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JBP's 11th Cheesecake Queen: Ginger Silky

Ginger Silky
    The great 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 Queens!
     Here now is an exclusive interview with and pictures from our newest Cheesecake Queen, Ginger Silky.

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(Interview from July 2008)

Java's Bachelor Pad: Congratulations on being named the latest Cheesecake 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 style.

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 dreams. 

As to how it played into the contest, you may have noticed a lack of nudity. 

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 the message.

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 Ginger 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.

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