking for something to be removed from an image or even to have a smaller waist or bigger boobs is not an easy job, especially if you want it done well. And when I say ‘well’, I mean not an obvious adjustment or modification. Or if you do want these things done then expect to pay for it. I’ve seen experts work for hours in Photoshop changing and modifying things so that you can’t tell it ever happened. Don’t ever think this is something easy to do because it is not. I don’t use Photoshop and I tell my clients up front. So, no I can’t Photoshop a smile on your kids face. Ain’t gonna happen.

I am all for Photoshopping and I use it for all my photos, however I never Photoshop someone’s shape to be smaller or bigger. Although, I have been asked a few times to make someone a different size. Plus I don’t just click a button and that’s how the photo turns out, it has taken me the last 8 years to really find my style and process of editing. It roughly takes me half an hour to an hour per image (hence why I personally charge from $25 per extra image on top of the images included in the package).” – Elise from Fate Photography

Elise (Miss Van Dutch) – Fate Photography

Oh wow, I’ve really smashed you…. information overload. There really is a lot to consider when doing a pinup shoot or any shoot for that matter. Definitely take the step and do it. Try different styles and different photographers. I’ve shot with so many different photographers now. I’ve had good and bad experiences. Mostly good though and of course I have my favs but I do try to shoot with different photographers as much as possible and also join in on pinup workshops when I can.

“Remember that photographers are professionals and you have nothing to be embarrassed about, part of their job is to make you feel comfortable. Discuss your ideas with your photographer in advance if you have any concerns. You’re going to look amazing.” – Miss Katie Lenoir

Have fun with it, try not to over think it too much. Be prepared and that will take a lot of the stress out. I can’t take your nerves away but I can assure you, once you are there you will warm up and enjoy the experience. Now go get your pose on. Happy shooting.

Love Delza xoxo

*Please note that this is all written based on my knowledge and experiences. With quotes gathered from other professionals in the Perth Pinup Community.

I do not get paid for any recommendations or business tags

Check out my etsy store click here

Disney R18+

Never thought you’d see that rating next to the word Disney, did you?

Once Upon A Teaser
Cast – Adelaide Fringe World Festival 2020
Image by Daniel Purvis

So now that I have your dirty perverted mind’s attention, shall I begin. When you mix Burlesque and Disney together you get all of your favourite characters and stories from your childhood brought to life on stage in an R rated version for you to enjoy and have all those fond memories of innocence completely smashed. Oh but in a good way, a real good way.

Once Upon A Teaser is an award winning show created, produced and starring Viola Verve, that invites you to take a rather naughty magic ride, as the performers burlesque-ify and parody your favourite Disney classics, in a way you’ve never seen them before. Featuring an array of artists from all over Australia. The show is read to you just like a story book, narrated by the incredibly multi-talented Michael Wheatley. The show even features some loveable and rather comical characters as the shows stage kittens (stage hands, for those who don’t know what a stage kitten is).

{Check out the show, Click here}

Other than the fact that this show is absolutely spectacular and you really should check it out {click the link above}, I also want to talk about the amazing cast and crew that make ‘Teaser’ more than just a show or a job, it’s a family…. and I am more than honoured to say I am part of the family. That’s right, yours truly stars in the show. I have been privileged to be in the show for 2 years running now. I was first cast in the show in 2019 for the first ever season at Perth Fringe World Festival after a cast member had to pull out due to injury (I often thank her for that). I have never been so excited to be cast in a show that I had dreamed of being in. I was literally shaking when I was asked to perform.

On stage as Cruella DeVil – Once Upon A Teaser
Perth Fringe World Festival 2019
Photo by Jason Matz Photography

Cruella DeVil was pulled out of the box she had been stuffed in for the past year, dusted off, rebuilt, and ready to give it all she had. I’m not even going to lie, I was beyond nervous and good old self doubt was kicking in. This was the first ‘real’ show I’d ever been in. Yeah I’d been performing for 3 years prior but without going into too much detail, most of those shows would be classed as B grade and that’s putting it nicely. I rocked up for tech, totally fan girling (yep I’m that chick) over the other cast members. My gosh these are people I look up to and admire. Am I meant to be here, have they made a mistake. Deep breath… Trying to keep my nerves in check as I had a run through of my act and completely gob smacked that I was asked about how I wanted my lighting, who me?, I get a say? What was happening, I’d never been able to have a say before. Mind you I was lucky if I got to have a quick run through before going on stage. I was blown away by the professionalism and organization. There was a stage, proper lighting, a stage manager, a tech team, stage crew, a backstage, a change room. I know it may seem silly but I was impressed. I’m not trying to say that this is what I expect at all shows, just making note that this was far above what I had become use to over the years. I’ve performed at some pretty below average venues which does help you appreciate anything above that.

