BaconFest pageant pin-up takes a stand against bullies
WHEN BaconFest pageant host Bettie Butcher joined the pin-up community 10 years ago, she wanted to promote some of her core values alongside the fashion.
"I wanted to do more for my community, to make a change and ensure women were treated equally in a fair and transparent manner," Ms Butcher said.
"I already ensured my events had a zero tolerance for bullying. I have unfortunately seen bullying in the culture before, but I was brought up to stand up for what's right."
Ms Butcher has spent a decade organising vintage pin-up pageants and workshops to help empower women in the community, but her dream was put at risk by online bullying.
"Mr N", someone who identified as an American actor, producer and director, posted a casting call for a TV pilot named Cars and Dolls on Ms Butcher's web page, calling for Australian pin-ups to get involved, before turning on Ms Butcher and the community after she questioned the call's legitimacy.
This led to a retaliation by "Mr N", and he proceeded to make fun of Ms Butcher and the pin-up community during a one-hour podcast, calling them Bacon Bots.
Ms Butcher said the public onslaught left her crippled with anxiety, unable to sleep or attend events.
But the pin-up community rallied in her defence.
"After my experience being bullied, I'd had enough. I knew it was time to do something, to take a stand and speak up," Ms Butcher said.
Brisbane pin-up star Farah Day Cage suggested Ms Butcher used the name Bacon Bot as an opportunity to make a change.
They created Bacon Bot-inspired t-shirts, and 100 per cent of the profits from their sale will go to the charity Dolly's Dream.
Dolly's Dream was established in memory of Amy 'Dolly' Everett, who took her own life at the age of 14 after an extended period of both bullying and cyber bullying.
"This Bacon Bot campaign was born and I'll continue to make a difference as an anti-bullying advocate through Pin-Ups of Australia, a community by women for women giving free advice, raising money for charities and creating safe environments for pin-ups everywhere," Ms Butcher said.
The t-shirts will be designed by pin-up artist Sheardo, who said he was keen to collaborate as he couldn't stand bullying of any kind.
They were then screenprinted by Nathan from PixelEye Printworx, who said he joined after seeing everything unfold on social media.
You can support this fundraiser by purchasing a shirt, either online at www.BettieButcher.com, or in person at Greazefest Kustom Kulture Festival in Brisbane from August 3 to 4.
They will also be on sale at Kingaroy BaconFest from August 24 to 25.