When one door closed, another opened for actor turned pin-up
IT'S been something of an atypical journey for this poster girl.
When Lulu La Rose (not her real name), a professional actress, returned to Australia after seven years of working with charities and non-government organisations in Africa, she was hit with a rude shock.
Expecting to return to her acting work, she found it hard to break back into the industry, because, she says, her age had reached a certain number.
"When I got back to Australia, I experienced ageism because I was turning 50," the Dundowran resident said.
"With a lot of people (in the acting industry), they see the number 50 and automatically the door shuts - they think you're over it."
So Lulu's career took an interesting twist.
Having always been interested in vintage fashion and retro pin-up posters, she decided to try "the next best thing" - and entered Miss Pinup Australia.
"I'd always followed this pin-up thing," Lulu said.
"This year they decided to have a Miss Prestige category, for people over 40, so I decided to give it a go."
Not only did she give it a go, she came away from the state finals earlier this year as Miss Prestige Pinup and went on to the national finals in May, where she finished runner-up.
As a result, Lulu won a professional photo shoot, among other prizes, and will soon be gracing the pages of various American pin-up magazines.
Lulu said the contest was not necessarily about beauty or looks.
"It's about confidence, styling - it's not a beauty contest, it's about how you present yourself in public," Lulu said.
"It's based on the authentic vintage look - not on who's the skinniest or who's the prettiest. That's why it's a good contest!
"And it's the only one in the world that does it like this."
Lulu said her family and friends were surprised by her new interest - but were supportive.
"Everyone was very surprised - especially my husband," she said.
"But he loves that era - cars, music etc - and comes along to all the events and things.
"He's my number one fan."
Lulu said anyone interested in entering next year's contest could find more information at www.misspinupaustralia.com.au.