So, now that I have the shock of all this settling in and can attempt to enjoy this amazing experience that was happening to me. Every single performer and crew member made me feel welcome and included. For so long I’d felt like an outsider (my feelings and insecurities, no one else’s) but now I felt like I was seen and that I was good enough. Something I’m still trying to remind myself constantly and also something my incredible mentor Miss Alyssa Kitt is drumming into me. When you are made to feel less than you are for so long you start to believe it. Sad but true. Never the less I was now part of the ‘Teaser Family’.

Backstage in the ‘Disney Waiting Room’
with Ivy Temptress, Scarlet Adams & Miss Lady Lace
Once Upon A Teaser Perth 2019
Cast of Once Upon A Teaser – Perth Fringe World Festival 2019

After 3 nights in a row of sold out shows it was sad to say goodbye to all the interstate performers, especially Viola Verve and Lady Cara, who plays Ursula in the show and belts out one heck of a tune. So when I heard that Once Upon A Teaser was returning to Perth for a second season of Fringe I was over the moon because it meant I got to see them again. It was like no time had past and the family was together again. There was new members added and all the familiar faces too. So so soooo good. This time round I was cast in the show as one of the stage kittens. Which to be totally honest I was actually happy to be a kitten rather than one of the main characters. Not because I didn’t want to, oh gosh if I had been asked I would of said yes in a heart beat but on a slightly selfish note, the show was going to be 4 nights in a row and on the 5th night I would be competing in Burlesque Idol Australia. So not being a main character meant I could focus on my act for Idol. Plus I had already been cast in the Adelaide show, woo hoo go me!

Being a stage kitten is no easy job. Not even close. For the most part you only see what we do on stage but there is so much we do behind the scenes. Without the kittens the show will not run as smoothly as it does. Being a performer I feel it helps as you know what is required and what the performers and producers expect. You know the importance of setting the props up in the correct position, picking up the costume pieces, handling them correctly and returning to the performer and so much more. You are not there to just pick costumes up, you make sure the performers are reading and waiting to go on stage, set props up, buy time if required and even be a runner when things go hay wire, which sometimes they do. Added to the job of stage kitten for Once Upon A Teaser is playing the role of a character. This year I was ‘Dopey’ the dwarf from Snow White along side Madame Demi Diva who played a very pissed off and annoyed ‘Grumpy’ to a tee. Boy did we have fun. Not our usual roles but we sure did a good job (pats self on back).

Dopey & Grumpy stage kittens for Once Upon A Teaser – Perth 2020

Far out this years Perth edition was even more fun than last year. Hanging out with my girl Demi in our duo act as kittens, I mean dwarfs, getting the crowd worked up before heading in to be seated and then all the backstage antics before and after the show. I didn’t want it to end. Lucky for me though, I was heading over to Adelaide for Fringe World Festival to play my all time favourite princess, Snow White.

Backstage with the cast of Once Upon A Teaser – Perth Fringe World Festival 2020

OMG!! My burly sisters Demi, Calypso and I (just missing Ivy <insert sad face>) all jumped on a plane and flew over to Radelaide for not one show but 2. Demi and I had been cast in Once Upon A Teaser and also booked to kitten for Burlesque O Rama which Calypso had been cast in to perform her epic 007 act ‘Jane Bond’. This meant 5 shows in 3 nights, we’ve got this…. We are pros! Man did we hit the ground running. Off the plane and pretty much straight over to Nexus Arts for tech and rehearsals ready for the opening night of both shows. Once again I find myself surrounded by artists that I am fan girling over (Yep! Still that chick). Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be in a show with these incredible performers, let alone be cast as Snow White, who was originally played by Ainslie Adams but has since retired the act (for now anyhow, you never know).

Just as I started to think Snow White would remain locked away in my wardrobe never to be seen on stage again. She was back, however she has been completely revamped since her last stage appearance back in 2018. A brand new act, costume and soundtrack with a whole lot more meaning behind it. Still to this date Snow White is my most performed act. I’ve had her for close to 4 years now. It’s an act I hold dear to my heart, not only do I aesthetically look like her but I feel she represents me as a performer and reflects me in my ‘muggle’ life. Being able to perform this act in an actual Disney tribute show is a dream come true.

On stage as Snow White
at Once Upon A Teaser – Adelaide Fringe World Festival 2020
Images by Daniel Purvis

This was only the second time I had travelled interstate to perform, but the first time being with friends and being a part of a show where I had already met majority of the performers. It felt just like being in Perth, like home. Not only did we get to explore a little bit of Adelaide but also hang out with our Teaser Family including dinners between shows and drinks to celebrate another sold out season.

Drinks at Nineteen Ten roof top burlesque and jazz bar

Now most of you wouldn’t know that I actually have family that live in Adelaide, so as an added bonus I was able to spend some time with them and beyond happy to have them come see me perform. I popped their burlesque cherry, as they say…. hehe. Being in another state you don’t expect to have anyone you know in the audience so having them there meant the world to me.

