Blue Collar Barbie

The American Midwest is notorious for raising beautiful and hearty daughters, the kind just as apt to put a snow shovel or hockey stick to good use, as they are a tube of lipstick. They are raised to respect hard work and to overcome adversity. And there is a perennial toughness in them balanced by consideration for others and polite restraint that can be mistaken by some as weakness or naivety. But cross swords with one of those gentle souls, and you’ll soon learn how dangerously thin that veneer of civility is.

Missy Posterli was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, in the heart of the American Midwest. And she is beautiful, in every sense, and she is a walking, breathing, epitome of that midwestern girl. She was a pageant queen, a model, and even did some local television, but she can hold her own on any street in any town with equal savvy and ease. 

Youngstown was built almost exclusively by the steel industry.  So when cheaper foreign steel decimated the market and steel plants started to close in the late 1970s, the local economy was eviscerated. And by many accounts, it has not recovered to this day. With few prospects, Missy and her husband Chris left Youngstown and moved to Las Vegas in 2010.  Within a week, she was working at the infamous Drais Nightclub, and shortly after that, her midwestern work ethic, charisma, and brains had earned her a management position. She still works at Drais today.

In 2011 I met Missy, and she modeled for me. She was different than most, the woman is incapable of pretense, and we struck up an immediate and enduring friendship. Her personality made the work more fun and, therefore, the pictures better. Missy works as hard as is needed eschewing comfort and fatigue to get the shot. And her versatility in front of the camera spawns near-limitless ideas and creativity. She is a photographer’s dream to work with and a trustworthy friend, rare qualities that are deeply admired and appreciated.

In 2017 Missy and Chris had twin girls. As can be expected, life changed, but it didn’t end. Missy got back into shape and modeling again, one of the few things she does for herself. This set was our first shoot after the girls were born. It was a departure from the stuff we have done before, more of a tribute to her blue-collar upbringing and the heritage she is so proud of.  But even plaid can’t hide her of her beauty or the raw sexiness and sensuality that is as palpable as her kindness,  quiet confidence, and strength.

Growing Up In Youngstown

“Youngstown, Ohio is known as a former steel town with ties to the Mafia. I still, to this day, believe it is one of the best places to raise a family. The only downside is the high rate of unemployment and drug addiction. As a child, and even through high school, my mom never let me see the struggle of living in a place like Youngstown, which is why I believe I have such a great work ethic now. Growing up in a blue collar town really gives you back bone and grit, and truly makes you understand how to work for everything you have.” 

Where It Started

“I started doing local modeling in Ohio for back to school shows at the mall, from there I did segments on the morning news for back to school fashion. My senior year of high school I submitted to the Miss Teen Ohio USA system and competed. I stayed in the pageant circuit for 4 years before moving out west. After moving to Las Vegas and shooting with a couple photographers I had the opportunity to try out for the Vitrix Model Team. After finally winning the October contest 2011, I was able to shoot with Terry. The level of professionalism on top of how well the photos turned out was beyond what I could have expected.” 

Support At Home

“My husband has never had a problem with my modeling, he totally supports me and loves the outcome of the photos.” 

The Art Of Modeling

“The thing I love about modeling with you (terry) specifically, is that you bring out that person I’m always trying to hide. I love that when I’m shooting I can be someone else, or just be the real me. Terry has always taught me to envision something or someone or anything that will take me out of my head just to get the shot we want.” 

Being Creative

“I never thought I had much creativity. But shooting sometimes I will think “wow, this is gonna look weird” then I see the picture and it’s like “oh! how’d we do that!” It’s great because we will have a whole wardrobe set for an idea, then we never use it or come up with something completely different on the fly.”

The Hardest Part

“It’s really hard for me to get in to character on my own, I feel like I need the alternate Missy pulled out of me. I’ve always been self conscious of the way I look, so it’s getting out of my head that’s the hardest part.” 

Model Mom

“It took a long time after having twins to be comfortable in front of a camera wearing minimal clothing. Even after the first time I shot with Terry after babies, I thought I looked so good until I got the pictures back. So even now, back in the gym 3-4 times a week, I’m still not where I want to be as a model. But I know my body did some amazing things carrying twins, so I feel beautiful in my body knowing what it can do.”

We Hope It Never Ends

“I’d like to continue modeling as long as it’s something that still makes me happy. I don’t plan to have any more kids, so I’d like to continue to work on my health and fitness and see where I can go from here!”

You can follow Missy Posterli on Instagram


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