Chloe is 9 years old. A very vibrant red headed, funny, happy kid. She does have Autism and just because verbal over the past year. It's a feeling like none other to hear, after 8 years, your kiddo to say, on their own, "I love you mama". Her current obsession is Barney the Dinosaur. She wants a Barney Bed, 2 Barney pillows, Barney bubbles (she loves her bubble baths), Barney chicken nuggets and Barney blanket. Basically, anything you can think of, she wants it Barney style.
2. How long have you been involved in the pin-up community/ taking pin-up photos? A little over 3 years. My entire adult life I was around 350-400 lbs. I am not ashamed to say that in 06, I opted to get the Lap Band procedure. I've maintained a 200 lb weight loss for 7 years. Once I lost the weight, I had more energy and wanted to do things I would have never gotten to do at that weight. So, I did what anybody would do, I joined a roller derby team, (Until Rheumatoid arthritis caused me to retire and I ended up with a kneecap replacement) And was approached by a reputable local photographer about doing a shoot. After my first one, I was hooked! Then a little over a year ago, I fell into burlesque. I've wondered if pin up is the gate way drug to burlesque! ha ha! Either way, I love who I am, being comfortable in my own skin and able to still be ME.
3. How has being a pin-up affected your parenting (ie.. what has pinup brought to you that makes you a better mom, or lessons you've learned through pinup that you can teach your children...) Having an amazing and insightful child that just so happens to have autism, We, the parents, have to take a different approach. Now that she has become more verbal, I can tell she's learned by watching. She is a strong willed little girl, She is extremely accepting of others, and others are accepting of her. I'm teaching her to be who she is, and not what others expect her to be. She's learning those skills. Just like what pin up and burlesque have taught me, especially after being so obese and hiding myself for so long. Being beautiful doesn't mean your hair has to be perfect, or you have to cake a ton of make up on. You'll see in the pics of her and I, that only one, I'm wearing make up in. I want her to never be ashamed of the person she is. And with that, she proudly holds my hand, down the hallway at school, gives me a kiss on the cheek every day without embarrassment. She's just like me in that aspect, be you, wear you, and DO you. And she's on the right path as I see her blossom with those lessons every day.
Not really, Chloe get's a big thrill watching me get my HAMU ready, she's intrigued. I do have to schedule around her though. She comes before the camera or any burlesque show. Most people are understanding when it comes to that, and if they're not, then I simply don't take the opportunity. I have to plan everything in advance to make sure she will be well taken care of when I'm not home. The autism mixed with a photo shoot can be sensory overload for her, so we work around her schedule. I'm ok with that. She's only these ages once and soon she'll be a teenager, so I embrace every moment. I do have to do what I love to keep my soul, heart and spirit happy. Pin Up and burlesque gives me those outlets of self expression. A happy and emotionally healthy woman makes an equal as a mother.
5. Tell me about the photos you chose to share... why are they your favorite?
There's one when Chloe was maybe 3 or 4. Her curly red hair up in pig tails and she's so snuggled up to me, it just embodies the mother/child bond and is absolutely my top favorite of her and I. There's another of her and I in the car, on the way to school wearing our sunglasses. I love it! "Monkey see, monkey do" And we look quite cool together. The others of her and I just make me happy, because she's smiling in them. Her smile swells my heart with happiness and washes away even the worst of days. The modeling pics I'm sending are some of my favorite. One was from an Clara Bow style shoot a couple of years ago. The other's with the boa's and black and white show both my sides. Soft and gentle, then fierce and a tigress attitude.
6. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with other pin-up moms out there, or maybe some ladies that are considering getting involved with pin-up?
Pinup Followed by burlesque were the best things to come into my life. I've met an entirely new group of women and men who are extremely supportive and encourage me to do things just 8 or 9 years ago I wouldn't have ever considered. My life changed when I was diagnosed with metastasized thyroid cancer, (Stage 3 papillary carcinoma) When I realized I had this cancer growing in my body the entirety of my pregnancy and even flat lined for 3 minutes in ICU. A 4 year battle to go into remission (where I remain, gratefully today) My daughter coming into this world against ALL odds, losing the weight and nearing 40 quicker than I would like. My words of wisdom would be. Do what makes YOU happy, Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to find a new adventure that fulfills your needs. We, as women in this technologically driven, crazy society. We have to maintain who we are as individuals. Find your comfort zone and always remember what I mentioned earlier, that a happy woman makes a wonderful mother. Motherhood takes extreme patience and understanding. Ironically, so does pin up. It's a wonderful ride and it is possible to balance your womanhood and your motherhood. We all put our kid's first and fight like a mama bear when needed. Pin Up has allowed me to learn to take down those walls of insecurities and allowed me to have freedom of the soul. Do what makes you, you! And I can almost guarantee you will find more balance and less chaos!
**Kat has such an amazing story to share, here is a little more from her:
I'm 39, I have a 9 year old daughter named Chloe with Autism. She was non verbal until about a year ago.I'm also a PTA officer (I think the very first one that's mostly covered in 20 years of tattoos. LOL! ) I have 3+ years of pinup model experience. I will attach some from my portfolio.