Last night I had the honor of attending the launch party for Valor Hairspray at Pearls Rooftop on Sunset. Here, is Gina Elise, founder of Pin-Ups For Vets with Beauty & Pin-Ups founder. Gina’s photo is on the bottle and 10% of all sales of Valor, go to Pin-Ups For Vets, a non-profit organization supporting America’s hospitalized veterans. As someone who spent 45 days in a long term care unit, I know the need for support of hospitalized veterans. Many of the veterans I met while there were permanent residents and rarely have visitors. And by rarely, I mean; never have visitors. Pin-Ups for Vets volunteers visit hospitalized veterans. Volunteers are a mix of civilians, active duty and veterans. They sit down, visit, and get to know hospitalized veterans. Four of the eight women you can see in this photo are veterans, the two women on the viewer’s left are active duty military who traveled from San Diego for the launch party.
I have met so many wonderful women with Pin-Ups for Vets. Those of you who know me, know that I’m very self conscious of my hands, and the way #scleroderma has changed my face. I’m so self conscious, I try to hide myself in public, contradicting my own goals of educating the public about scleroderma. (The Mighty Turtle) I rarely go sleeveless and shy away from photos. (I’m in the black and red polka dots on your far right – you can’t see my face. See what I did there?) The fun of learning Pin-Up make-up and fashion, has been slowly luring me out of my shell.
Since the birth of my son, twelve years ago, I have been trying to take more pictures for him, but I do it as little as possible and I rarely share them. Pin-Ups for Vets is made up of men and women who have made Brave Is Beautiful a reality to me. I can count on them for encouragement and inspiration. There is something special about getting ready for events and pin-up fashion that has encouraged me like nothing else has done before, and I’m learning how to smile again for the camera.
Keep an eye out for more adventures and like Pin-Ups For Vets page on Facebook, and their touring members, Pin-Ups on Tour. Pin-ups on tour will be embarking on a tour to entertain with shows that embody the 1940’s cantina atmosphere of World War II, and visit veterans in hospitals around the country