Meet Hannah Gough aka Miss Glamour LaRue – Glam for short. She’s a model, an early childhood educator, a Miss Pinup New Zealand 2015 finalist, derby girl and all round awesome babe. I was excited to be able to shoot with her for my Fat Girls Shouldn’t Wear Stripes project and ask her a few questions about being body positive and being a plus size woman in the Miss Pinup New Zealand 2015 finals.
What is your favourite place to shop?
City Chic – I love and adore that shop, their clothes fit so perfectly it’s like they were made for my body. I struggle because I am in between sizes, like my waist and hips are one size and then my boobs are another size.
What/who inspires your fashion choices?
I draw my fashion choices from bits of everywhere to make a style that I want. Vintage and rockabilly items are what fills my two chests of drawers, double cupboards and the three boxes in storage!
Why did you want to be involved in this project?
I have a strong passion for advocating for woman to change the way that they look at their bodies. Yes I am a bigger girl, but I am fit and healthy at the same time (this is something that is important [to me] too). No matter what your size, you can be a strong and beautiful independent woman, and should love your body no matter what size! I am so passionate about sharing with girls of all ages – we need to stop the hate between us and celebrate our sass. I feel that because I am a curvy girl I can relate to the struggles that curvy girls face, however I want to advocate for all woman (regardless of their size) to embrace themselves for who they are.
Do you have any previous experience with body shaming? Tell us about it.
Oh man, where to start! I remember walking home from school, crying my eyes out because this one bully was so horrific to me. I’m tearing up now writing this because the words were so hurtful and cut me so deep. As a teenager, I would make myself sick after lunch because I was told I would never fit in with the cool kids while I was “the fatty”, I was so ashamed and embarrassed by my body. I wore clothes that were three sizes too big and I never truly believed that I was beautiful.
Thankfully, I have started down this amazing life changing path where I have overcome so much of the body shaming that has happened. I have recently been fuelled by the negative comments I have received since making a stand against body shaming – this is what drives me to make this subject more positive within the community. I am about all woman learning to love their bodies! We shouldn’t be focusing on our weight or size, it should be about being healthy – you can be healthy and curvy at the same time. Most woman (myself included) struggle with body identity/body issues, it’s about learning to love yourself and what you can do to embrace the inner beautiful you. We need to stop the body hating on each other as well, we have no idea what that person is battling with – could be genetics, medical or other issues. Every person is different – part of my journey to self-discovery and body confidence was getting active and joining a gym. I am proud to say that I am a curvy girl, but I am also a fit, healthy and toned curvy girl!
People have hated on my page (which I started because I feel so strongly about changing women’s views on themselves), and some have messaged me saying I am a negative body role model to women because I am a curvy girl! I have challenged one of these people to a gym and cardio session with me to see if they thought that afterwards – they never took me up on this. It doesn’t matter if you and curvy, thin, short, tall, long hair, no hair – you are beautiful and you deserve to be respected and embrace for who you are! I would like for people to remember that everyone has feelings: when I get abuse yelled at me on the street or sent via social media, it hurts! I have become strong and have a great support system that helps me when it gets too much, but not everybody has that – when we bring women down for the way they look, it can have dire consequences.
If you have a day when you’re not feeling great about yourself, how do you deal with that?
I have an inspiration wall above my bed! Every morning I look at this and remind myself of who I am, the friends and family who are my support, my achievements and my goals for the future. I stand there and draw on that energy and use that to empower me.
How do you show your body love?
The gym! Gosh darn I love that place, at the time my muscles are screaming at me to stop the squats, but I push through! For myself, this has been part of my journey to learning to love me and embrace myself for the person I am.
What made you decide to enter Miss Pinup New Zealand 2015?
I had seen it advertised the year before, but at that stage I was still on my journey of discovery of who I am and learning to love my body! So I just put in the to do box. When I looked at the application I thought “I could do this” but then put it off once again. Later that day I logged on to Facebook and saw that five people had shared the application form to my page – someone even printed it off and handed it to me! This was the inspiration that I needed. I want to be an role model for children, teenagers and women of all ages, that if you want to do something set goals and if you put your mind to it, you can achieve it through hard work.
How did you become interested in pin up culture?
About 2 years ago, I have aspired to be in the league of pinup and vintage models. One day I had a photo shoot and it was based around vintage and pin up, from that point on I haven’t looked back. This was the photo shoot that also started me on my journey to share the message to all woman that no matter what size you are, there is a style out there that can make your feel sexy and show off your natural assets – for myself it’s the vintage and pinup styles.
Is pin up an everyday look for you? What aspects of this carry over to your everyday life?
I wish that my job would allow me to dress pin/rockabilly every day! Dresses and skirts are not practical as an early childhood education teacher, however I still do my makeup. wear bandannas in my hair, and rock out with some victory rolls here and there. Outside of work pinup/rockabilly is my standard go to, however I translate it to every day casual style. Whangarei is slowly starting to embrace my love of vintage and I hardly get the stares and whispers anymore. One thing I love is that even if I am working out at the gym, I have my hair done up with a bandanna and have some sort of pinup hairstyle happening. This doesn’t stop me getting sweaty and having a good workout!