Okay, fine, Hello Kitty, Appletinis, maxi pads, and Lifetime movies starring Melissa Joan Hart are all things that are gag-worthy femme. But what if a gal wants to knock it down a notch and just be terribly girly?
Miami's Terribly Girly, a funky little photography studio in Wynwood that specializes in pin-up portraits, will finger wave you into one fabulous female. "It's great for the average woman who never thought they could be sexy," says Virginia Lefay, makeup artist extraordinaire who left a gig with the porn company Score to work with Terribly Girly. "But once they have the hair, the makeup, the outfit..."
"The vodka," piggybacks Janette Valentine, tattooed cutie, photographer,
and the de facto leader at Terribly Girly who, with her snarky aside
has given her entire glam squad - which also includes "hair sculptress"
Marilyn San German and stunning stylist Aurora Natrix (who also
performs as part of Shameless Burlesque) - a serious case of the
giggles. "Hey, most girls who come in here have never been in front of a
[professional] camera before."
"Okay, and the vodka," says Lefay. "All the girls who come in here transform. And it's really rewarding."
"What we do is pretty superficial," admits Valentine. "We're
just playing with makeup and hair and making someone look better, but at
the end of the day, if I wasn't doing something rewarding then I'd feel
like shit. I think that's why most of us are in this."
"I mean, that's why I left Score. There was nothing fulfilling
about it. I mean, I learned a lot of positions, I found a new use for my
feet, and my boyfriend's very happy, but, this job is very
satisfying. Especially since all of us here are all gay men inside. We
like feathers, and glitter, and rhinestones."
"Well, except for me," says Natrix a tall, brunette Brit wearing
a hot pink pencil-skirted dress and a black, furry shrug. "I'm the drag queen
of the group."
And that's the kind of banter you get during your Terribly Girly
experience, which this blogger observed first hand while getting a
behind the scene glimpse as one of their clients turned from a hottie
from Hialeah to a straight up boudoir bombshell. Here are behind the
scenes shots and some quips from the girls.
"I think what we do is more for women than it is for men that's why the photos retain more of a tasteful look. if it were up to men, all the girls would just be naked or in a thong, ass up in the air. I mean, I'm not trying to say that guys aren't cool, but, it is called Terribly Girly because there's already so much out there for dudes and it seems like everything is made for men - advertising, magazines, television - but, I'd rather look out for the girls." -- Janette Valentine
"Sometimes girls come in with amazing shoes and I'm a total shoe whore, so I will create a whole outfit just to go with the shoes, I'll make it work." -- Aurora Natrix
"The hair needs to be 'BAM', when a girl looks in the mirror she needs to be transformed and not all stylists can do that. But these girls can. It can't just be pretty bridal natural makeup and hair, it has to be different." -- Janette Valentine
"I started performing in Shameless Burlesque seven years ago when a friend of mine I ran into at a club asked me if I wanted to join a cabaret/burlesque show he was putting together and I was like 'burlesque? That's like taking off your clothes, I can't do that, what's wrong with you?' so he begged and I said 'Okay, but I'm not taking off my top.'" -- Aurora Natrix
(So, does she go topless now? Let's just say she designs and sells her own tassels.)
Most ridiculous thing a client has asked Valentine to re-touch during the photo editing process:
"Can you change the express on my face or can you make one finger longer than the other?"
"Or they want to look like JLo and they're super pale and blonde."
On how Valentine sometimes feels like more of a therapist than a photographer:
"There's girls who got dumped a day before the shoot, women who just found out their husbands are cheating on them, girls with miscarriages, some girl had just finished hair and makeup and she got a call that her grandmother died. We offered to do the shoot another day, but she said her grandmother would've waned her to do it, so she did."
Aurora Natrix: I just got goosebumps.
And everyone's nicknames (said numerous times over the hour this blogger was a Terribly Girly):
Aurora Natrix: A-Whora
Virginia Lefay: Vagina
Janette's Ass-sistant, Lisa: Queen LaQueefat, "she's very, very gasy" -- Janette Valentine
Terribly Girly has somewhat of a secret location and to get the info, you need to book an appointment. A custom package including hair, makeup, wardrobe, and photos start at $400 or if you join their newsletter, you can check out their monthly themed-base special (i.e. Valentine's Day, Springtime, etc) for $350.