How to Choose a Pinup Name

Hello All!

Full Disclosure: Genna is not my real name. Shocking, right?

Don’t I look like a Genna?

It’s actually not that unusual in our community. Think of it kind of like a stage name for an actor, or a pen name  for an author. There a lot of different reasons that people might chose to use a pseudonym. It could be to differentiate themselves from other people. It could be that the name doesn’t ring true to the persona that they are trying to create. It could be that they want something unusual that will stick in someones head, or they want to have some privacy for their “normal” life. 

Choosing a name can seem super daunting. I know that I worked and mulled over names for a LONG time before finally settling on one. Having trouble knowing where to start? Well I got some places for you to try and help the inspiration strike.

  1. Your Family Tree – Got a great Aunt you really identify with? Looking for a name that sounds period? Your own family is a great place to start. For me, I made a two column chart on a piece of paper and wrote down any names that I liked in either the first name or last name category.
  2. Most Popular Name Websites – Are you working out of a certain period? Because most of my vintage style fits into the 1950s, I ran a few different searches on the most popular of the 1950s to get a feel for what was common at the time. 
  3. Your “Tick”- Got a favorite movie? A favorite book? Are you a political science major? Are you a chef? Chances are you have something in your life that you love. Research within your loves and I am positive that certain names will stick out to you. Take me as an example. I am a hardcore geek, so when I was looking for a name I searched for names in my favorite fandoms to give me a lengthy list of names or surnames that I felt spoke to my nerdy nature. 
  4. A thesaurus – No… I am not trying to invoke that PTSD from your English classes. However, you will see that a lot of women use describing words in their pinup names, and variety is the spice of life. Would you describe yourself as full figured? What’s a synonym for that? Maybe Voluptuous is a word that speaks to you. You don’t have to be totally tied down to totally traditional names!! 

Now that you have a list of names that speak to you, I used trial and error to find something that fit together. Just like naming a baby, not all names sound good together. I encourage you to try and enjoy the process. Narrow down what works and what doesn’t. Chances are a smaller handful will stick out to you. At this point, I think I had about 5-10 names that I thought sounded good together, and felt like they could represent who I wanted to be as a pinup.

Then it’s Google time! Seriously. Put your list of names into your search engine and see what comes up. You don’t want to find out later that someone else is already using it, or using something that sounds similar. I know that this eliminated some for me, and left me with only a few to really mull over. 

At the risk of sounding overly corny, this is Listen-To-Your-Heart time. Sleep on it. Say the names out loud. Write them down and look at them in your handwriting. Really let yourself think about it. 

For me, my decision was changed right at the last minute. I was about 97% sure on my name when rather suddenly I lost my grandmother. 

The Lovely Lady Herself

I knew immediately in my heart that I wanted to honor this woman, who was so badass and so supportive to me whenever I started chasing some wild dream even as a kid. Her name was Geneva, which I shortened to Genna. I chose Pond as a surname as a throwback to my geeky roots, (Bonus points if you know what inspired it!) but I also liked it because it appealed to the nature and water parts of me that I also loved. I felt it as soon as I wrote it out the first time that this name was exactly what I wanted. 

All of this being said, I would love to hear from you guys! Other Pinups… how did you decide on your name? Tell me your story in the comments! Likewise, if this helps you on your pinup journey, tell me what named you picked! 

Love and Cheers!

Genna XOXO

14 thoughts on “How to Choose a Pinup Name

  1. rubytgray2455

    It took me years to finally settle on a name.
    When I finally felt I was ready to settle, Ruby just came to me.

    At the time, I was in school for
    linguistic anthropology (studying Spanish cultures at the time).

    Driving to my dad’s, Katy Perry’s “Roar” came on the radio. As usual, I began crying while singing the song. I was a tiger and you were gonna hear me ROAR!

    I walked into my dad’s house, smiling, tears on my face and I excitedly announced that I had finally settled on a stage/pinup name.

    My dad laughed, because this wasn’t the first time I had made this claim.

    He said, “Let’s hear it.”
    I replied, “Ruby Tigre!”
    He smiled, nodded and said, “I approve.” And we went about our business.

    It was months later, I found out that he only approved because his mother’s middle name was “Ruby”.

    At my second performance, the EMCEE asked how I pronounced my name and had spelled it on his card as, “Ruby T. Gray”.

    I saw that, thought to myself, “Why am I making my surname so hard? My name is already difficult to pronounce. What was I thinking?”

    Changed all social media, registry and anything else I could think of.

    And the rest, is history. ❤️


  2. Carlie Sorat

    What a great article on picking your pinup or performer name. I used to have a fake name in my twenties cause I was just starting out. Now I just use Carlie Michelle or Carlie Michelle Sorat cause I wanted to use my own name. 🙂 This is a great post Genna.


  3. “Dyna Mo Sparks” – a real firecracker
    Love this post. I have been up and down with my name but I think I’ve finally found one that’s going to work. The first name I used,”Luna Cee”, I didn’t research well and soon found out that Luna is quite common.
    It took me so long to be comfortable with my real first name I think it added to the stress of finding a model name. My last name “Ozzvic” is the combination of my maternal and paternal grandmothers maiden names.
    I was a stage hand for a Christmas show and needed a stage name and a tag line for the program. I was already playing around with “Dyna Mo”and added Sparks. It seems to fit my personality and I like the way it flows so I’ll keep it for now. 🙂


  4. Krystal

    Is that for Amy Pond the beautiful mother of River Song (the queen of the name change herself)?

    Still working on my pinup name. Can’t seem to commit to anything yet


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