We had the pleasure of catching with the 2019 Miss Cooly Rocks On winner, Miss Cherry Amour to discuss all things pinup pageants, from the moment she fell in love with pin up culture and vintage glamour to the moment she decided that she would compete for the Miss Cooly Rocks On crown.
What did it mean to you to be crowned Miss Cooly 2019?
Attending Cooly Rocks On has always been special to me as it falls on my birthday every year and winning the title of Miss Cooly Rocks on 2019 was my birthday wish come true! The first Cooly rocks I ever attended in 2016 my partner Tyler and I competed in the junior rock n roll dance competition and were overjoyed when we won our categories, from then on I knew Cooly Rocks On would always be special to me.
I saw the Miss Cooly Rocks on pageant for the first time in 2017 and watching the girls on stage in the middle of The Strand was mesmerising and I said to myself that one day that would be me so I watched every year until I decided in 2019 that it was my year! From the very start of my journey to winning Miss Cooly Rocks I had an absolute ball all the way through and am still enjoying it two years later! My biggest highlight would have to be the meet and greet for all the Miss Cooly Rocks and Miss Rockabilly finalists at the Pink Hotel in Coolangatta. It was a delight being able to meet all the beautiful ladies I was entering this pageant with who I knew from social media, as well as catching up with friends in the local pinup scene. Attending the Miss Cooly Rocks on pageant meant so much to me and to be lucky enough to win the title was overwhelming, it meant that my hard work in preparation had paid off and that the Cooly Rocks On festival had become even more special to me even though I thought it wasn’t possible! My sash hangs proudly in my beauty room along with my beautiful tiara, I smile every time I see and think of all the fond memories I’ve made being a part of the Miss Cooly Rocks On Pageant.
What has drawn you to pinup culture and vintage glamour?
Rock n roll dancing is where my pinup journey started as I met my amazing partner Tyler and we were paired together to compete in the dance competition at Cooly Rocks On two years later in 2016. After attending I fell in love with the entire festival plus all it celebrated and returned the next year, but after seeing my first pinup pageant in 2017 which was Miss Cooly Rocks On I was obsessed with the pinup scene. I entered in a local pinup pageant the very next weekend and was hooked on the pinup and vintage lifestyle. My eyes were opened to the amazing community’s around Australia of likeminded people who also loved the music, style, cars and everything vintage. I always had an affinity for the pretty dresses and music from the 50’s when I was young yet little did I know that the vintage lifestyle would become my whole life.
What is your favourite year for vintage glamour?
Although I don’t have a specific favourite year, my favourite era for vintage glamour is the 1950’s! The war was over and the fashion was back bringing a new level of Hollywood glamour and movie starlets, rock n roll music emerged and the boom of the 1950’s pop culture. What’s not to love! I wasn’t your average teenager as I started to collect vintage clothing when I was 16 and now I adore finding treasures big and small from the 50’s. Everything from Pyrex dishes and mix masters to Vintage coach built prams and accessories, but my most prized possession from the 50’s is my very own classic car – a 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Coupe which I purchased after seeing it in the Show N Shine at Cooly Rocks On in 2019. The 50’s exudes glamour and charm, it was and always will be my favourite era!
What sort of preparation did you have to do in the lead up to the Miss Cooly Rocks On pageant?
I was extremely lucky enough to find at an antique fair the original vintage sash from the winner in a beauty pageant held in Coolangatta in 1953 and knew it was fate! After doing some research I got in contact with the Tweed Regional Museum who were completely amazed that I found it and were delighted to send me through photos of the beauty pageant from that year with the winner ‘Jane Forman’ wearing this exact sash. There were pictures of her standing in front of crowds at Greenmount beach and posing with the Greenmount S.L.S.C. I was in awe of how beautiful she was so in her bathing suit, high heels, curled hair, jewellery and sash so I decided to re-create her look with her sash and similar vintage swimsuit for the daywear section of the Miss Cooly Rocks on Pageant. After more conversations with the Tweed Regional museum I learnt all of the history of the pageant and was able to put this in the bio to be read out on stage during my performance whilst the judges were handed pictures of Miss Foreman from the day to show how I brought her memory and the history of pageant in Coolangatta back to life again! This ended up to be a lot of research and preparation but it all worked out perfectly as all the time and effort that was put into it everything made the pageant stress free and seamless on the day, I always say preparation is key!
What was your favourite category of the pageant?
All three categories of Miss Cooly Rocks On were fun but my favourite was the talent section! I love when a pageant has a segment that isn’t usual as it brings another level of excitement and entertainment to the event. Although a talent section can seem daunting at first you just have to delve into finding out what you’re great at and it can be almost anything, we had painting, knitting, singing, comedy, dancing and burlesque. My partner Tyler and I showcased some rock n roll dancing for my talent section but we also threw in some trickier moves like aerials and jumps! We had so much fun and hearing that the crowd loved it brought us so much joy. This involved in a lot of practice although it wasn’t always smooth sailing as two weeks before the competition I fell while we were practising and ended up with a black eye! But that is exactly what practice is for and thank goodness I didn’t fall on the day of the pageant! There have been some amazing examples of great talent in the Miss Cooly Rocks Pageant and I’m excited to see what this year’s finalists have to offer!
Do you have any advice for this year’s Miss Cooly applicants?
Yes! Don’t be afraid to enter and if you feel like you’re unsure on what to do you can always reach out to your local pinup gals or Miss Chrissy who will be more than helpful! Pinup pageants aren’t your stereotypical pageants, they accommodate for everyone, every shape, style, size and age plus you will meet likeminded people and make many friends. They are about showing your love for all things old school as well as letting you be who you are and helping to become comfortable in your own skin, it’s always great to see such a mix of people from the community being supported.
Some tips and tricks include to look at all three categories (Daywear, talent & eveningwear) and start planning outfits and routines. There are many pinup icons old and new you can draw inspiration from or watch classic movies, search certain looks or themes or my favourite trawling through Pinterest! Once you have all of your outfits and props/extras sorted if you choose to have them, practice routines in/ with them to ensure everything flows. On the day make sure you have an emergency kit with pins and needle with thread and all the little things just in case, but your two wonderful stage kittens will always be there to help you! At the end of the day just remember to have fun, Miss Cooly Rocks On has been the best pageant I’ve ever entered and I wish all the applicants the best of luck and look forward to meeting you!
Miss Cherry Amour (Miss Cooly Rocks on 2019)
We hope this interview has been inspiring to those aspiring to enter pinup pageants.
Following tradition, Miss Cherry Amour will sit on the panel of judges for the 2021 Miss Cooly Rocks On Pageant.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us Miss Cherry Amour, we look forward to seeing you at Cooly Rocks On, 9 – 13 June 2021.
Are you flirting with the idea of competing in a beauty pageant? Why not put your best baby doll forward and enter the Miss Cooly Rocks On Pageant?
Applications for Miss Cooly Rocks On are now open (closing 6 April 2021).