My Aunty and 2 cousins with myself and some of the Once Upon A Teaser cast, Madame Demi Diva, Lady Cara and Viola Verve

What a whirlwind experience. We really didn’t waste any time over in Adelaide and a good thing we didn’t because that was the last of any shows for some time due to COVID-19. It’s amazing how much you can do in 3 days when you’re having fun! Absolutely beyond shattered when I got home but so worth it. Thanks for having us, I’m sure we’ll be back as soon as we can…. ready for the next season {wink wink, nudge nudge}.

Back stage with the cast of Burlesque O Rama & Once Upon A Teaser – Adelaide 2020

Not only do I have my beautiful burly sisters, who are also part of the Teaser Family, Ivy TemptressTinkerbell, Madame Demi DivaRupanzel and Calypso D’LightTigger, here in Perth but I also have my Teaser Family spanning across the whole of Australia. Thank you Viola for taking a chance on me and allowing me to be part of something truly special. And that there is where it ends before I start crying like a baby because I’m a highly emotional and sentimental person.

Love Delza xoxo

If you’d like to check out the show, you can. The entire show is available for purchase for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own living room. Click the link below ⬇️


Cast of Burlesque O Rama – Adelaide Fringe World Festival 2020

Its All About The Name

Let’s talk stage names. The name you go by as a performer, artist, model etc. instead of using your ‘muggle’ name. So what is so important about that name? To some, maybe it’s not a big deal but to most, this is a massive deal. A name helps to identify who you are as a performer or artist. A name can tell a lot about how you identify as your character/alter ego, are you cheeky, playful, mysterious, sultry, serious, classy, comical…. and the list goes on.

For me, I originally chose my name aimed more towards myself as a burlesque artist, even though I started in pinup before burlesque, it’s just the way it worked out. Fortunately I chose something that fitted for both. Bonus! This is not an easy task when you are still working on establishing your character. Which can actually take a fair while and can change over time as you grow as a performer.

So, how did I choose my name….. this is a story only a few actually know, feel privileged that I’m sharing this with you, hehe. After doing much research on choosing a stage name I decided I wanted something unique (doesn’t everyone), something easy to say and spell, plus something that I felt was era related to how I saw my character being. That era being a 1950s aesthetic. My grandmother’s (aka Granny) middle name came to mind. She was born in 1931, making her a young adult in the 50’s. This was perfect. Easy to say, spell, correct era and above all UNIQUE!!! Ta da …… “Delza”. A name my Granny had not been a fan of her whole life, until I gave it the ‘right’ place of use, hehe. So that was my first name done, now for a last name. This was a little harder. I originally wanted ‘Blue’ but unfortunately there was already another performer at the dance studio I was at using blue in her name. Back to the drawing board…… then the thought of finding another name for blue <light bulb moment> sky blue….. and that was it “Skye” it was…… and just like that ‘DELZA SKYE’ was born.

Photo by :

This name is rather special to me for obvious reasons. I had been performing under this name for a little over 3 years and everyone knew me as Delza, not many people even call me by my muggle name within the burlesque and pinup community, so when I left the dance studio I was at and I was told I couldn’t keep my name I was absolutely not having a bar of that bull s*#t! That’s my name!!! Now to clear something up here…. there are stage name registries for both burlesque and pinup that have a list names being used and you can also do a google search of names. I highly recommend this when choosing a name. You really don’t want to choose a name only to find out someone else is using it. “Hello, unique”! Also once you’ve chosen your name its a good idea to register it. Usually this is free or its a small yearly fee. However, this does not mean you have legal claim to the name. It is simply a list of names so you know what is already being used. After speaking to my lawyer I found out that the only way to have full legal claim to a name is to trademark it. So what do you think I did…. you bet your ass, I trademarked my name. You can look it up if you don’t believe me. Yes, I know this may seem excessive but if you knew the person I was dealing with in regards to saying they owned my name, you’d do the same. Trust me on this one. I also made sure I secured the web address, email and business name. Delza Skye is 100% all mine. Now of course you do not need to go to this extent. This is as I said is excessive, but for me necessary. Changing my name to stop any conflict was not an option to me. Perhaps if the name was not so special to me, maybe I would of considered it. Probably not though.

Things to consider when choosing your stage name….

– Think about your character and who they are. You don’t want a name that doesn’t fit with that.

– Is it easy to pronounce or spell? If people can’t say it or spell it, it will be harder to remember or look you up on social media.

– Definitely look on registries and do a google search. Seriously you don’t want to accidently have the same name as someone else. It’s confusing and annoying to the other performer. Plus, how will you be able to use that name on social media? Changing the spelling is still a no no.

– This one can be hard but try to be unique. Be you. No one else is you.

Have a really good think about your name, don’t choose quickly, put some thought into it. Do your research. Make a list of things you like (eg: favourite colour or drink). Look up different words for a particular word (eg: purple – violet or lavender). Ask friends to help. Good luck.

-Delza xoxo