Monday, January 2, 2012

Fascinating Women: Bettie Page


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The world would have been a very sad place for some if it wasn’t for Bettie Page. She wasn’t just a model but a pop culture icon, mostly because of her fetish modeling career and pin-up photos. Her distinctive look, black hair and beautiful smile only helped her during her controversial career. Betty was also very smart and loved to learn so she finished high school as a salutatorian and received a scholarship. She graduated college with her mind set to become a teacher but she discovered that she didn’t enjoy teaching as much as she thought as the kids were giving her a hard time, so she started taking acting classes.

She moved to New York and worked as a secretary. One day she was spotted by photographer Jerry Tibbs who took some pictures of her and later she became a model for camera clubs - places where most nude photographs were produced. She had no inhibitions, a lot of charisma and great looks, so she became a hit very soon.  

She started appearing in bondage and sadomasochistic photographs in 1952 which made her the first bondage model; she was wearing leather costumes, high heels and acting either like a dominatrix or a submissive woman. She also appeared in some movies involving the same themes and although they were rated as pornography they never involved nudity or explicit sexual content and she also never appeared in sexually explicit scenes in her career. She had her photograph taken for Playboy and was even the Playmate of the Month in January 1955.  Unfortunately, the company who was producing the controversial photos was closed due to the fact that such pictures and movies were considered too obscene for that time. Also, there was a case of a young man who died while being tied up during sex which stirred the media even more.

In 1958, she was no longer a model but started attending church very often. She wanted to become a Christian Missionary but wasn’t allowed due to the fact that she was divorced, so she tried to get back together with her first husband, but things didn’t work and they divorced again.  She married again in 1967 to Harry Lear but this marriage ended in divorce too.

After a nervous breakdown she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and she spent more than a year in a psychiatric hospital. She wasn’t in the spotlight anymore until the 80s when the media regained interest in her after a few of her photos were published. She did a lot of interviews and resumed her celebrity status.
In 2008, she died after suffering a heart attack.

10 comments:

  1. hi andree, she is such a talented lady with beauty and brains. sad she had to dia that way. hope you had a happy new year

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  2. I remember reading about her in the 80s. She was fascinating! Daring, bold and fearless. Perhaps a little too bold for me - but you have to admire a trailblazer whether you agree with their choices or not!

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  3. She sure looks stunning but isn't it sad to see women using beauty for reasons some of us may not agree, sad but its true.

    Its been sometime since we have been in touch and am glad you are back to blogging. Hoping everything is fine over your side, Happy New Year and keep in touch.

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  4. Her photos are always beautiful, I think she was a very interesting woman! Happy New Year!

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  5. Happy new year dear, Sorry for late wishing!!
    She was talented but not born to marry and get a good relation. I am feeling sorry for her life ending in such a manner.

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  6. she looks gorgeous..but so sad her life ended without peace..
    wishing you & your family a very happy new year dear..:)
    Tasty Appetite

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  7. She was a great pin-up then during the days of what we would consider proper pin-ups.

    There's also quite a good film out about her too! I got it on offer in the sales very recently.

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  8. I wish more starlets nowadays weren't afraid to show their intelligence like Bettie Page. Great post!

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  9. COMO ASI JAMES DEAN FUE UN AVANZADO EN SU EPOCA....SOLO UNA MUJER LE GANO EN FAMA A MARYLYN MONROE...Y ELLA ES SIN DUDA LA REINA DE LO EROTICO Y FETICHISMO...AYER ,HOY Y SIEMPRE.!!!

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