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Bernie Dexter's Biography:

My mother is from Oklahoma City and my father is from the Philippine Islands (now I think of it I am convinced this is where I get my curvy shape from). They met in the 1960s at a club where my mom danced when my father was on leave from the U.S. Navy. He fell in love with her at first sight!

My mother became a burlesque dancer at 17 and as a kid I had no idea really what kind of dancing she did until I was rummaging through an old 1800s trunk she owned and found some old lobby cards that featured her!! I never asked her about it as a teenager as I felt like it was her private, secret world but I was intrigued as I found her so fascinating. Sowing the seed

Even as young as 5 or 6 I had started to stand by my mothers side for hours watching her do her make up & hair. She used false eyelashes & everything! I was always fascinated with her transformation from girl next door to this sexy vixen!! I remember even trying on her high heel shoes when she would leave the room so I guess the seed had been sown all the way back then.

When I was not studying my mom I was in front of the television fascinated with the family film festival on Sunday mornings. I loved watching the black/white and Technicolor films as the dancing was inspiring and the women so glamorous. As a consequence I begged my mom for tap dance lessons which I started aged just 5 years old. I continued to tap dance for 10 years and also went through acting school. One of the highlights of that time was meeting John Caradine!

At 12 years old my mom sighed me up for my first beauty pageant. The pageants were great for learning poise & smooth walking and I ended up doing the pageant circuit until I was 18. That was the year I won Miss Teen San Diego County U.S.A. From there I went to Miss Teen Calif. U.S.A. where I was placed in the top 15. The transition to pinup model

After the pageant circuit I got into the rockabilly scene and still love it to this day. The music, dancing, cars, guys and of course the outfits and style are all so exciting to me.

As far as my career goes I went to cosmetology school and found it was easy for me to pick up hair dressing. The next thing I know I am doing all my friends hair & makeup before we would go out to rockabilly shows. I really think studying my mom and all those movies paid off.

My first job after the schooling was with M.A.C. Cosmetics. I was so lucky as I got the best training in the world there! Finally I decided to freelance & that is were all this pin up modeling comes in. I was working on shoots with a few pinup style photographers doing hair, make up, set design and wardrobe.

I have had the privilege with working with some of the most beautiful women in the world including Dita von Teese & Holly Madison and never in my wildest dreams thought I would get a chance to be in front of the camera. However, one night it happened. A photographer i was doing hair, make up & wardrobe styling needed a test model & i volenteered and there was some real magic in the room. I submitted the photos to a pin up contest on the web and that is when modeling offers came flooding in.

Why Pinup?

Well apart form the obvious connections with the rockabilly scene I simply love to dress up in 1940s/1950s clothing and lingerie whether its genuine vintage or simply inspired from that era. I have been collecting clothes and accessories for as long as I can recall and I can even remember going to the thrift store with my mom when I was a little girl and sifting through everything to find amazing glamorous items.

I have always found myself buying the dresses and shoes even with no real knowledge and then finding out that "Oh that is a great vintage dress!!" I guess Im lucky enough to just have an eye for it. I have had a lot of fun buying and selling on Ebay which can be a great source of vintage items and to this day I still have an Ebay store.

On top of all that I have always been inspired by the women from the golden age of glamour so putting all these factors together and its not hard to see that classic pinup is where my heart lies. From then to now!

Since that first fateful night in front of the camera I have shot with many different photographers and modelled for many different websites, its been like a whirlwind. I even have my own range of clothing, lingerie & shoes now. You can find them at my website Berniedexter.com

I love champagne especially with potato chips!! Red is my favorite color! I love lingerie, high heels, rockabilly music, film noir, the beach and the sand between my toes!! Oh and diamonds of course!

As for those who inspire me chief among these is my mom. I only wish I had more photos of her and the old lobby cards, sadly our house went up in flames in the early 90s and we lost so many of our photos. Levi Dexter has also been my biggest inspiration. Just when i almost quit he picked up a camera for the first time & made me his muse. This changed our lives completely in great ways! Olivia has also been a huge source of inspiration for me as her encouragement has made me realize i really have what it takes...



Bernie Dexter
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