Plain Jane is hiding something.
Actually, her name is Candice Cox, but she’s a self-described plain Jane, a “T-shirt and flip-flops kinda girl” who doesn’t wear a lick of makeup and doesn’t need to. On this sweltering Saturday, though, she is camera ready with rosy cheeks, full lips and a face framed by curls. Proudly, she notes she did it all herself, with some guidance from today’s classmates and teachers.
“I warned everyone when we started that I’d be the problem child,” said Cox, “but I got it. I even learned how to do fake eyelashes.”
Cox was one of a dozen women who attended Go-Go Amy’s Pin-Up Modeling Class at Boudoir Louisville . Held in conjunction with the Beatersville Classic Car show, the pin-up class promised to show women how to unleash their inner bombshell.
For Cox, it was the opportunity to try something completely different from her everyday look. “It’s something to hang on the wall,” she said of her first photoshoot of the class, in which she wore a dark blue button-up dress and towering patriotically striped heels, which she’d naturally borrowed from a friend.
Then, of course, there’s the second shoot -- a stripped down, more intimate, boudoir-style session. “Those will be for the husband,” she said, smiling.
“Everyone should feel sexy,” insists Go-Go Amy, a pin-up model, burlesque dancer and founder of the traveling Pretty Things Peepshow . “I like to help ladies feel glamorous and gossipy.”
Go-Go Amy calls herself “the most unglamorous glamorous person alive,” but it’s difficult to see the unglamorous part of her. She is stunner, even in a simple cotton black dress with her hair pulled back behind a bandana. She credits the foundation of her makeup knowledge to her classic, hair-rollers-and-all grandmother and the drag queens she worked with in the theater scene.
“They’d make the world’s best tea party,” she said.
Never being overwhelmed by the makeup and styling helps. Too often, people see the finished pin-up product and believe it’s difficult to achieve. “It’s not,” she said. “It’s just different.”
Attendee Stevie Troxell agrees. She learned that firsthand in Amy’s class.
“I can do makeup, so I wasn’t worried about that part, but I am hair challenged,” Troxell said. “They made it so easy, though.”
Also a newcomer to vintage looks and pin-up modeling, Troxell said she wanted to visit Boudoir Louisville ever since seeing photos from a friend’s personal boudoir photo session months earlier. A dental assistant by day, she says she can’t get all dolled up regularly.
When asked what she’ll do with the photos, she has to think about it. Seems the photos are almost an afterthought to the experience, which Go-Go Amy describe as “a slumber party vibe.”
“It was everything I envisioned,” says Troxell of the class. “I would do it again.”
This weekend was Boudoir Louisville’s second year hosting the class. The studio plans to host Go-Go Amy again in 2013 and may consider expanding beyond the dozen spots normally offered.
Though the $250 price tag might drive some away, demand to feel beautiful and be beautifully photographed is there. Luckily, after six years of teaching these courses, Go-Go Amy shows no signs of wanting to slow down her hectic touring schedule.
“That’s where my address is,” she said when asked if she is based out of New York City, “but my real home is parked outside.”
She was referring to her touring bus, which she explained was originally built for “some dude named Ronnie Milsap.” Go-Go Amy knows this from a plaque inside the bus. Cox seems shocked someone doesn’t recognize the country star’s name, but Amy doesn’t seem to mind.
To her, what’s important is what’s around her -- the joy her performances give people and the women she’s bringing glamor to.
Go-Go Amy still remembered the first modeling class she taught and one particular student, a natural beauty. “This girl was, like, da-mn,” she said, drawing out the word for emphasis. “We dolled her up, though we didn’t have to do much, honestly. Afterward, she came up to me, and she was crying. She said, ‘I didn’t realize I could be beautiful.’ I didn’t realize until then how insecure people are.”
She Amy added, “That’s why I continued to do the classes. I want to cure that.”