Chrissy Keepence is Headmistress of the Lindy Charm School for Girls on the Gold Coast and is one of the professional vintage stylists paving the way for body positivity through the trend.
In her Charm School, Chrissy teaches her students how to use vintage fashion, makeup, and hairstyling to enhance their best features and boost their confidence.
Her classes and workshops teach women of all ages, shapes, and sizes; showing them how to take clothes and material from more modern fashion trends and create vintage outfits for themselves.
Chrissy turned to vintage when she was young after feeling like she didn’t fit into any other style or trend, and was self-conscious because of her skin, hair, and teeth.
“I was the ugly duckling at school,” Chrissy said.
A lot of body issues Chrissy encounters with her students have to do with hair and skin, but she also comes across her share of body size and shape issues; and it’s not exclusive to plus-size women.
“We have 30 girls per class and there’s a lot of different issues. What I’ve learnt is not to compare to other women, and that’s the hardest thing to learn when you’re a young girl,” Chrissy said.
Chrissy believes social media and the online world creates a path which makes it easy for people to inject their negative views on body image to a wide community of people.
She explained that body image issues and expectations have put pressure on women throughout history, but social media adds fuel to the fire of today’s issues.
“Knowledge, communication, and trends are growing so fast, it can be really noisy. you need to find your world before you can understand what’s trending in your world,” Chrissy said.
Kate Woodward, who is known as Kiss Me Kate in the pin-up world, has struggled with body issues most of her adult life.
“the fashions just didn’t suit my body or style. Vintage style is about embracing body positivity and celebrating individuality,” Kate said.
After finding inspiration from women like Chrissy, Kate found her own love of vintage styling and its ability to make women feel good and not worry about body shaming.
“I discovered vintage style and haven’t looked back. For the first time in years I feel confident, classy, unique, and beautiful; and I’m not worried about what people think of me,” she said.
There are a wide range of vintage style festivals and fairs throughout Australia, and Chrissy will be bringing her expert advice to the stage at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair this October.