Updated: Jul 26, 2020
by Frankii Wilde
Hello and welcome to my first blog for GYBO. My name is Frankii Wilde, I am a tease creator from the North East of England, and although it’s more like Frankii mild than wild these days I am proud as punch to be selected as an Ambassador.
Okay so… where to start? I have come from a slightly different background to the other creators at GYBO and I feel like the world I evolved from was a little more underground then the "Lads Mags" of yesterday gone. Don’t get me wrong, I tried desperately to get in them... but we’ll get to that in a bit. I come from the worlds of pinup & burlesque, the pioneers of tease.
From an early age I've always felt a bit weird, like I’ve never fit in anywhere or with anyone but I knew I wasn’t destined to be what society calls ‘normal’. Modelling actually found me and not the other way around. I was horribly bullied all through childhood and my teens for my appearance (?!?!) so the last thing I ever thought I would be doing once I left school was making money through my looks. To my own disbelief I only went and did just that.
I was 18 or 19 and at art college studying photography (before digital went big time) when my teacher singled me out. “You there, with the cheekbones, stand here and let me show the class how to shoot a portrait”. So I did what she said… very awkwardly. I remember seeing the pictures develop in the tray and I couldn’t believe that was my face. I felt a surge of confidence and an immediate addiction. I ended up modelling for my peers and teachers throughout the rest of my education. Around this time there was this socal media site called MYSPACE (If you’ve not heard of it I officially feel ancient) and I wanted to show my pictures off so I made a profile and you could say the rest is history. A modelling agency got in touch from seeing my pictures which led me into the world of professional modelling.
Around the same time I discovered Dita Von Teese and then Bettie Page and I was in awe, I wanted to be just like them. I’ve always had an attraction to the fashions and looks of bygone eras for as long as I can remember, especially the styles of the 40s/50s (that lingerie and OMG the stockings... 😍). Of course, I went through all the typical alt phases growing up such as goth & punk. But as emo was emerging I was evolving into my retro aesthetic and was involved in the burgeoning burlesque scene of the mid noughties where I finally felt a sense of belonging.
My agency at the time didn't really know what to do with me and this vintage look that I had, so I thought I would try and adapt to fit in. I took drastic measures with my weight so I would get booked more for fashion and you know what? I was miserable. I got down to a size 4 (don’t ask) and I was still told I was too curvy… whhhhhattt?
My forte ended up being performing burlesque internationally, modelling for retro reproduction clothing & lingerie brands, and amateur photographer circuits but I wanted more. I wanted to be in the lads magazines as much as I wanted to be a modern pinup so I started experimenting and toning down my look and trying to look more “Glamour”... which at the time was very fake-tanned and pneumatic. I felt ridiculous and just not like me at all, I can’t put fake tan on for toffee and I didn’t want to look like David Dickinson from the sun’s rays either.
I did get noticed but it was always the same old “WE LOVE YOUR LOOK BUT…” I realised that mainstream modelling just wasn’t making me happy anymore and I wanted to be adored and appreciated for who I was… so I stopped the pursuit (It was hard, I wanted money, success, fame, and glamour) but I also wanted to be ME. So I went back to doing what I did best and my world of retro reproduction and pinup. I did get money, success, fame, and glamour (on a smaller underground scale of course) and above all I felt authentic and confident.
I did this continuously for around 10 years until trends started to change. When the brands I worked for ceased to exist I made a pay-per-view website (which I had always wanted to do) but I didn’t have 100% contr