thing about Java's
Bachelor Pad Cheesecake Contest is you never know who will
enter. Sometimes it's an established pin-up. Sometimes it's a gal entering
her first contest. And sometimes it's a college professor with an army
of fans. Case in point, our 11th Cheesecake Queen Ginger Silky.
This gal has brains to match her beauty! When the contest was over, we
had the largest vote total ever with 1,029 votes cast. And of that total,
our gal Ginger brought in a staggering 21% of those votes
or 221 total. We are happy to add her to our growing pantheon of Cheesecake
Here now is an exclusive interview with and
pictures from our newest Cheesecake Queen, Ginger Silky.
* * * * *
(Interview from July 2008)
Java's Bachelor Pad: Congratulations on being named the latest
Queen. What was your reaction when you found out you won?
Ginger Silky: I was really excited. I was actually at an annual
4th of July camping event. I started getting text messages minutes after
the contest was over. Not only was I surprised to hear that I had won,
I was surprised and flattered that so many people were watching the site
for me! This was my first contest and I think my excitement spilled over
to my friends and family...which was fantastic. My fellow campers made
me a “tiara” and we celebrated with many a cocktail and lots of dancing/singing
and all around silliness. It really was an amazing feeling. I have never
won anything in my life (not counting a pack of soap in the shape of Chiclets
that I won in a silent auction in 3rd grade) and to be honest, it was a
truly amazing feeling of pride and thankfulness.
JBP: You are brand new to the pin-up scene. How did you get started?
What motivated you to start taking pin-up photos?
GS: I have long admired the glamour of the women from pin-up,
film noir and burlesque. I never thought that I could ever live up to the
glamour of the gorgeous women in the pages and stills from the magazines
and screen. It took me many years to realize that perfection and beauty
are not necessarily the same for everyone. I realized beauty comes in many
shapes and sizes, which sounds cliché, but clichés are clichés
for a reason. As a book worm and a complete nerd growing up, I never thought
it possible that I could be “pretty” or “glamorous.” In fact, I never really
thought that “sexy” would describe me, so this is a completely new experience.
Ok, this could be a really LONG story, but in an effort to
keep it as short as possibe...I stuck with the books for many years and
eventually I realized that I was done just reading about the amazing women
in history. I have now come to terms with the notion that I want to actually
be one of the women I have read about.
JBP: Talk about your first pin-up shoot.
GS: I was incredibly nervous!! I had set up a shoot with Tabatha
Acosta of Cherry Blossoms Photography around Christmas time. I was afraid
that she would not think I was “pretty” enough to photograph, even though
I had paid for the shoot. I was so afraid to be judged. I had been looking
at her work for months and was so amazed by how talented she was. But,
as it turned out, Tabatha could not have been sweeter or more accepting,
and the pictures turned out astounding. Since that shoot, I have shot numerous
times with Tabatha and have sought out other photographers who have all
been amazing. I’ve even dragged many a friend to many a photo shoot and
everyone leaves having fallen in love with the glamour and giddiness that
a pin-up shoot provides.
JBP: What is it about pin-up that drew you to it?
GS: As a child, I adored Marilyn
Monroe, Doris Day, and my all-time favorite, Gloria Grahame.
More recently, I was drawn to the burlesque antics of Trixie Little
and the Evil Hate Monkey. After attending my first burlesque show,
I ordered every possible book on Amazon.com related to burlesque, pin-up,
and film noir. The magic and mystique of the women transforming themselves
from ordinary to extraordinary blew my little nerdy brain. I was hooked,
and needed to be part of that world and escape from the doughty college
professor persona into the alluring Ginger.
JBP: How do you approach your pin-up shoots? Describe your pin-up
GS: To be honest, it takes a while for me to loosen up during
a shoot. As much as I love the final product, the process of getting there
still intimidates me. It helps to have fun supportive people around me
to lighten the mood. Once I start laughing and realize it is all just for
fun, that is when the magic happens.
I find that most of the time, my best photos happen when I am truly
enjoying myself in the moment and not worrying about how I look.
JBP: I heard that in your real life you're a college professor.
Is that true? How did that play into the contest?
GS: Well Java, you have heard right. I am indeed a college
professor. I teach a variety of courses on social psychology and the psychology
of sexuality. Having taught sexuality for many years, and being a hearty
advocate for sexual freedom in all of its forms, I realized that I too
am an individual worthy of that freedom. Previously I shied away from anything
public relating to my other (more fun) persona, but this was really special
to me and I felt it was time for me to abandon the fear of pursuing my
As to how it played into the contest, you may have noticed a lack
JBP: You were really able to rally the troops, so to speak, to
join the group and vote for you. What's your secret?
GS: Shameless self-promotion has never been a problem for
me. In the past, I have supported many of my students and colleagues in
their life’s endeavors, and have been a constant cheerleader for others
in the pursuit of their dreams. When it came time to pursue mine, I found
everyone more than willing to lend a vote and a kind word and pass along
As a social psychology professor, who happens to teach a course on
social influence and persuasion, I must admit I used those skills to my
advantage as well. I have no problem sharing with everyone in the group
how I went about rallying the troops, so to speak. Instead of large-scale
MySpace blasts, I sent personalized emails to each of my friends asking
for their vote and adding a personal touch to each request. It is not to
say I tricked them into voting for me, but that I took the time to acknowledge
them as an individual with a personalized memory and then a request to
vote. That was a major tactic for me.
Suffice it to say, this contest was really important to me
and people could sense my sincerity and wanted to help me out. I got emails
from people who expressed more desire for me to win than even I had. We
all really got into campaigning, and as the congratulations are still coming
in, I realize just how important supporting me is to quite a lot of people.
I never knew I had touched so many lives.
Although winning the contest was a huge accomplishment for me personally
(and I am still giddy with excitement!), realizing just how special I am
to my friends, colleagues, and family is just like winning all over again
every time I receive an email or a phone call.
JBP: Now that you're the Cheesecake Queen, what's next for you?
GS: Hopefully many more photo shoots, perhaps more contests.
Winning this contest inspired me to acknowledge that I am somebody different
outside of work, and my work does not define me. That being said, the demure
Silky will now be taking over the persona of Ginger Snap. I just
joined a roller derby team and I am putting my whole heart, soul, and ass
into being the best roller girl I can be. One of the roller girls’ mottos
is “Live fast, die pretty” and that is how I am going to roll.