SHE may look every bit the glamorous pinup now, but growing up on her parents’ farm in Wamboin, Keegan Snow Spence was a self-confessed “rough and tumble” tomboy.
“I’d love to get my hands dirty and I even studied as a mechanic for a few years,” Keegan, 22, says.
These days, the bubbly Macgregor resident “lives and breathes” vintage, from her music (Etta James and Shirley Bassey) to movies (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Some Like It Hot”).
“My mum and I used to watch classical movies and I just fell in love with the glamour of that era,” she says.
“I started really getting into the style of make-up and hair and it just felt so comfortable to me.”
Keegan’s pursuit has paid off, as she has just been named one of eight “runner-up pinups” for the November/December issue of US magazine, “Pinup America”.
Keegan was pitted against hundreds of other pinup hopefuls from around the world, entering two photos from her June shoot with Canberra pinup photographer Sherbet Birdie, which will now appear in the magazine.
In one of the photos, Keegan recreates a famous 1950s advertisement by Nesbitt’s Orange Soda, holding a bottle of soda as snow softly falls.
“My parents bought me the pinup photo shoot for my birthday, and it was the first time I had ever done something like it,” says Keegan.
“I had always read the magazine and I thought I might as well submit the photos, I had nothing to lose. I couldn’t believe it when they emailed me and said I was runner-up, I couldn’t stop smiling. You really do that sort of competition just for the exposure, so I’m hoping to continue entering pinup competitions and add to my portfolio from here.”
When “CityNews” meets Keegan, she looks every inch the 1950s pinup, right down to her hair scarf and the vintage-style glass-bottle of diet coke she orders.
She says the pinup scene has “exploded” in Canberra over the years, thanks to fashion stores such as April’s Caravan and competitions such as Miss Pinup Australia.
Unlike most other pinups, Keegan still uses her real name onstage rather than a pseudonym – “but my initials kind of spell KISS so I play on that,” she says.
Keegan says being a pinup doesn’t stop with her day job, as a technical writer at the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority.
“Being a pinup is about being glamorous right down to the very last detail, so I’ll wear my vintage cardigans and 1950s-style dresses to work and everyone just embraces it and, in fact, that style is so classic it doesn’t really look out of place anyway,” she says.
“People have always said I’m an old soul. I think I’d have rocked the pinup style in that era, but I love rocking it in this era now!”