Tuesday, July 10, 2012

~The Notorious Bettie Page~Nice & Naughty~

That's right PEOPLE! In the 1950's Bettie Page was the "Queen of Pinups"with jet black hair,blue eyes and trademark bangs that has influenced many artist on the scene today! It is said that Bettie was photographed more than Marilyn Monroe or Cindy Crawford in her heyday. Now,I remember this popular hair-style_I've worn it a couple of times! But not much about Bettie Page.So join me on this journey to explore this woman aka ..."The Notorious Bettie Page".

Bettie's early life consisted of divorced parents (she was 7 yrs.old),lived in an orphanage,was molested,traveled around the country while her mom looked for job stability,learned her mom's trade of hairdressing & makeup as a teen,learned to sew even making her own bikinis,on the debate team in high school,voted "Most Likely To Succeed",graduated in 1940 as Salutatorian with a scholarship,enrolled at George Peabody College to become a teacher_but decided to study acting to be a Movie Star,got a first job as a typist,married her high school classmate in 1943 and graduated with a BA in 1944. Now,this is where it gets so gooooood......

Following her divorce in 1947,Bettie decided to move to New York in hopes of finding work as an Actress.Meantime,she worked as a Secretary.While strolling along Coney Island Shore,Jerry Tibbs (a Police Officer) asked if she'd be willing to take some pictures_he liked Photography_yea,right! She said yes,he took pictures and put together her first PINUP PORTFOLIO...and the rest is history!
BUT...let me explain something here! In 1940's America_"Camera Clubs" were formed to get around the laws that restricted the production of nude photos.Their objective was to promote "artistic photography"_in reality,many camera clubs were the fronts for the making of pornography.

Soooo,Ms.Bettie entered into the field of "Glamour Photography" as a popular Camera Club Model without "any inhibitions in posing" in her birthday suit_which made her an icon in erotic photography! By 1951,her image appeared in men's magazines such  as,"Wink","Titter","Eyeful".I kid you NOT ,that's the names of the magazines! All at the local Magazine stand..circa 1950's,who'da thunk that!

It gets even juicier...from 1952-1957,she posed for Photographer,Irving Klaw for mail-order pinup photos,bondage,or sadomasochistic themes,making her the first bondage model_"Woo-hoo"! Other words captured by Klaw's photags included black & white"specialty"films,lingerie,leather,high heels,domination,slave-training,helpless victim...WHOA...you get the picture..which led to several roles on stage &.... television...kinda KimK-ish!
                                        "Many Shades of Black or NOT"!
Bettie Page Quote:
"The only person I did bondage for was Irving Klaw and his sister Paula.Usually they would shoot four or five models every Saturday.He wouldn't pay for the regular pictures unless we did some bondage.So I did bondage shots to get paid for the other photos."
Is it me?_that just sounds so wrong...to hold a person's wages in bondage!
FYI: for more information_ http://bettiepage.com/

At one of the yearly "Artist Ball" Contest in New York_Betty won when she wore 2 real Telephone Dials,a Suggestion Box with Black net-stockings..that is all!_aka "The Dial Doll"..one of the photos shows one of the Judges dialing her number..bahahaha....talk about being creative!!!
Okay,I'm getting a little to wordy,to deep,to involved,to amazed,etc...to continue.I refuse to show any of her most popular photos on my blog_there's lots to be seen on the World Wide Net. However,this  Swimsuit Pinup photo,...Um..well..enough said..I like the color red!

Bettie went on to become "Playboy Playmate of the Month January 1955","Miss Pinup Girl of The World","The Queen of Curves","The Dark Angel" and even gave expert guidance to the FBI regarding the production of "flagellation and bondage pictures in 1957! Seems she disappeared from the modeling scene after the "Kefauver Hearings" of the US Senate Special Commitee.It was rumored a young man died during a session of bondage which was inspired by one of her bondage images...again Whoa!

Many believe she disappeared from the scene because she became a Born-Again Christian in 1959.She worked for various Christain organizations before settling in Nashville in 1963.She worked full time for the "The Rev.Billy Graham".I wonder if he did a background check...In 1979 after moving to Southern California she had a nervous breakdown(diagnosed w/acute schizophrenia)_spent 20 months in a state mental hospital, was arrested again for assault and was placed under state supervision for eight years.

In the 1980's_ a cult following/renewed interest in her pinups/lingerie modeling_rather than the sexual fetish stuff_gained her status as a Pop Icon. Dave Stevens,"comic book artist" in the early 1980's based a female character on Bettie Page(The Rocketeer,his girlfriend).In 1987,Greg Theakston
created a fanzine called the "Betty Pages"_below is issue #1_a collector's item.
Bettie Page never talked about her life..she considered herself in the 90's to be penniless and infamous.She did a couple of interviews_(links to follow)_but never wanted to be photographed later in life_she wanted her early years to be the image remembered.When she died on December 6,2008_Lawyers were helping her recoup some of the profits made of her likeness...i.e.,Katy Perry,Madonna's Sex book/bondage gear,Rihanna's obsession with all things leather,lace,Uma Thurman's Pulp Fiction depiction,The Pussycat Dolls,the entire career of Marilyn Manson's ex-wife Dita Von Teese,_all would not have been possible without Page! Even Beyonce has appeared in the image of Bettie Page.We've all seen just about enough of this photo:
                                                Katy Perry

I watched this movie based on her life:
I love this BP web clothes:

And here's a few links:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd252I7A6NE   Trailer for movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0Ynlp7sxZs  Bettie's only Interview

This has been an interesting education on a woman of which I was not aware of until a friend (Jilly P.) mentioned her in conversation one day. I am amazed that the only sex appeal icon_I knew of_was  Marilyn Monroe..and a few others...but did not include "The Notorious Bettie Page".

~I never kept up with fashion.I believed in wearing what I thought looked good on me ~ Bettie Page~
(I wonder if that fashion included nude?..just asking...until next time..)

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