17 December, 2013

Interview with Dayna Delux

Those of you who’ve been interested in pin up for some time may be familiar with Dayna Deluxe however those of you who’ve only recently discovered their pin up passion may not, although you’ve probably seen her images without realising it. Dayna is one of my all-time favourite pin ups, she’s a classic natural beauty with a gorgeous smile, striking eyes and a bone structure to die for, not to mention her body! Throughout her pin up career she’s always managed to maintain an air of class and dignity that I feel has been starting to slide with some of the more modern pin ups. She is incredibly inspiring and has been through a lot in her life and her strength only makes me love and respect her even more.
Photo by Varga
So as a Christmas gift to both myself and you, my readers, I recently contacted Dayna requesting an interview and because she is such a lovely person, she agreed! I hope you enjoy learning a little more about Dayna as much as I did, not to mention the eye candy included with this post! A qualified makeup artist who spent time working for NARS, Dayna Deluxe is an internationally renowned pin up model who has appeared in calendars, countless pieces of photographic art, on bottles of Muscat by Sort This Out Cellars and even released her own fragrance.

Born in Dallas, Dayna grew up working in clothing stores before becoming a bartender and moving to California in 2004. She met her husband Alex and moved to Vegas where they were married in 2007 and later had two sons, Brixton born in 2009 and Gunnar born in 2011. Since becoming a mother, Dayna has continued to model on a more part time basis while she cares for her family and also recently battled cancer. I recently spoke with her about how her modelling career began, how starting a family has changed her and how cancer has impacted her life.

Sheri Bomb: You started modelling young, at about 12 years of age – how did this come about?
Dayna Deluxe: It started with my mom putting me in pageants. From there I worked with a modelling/acting coach and after a few years I was teaching modelling (posing, runway, mannequin) to her other students. I did a tonne of mall fashion shows, judged pageants and a few commercials. By the end of high school I was honestly fed up with people telling me I was too short to model or my hair was too brown or my eyes weren't big enough etc plus several tragedies in my life, I just gave up on the dream.

SB: So what got you back into modelling a little later in life?
DD: A makeup artist friend used me as a model for his portfolio and the photographer shooting his work, Danni from Catfight studios, liked me and asked me to come back and shoot again. I shot with her several times. We posted the photos on social media and I started getting inquiries from other photographers that wanted to shoot with me. I was having fun and shooting with everyone and before I knew it I had fans, was traveling to Cali for shoots, and getting paid. It all happened very fast.
Photo by Andy Hartmark Photography
SB: Your first magazine cover was for Barracuda in 2006 – how many covers have you had since?
DD: That's a good question... I think 12.

SB: Has becoming a mother changed you?
DD: YES! Life has meaning and focus now.

SB: How do you feel about your modelling now? Does being a mother affect what jobs you take on?
DD: I love my career and nothing has really changed with being a mom. I choose to not model much now because my kids come first and I'm still out of shape. I think most of my shoots are classy and I'm not ashamed of anything. I don't think my kids will ever be ashamed of me either. 
SB: How does Alex feel about your modelling?
DD: I don't think he cares one way or another. If I wanted to step back into that world, he would support me and if I choose to stay out he supports that too.

SB: You released own fragrance – when did this happen and how did this come about?
DD: Well it was their perfume line and she simply asked me if they could do a fragrance for me. I didn't really have anything to do with it other than sending them an image and telling them what I'd like it to smell like. She did a great job!

SB: You recently battled thyroid cancer – when were you diagnosed?
DD: I was diagnosed two years ago with thyroid cancer.

SB: How was a diagnosis reached? What were the symptoms/signs?
DD: About a year before, I noticed a tiny lump in my neck. At the time I was recently pregnant with my Gunnar, my second son, and didn't put much thought into the tiny mass. The next year I was feeling around on my neck to check lymph nodes because I was sick and found what used to be that tiny mass was now a good sized lump. I made an appointment at the head nose throat doctor immediately. This happened to be one month after my dad was diagnosed with cancer. There were no real symptoms and my thyroid was operating at normal levels. The doctor said nodules on the thyroid were normal, especially in women, but gave me a biopsy to be safe. A week later, my test results came back suspicious for cancer. My surgeon thought it best to remove the thyroid just in case. A week after the surgery my husband and I were sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for the pathology results. The doctor walked in and said, "it's a good thing we took it out...it was full of cancer."  Wow.

SB: How did it affect your life at time?
DD: It was very confusing. Knowing my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and mine was already removed really put things into perspective I think. Maybe if my dad's cancer never existed I would have been way more devastated, but knowing my dad had a very long, painful road ahead of him and all I had was a surgery forced me to see how lucky I was and to keep positive. I was very scared though and overwhelmed.

SB: What was your treatment like?
DD: My doctor had been working with this type of cancer for a while and with his research, decided not to give me radiation!! Almost all patients receive radiation after a thryroidectomy. I knew I would have to go through it and worried about who would watch my kids and what was going to happen to me. I prayed and prayed for a miracle to not have to go through it. So when he told me I wouldn't have to have the treatment, he was saving it in case the cancer came back, I broke down crying and relieved! All I have to do is take a pill every day, have blood tests every month, and a cancer scan every 6 months. So far, two years and cancer free.
Photo by RK Studio
SB: That’s fantastic! How has beating cancer changed your life now?
DD: It has made me more aware. I've become very OCD about checking my body, my kid’s bodies and my husband’s body and they all get annoyed. Haha It’s so important to catch things early and have regular check-ups. I try to live a healthier life especially knowing "those things" can happen to me!

SB: You are a strong woman, have you always been this way? Where does this strength come from?
DD: Yes I think I've always been this way and seem to be getting stronger as the years progress. That which does not kill me, makes me stronger. Life is full of things that nearly kill us, in some way or another.

SB: How do you feel about plastic surgery?
DD: I don't have a problem with it. It's not my body and if someone needs it to feel better, then do it. I'm sure I have a face lift in my future ; )

SB: You are an inspiration for a lot of women, what do you hope they take away from being inspired by you?
DD: Hopefully strength in who they are. Short, big, skinny, tall, black, Asian, bald or hairy. You can be awesome just the way you are and without acting like an idiot or emulating other people that have little self-respect or class.  I'm just a mom, wife and friend that models. I'm no different or better than anyone else.

SB: You’ve just moved to Texas, what’s next for Dayna Delux?
DD: Who knows!! That's the fun part...full of possibilities.
Photo by Shannon Brooke Imagery
A big thank you to Dayna for taking the time to answer my questions so open and honestly.

Now just try and tell me you don’t love her as much as I do!

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