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"Don't Be Restricted By Cultural Expectations" Alice Meow Talks About Her Experiences As A Taiwanese Pin-up Girl

In a recent article of mine, I interviewed Kasumi Yoshino; the owner of a popular vintage-inspired clothing store located in Tokyo, Japan. Where she mentioned the judgment she faced in her native country because of the way she dressed. I decided to speak to Alice; a makeup artist and alternative model from Taiwan, who frequently models for Kasumi's shop about her experiences as a pin-up girl and the advice she had for dealing with such judgment.

"Don't Be Restricted By Cultural Expectations" Pinup Alice Meow Talks About Her Experiences As A Taiwanese Pinup Girl

Q: When, how, and why did you start dressing in pinup fashion? 
A: “I remember seeing pin-up girls on old war posters when I was little. The classic vibrant colors drew me in immediately -  as did their bouncy hair and bold outfits. As much as I loved it, I never thought I could actually dress that way or pull off that look. That all changed when I met my husband, Larry. He encouraged me to pursue my interest in it and soon enough, I was totally sold on pin-up! There was no looking back!”
Q: How did you first develop your style?
A: “I've loved vintage style ever since I was little when I first saw Sleepy Hollow. I fell in love with the outfits of that time, but I felt they could use some color. I’ve always liked colorful hair and heavy makeup. I tested many pin-up hairstyles myself and made my signature hair-fluff curls using the same bangs that I’ve had since I was a little girl. Add a little retro makeup and you’ve got my signature look.”
Q: What’s your advice for dressing in pinup fashion?
A: “Don't hesitate to try new things, and don't be restricted by cultural expectations.”

Q: How do people where you’re from react to the way you dress?
A: “Taiwan still has a very traditional culture, so almost no one dresses like me here. Some might seem a little judgmental, but I’m seeing more and more young people show interest in it. Still, most are still too shy to try it on.”

Q: What pinup icons from the past (or present) inspire you the most?  
A: “I love Old Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and Bettie Page. The first pin-up girl to really inspire me and who still influences my style today is Retro JoJo.”

Q: What’s your experience in Japan being a pinup girl? 
A: “I must say the pin-up culture in Japan is the most Kawaii pin-up culture ever! Every pin-up girl has her own style and they are really confident in their look. I feel so happy that Kasumi invited me to work with her as a guest stylist. I participated in my first Hotrod custom show, did my first ever pin-up contest and met a lot of talented people there. It was a precious experience for me because we don’t have that many resources regarding pin-up culture in Taiwan. So I’m really grateful and will definitely support her in the future!”
"Don't Be Restricted By Cultural Expectations" Pinup Alice Meow Talks About Her Experiences As A Taiwanese Pinup Girl
Q: You’re a vintage makeup and hair artist, what’s your advice for makeup and hair for beginners?   
A: “Combine your makeup and dresses into a matching color shade, and try the easier pin-up hairstyle when you’re just starting out.”

Q: Are there any Asian pinup or pinups of color that you admire from the past? 
A: “There are not too many pin-up girls here in Taiwan, I will say that I admire the pin-up girls from Japan and my beautiful friend Eimy from Venezuela. She is a total sweetheart with the most cheerful personality and because of her I have learned more about Latina culture and her Old Hollywood styling tips!”
Q: What’s your advice for maintaining a pinup look every day? 
A: “Poodle hair or a simple, elegant Dita bun will keep you in a professional pin-up look without being rushed in the morning!”
"Don't Be Restricted By Cultural Expectations" Pinup Alice Meow Talks About Her Experiences As A Taiwanese Pinup Girl
Q: What’s been your experience in the pinup community so-far?
A: “I’m excited to see the growing interest in it here in Taiwan! I’ve been blessed with many friends around the world because of my passion. The community has been nothing but welcoming and supportive. I love seeing that energy put out every time we come together.”
Q: Any up and coming projects we can look forward to? 
A: “I will be attending the Hotrod Custom Show in Yokohama this year too and do my work there. We are planning to do a bigger tattoo convention next year, so I can't wait to share more with you guys in the future!”