Linda De Waard
Miss Pinup Benelux
In 2020 I participated in the Miss Pinup Benelux pageant for the second time. After participating in 2019 and seeing all the beautiful pinups I was really excited to participate again. I was determined to do better and show everyone who I’m and what I love.
In 2019 I didn’t really know what I should do to present myself for the pre-selections. So I ended up giving a really personal speech about who I’m, where my love for pinup and vintage came from and some things I went through to get where I was that day. I felt great all day until I stepped on that stage. The moment I stepped on stage the nerves took over. I decided no matter how emotional my story was that I should not cry (not that I think people shouldn’t cry in public, I just didn’t want my story to get lost in my emotions). But that went out the window as well when I was on stage. So although it was a great day meeting other strong and beautiful women, I was disappointed in myself.
(Picture by Shirley van der Sluys, Tiki bar, Rotterdam in 2019. )
I have the urge to win everything I compete in and I’m extremely competitive. So this first attempt on doing a pinup pageant was a real reality check. I came to notice that I have difficulties feeling proud of the things I accomplished. I shared my story, of struggling with my gender as a child and teenager, for the first time and didn’t feel proud of it at all at first. This really opened my eyes. I should have been proud of the accomplishment of sharing something that personal.
So I applied to participate again in 2020, determined to do better. My goals were to show people who I’m, what I love to do and acknowledging my accomplishments.
I knew from the moment I applied what I wanted. I wanted everyone to know how much I love being a scout and a scout guide. To show this off I wanted to wear a true vintage scouts uniform. So I started searching for this uniform everywhere. From Facebook communities for dutch scouts to museums. At some point, I was willing to give up on this idea. But then I finally got in contact with “scouting museum de dukdalf” in Rotterdam. They offered me to come by to see if they had anything that would fit me. Which they did! I was so happy it felt like a dream come true.
When I was planning what I was going to do at the pre-selection I decided I wanted to open the pageant. I would be the first one to present myself to the judges. Because I learned in musical class in high school that people remember the start and finish the most.
I made a flag with the Miss Pinup Benelux logo on it to hoist. That is something we do during the opening ceremony for scouting events. After hoisting the flag I planned on telling a story about girl scouts through time (I’m a real nerd when it comes to being a scout and know a lot of facts and history about it).
When the day was there I looked amazing though I say so myself. I registered first so I could go first. I was enthusiastic to start. I started out strong telling my story about strong women being girl scouts and helping out in the war but lost the silver lining of my story. I forgot to tell some important parts of my fully prepared lines. Altogether, it went quite well. I did feel proud when I finished and it didn’t bother me that much that it didn’t complete went as I had planned.
I did not reach the finals. Which honestly made me feel a bit sad after a lot of work, but on the other hand I was really proud of what I had accomplished. Wearing a museum piece, telling people about what I love and showing my passion to others. Miss Pinup Benelux gave me a stage to show who I’m and a lot of personal growth. I gave me the confidence to tell Girlz magazine about myself and my style. Which got published last year!
(Picture by Shirley van der Sluys, Aloha bar, Alkmaar 2020. )
(Picture by Frans de Winter, Alkmaar 2020)