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"Look at those big long legs on 9-inch heels," she said. "I look 9 feet tall."
March 12, 2006 7:28 AM   Subscribe

A Golden Age for a Pin-up Cult Playboy centerfold and "queen of pin-up" Bettie Page soldiered in the sexual revolution. At 82, she finds her image (NSFW) earns a respectable living.
posted by PenguinBukkake (30 comments total)

 
what does she look like now?
posted by 6am at 7:36 AM on March 12, 2006


Interesting image gallery (nsfw, obviously) here

Jeff Koons hommage in the NYTimes today

I was shocked that at that time there wasn't anyone emulating Bettie Page, although she clearly had many many fans, so that's another reason I started taking fetish photos. I liked the fact that the nudity wasn't what fetishists were after so much as the exotic clothing.

-- Dita Von (NSFW) Teese

posted by PenguinBukkake at 7:36 AM on March 12, 2006


6am, if you read the linked LATimes story:

Bettie Page, signing a photo, would not allow her face to be shown. “I want to be remembered as I was when I was young.”
posted by PenguinBukkake at 7:43 AM on March 12, 2006


Not so interesting movie about to come out. Mol is fantastic in it, however, and will likely be nominated for an Oscar next year.
posted by dobbs at 7:44 AM on March 12, 2006


Not so interesting movie about to come out.

it's directed by Mary Harron, the American Psycho lady. 'nuff said! you can see the trailer in the "Page" link above
posted by PenguinBukkake at 7:52 AM on March 12, 2006


what does she look like now?

From Wikipedia: In a late-1990s interview, Page stated she would not allow any current pictures of her to be shown because of concerns about her weight. More recently, however, she has changed her mind and allowed at least two publicity pictures to be taken of her [1], [2].
posted by sambosambo at 7:54 AM on March 12, 2006


she's 80? She looks like 65 in that shot.
posted by dabitch at 7:57 AM on March 12, 2006


What a poignant life story she had.
posted by nickyskye at 7:59 AM on March 12, 2006


I wonder if she ever got it on with Johnny Cash.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:12 AM on March 12, 2006


It's interesting to me that at least half of her fans are women, if not more.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:17 AM on March 12, 2006


Poor girl :(

* Molested by father
* with no sexual education, (Church influence fo' sure)
* with an understandable fear of menstruations
* her mother suspects that she wanted to steal her boyfriend and because of that a chain of events that didn't allow her to get tuition to attend university
* veeery pooor choice in picking husbands
* lands with guilty trip in the receiving arms of the Church (who started the problems)
* spends time in jail because of her depression
posted by elpapacito at 8:21 AM on March 12, 2006


From sambosambo's [2] link: Photographed at the recent Playboy 50th Anniversary party, the lovely Ms. Page is flanked by fellow Playmates Anna Nicole Smith and Pamela Anderson.

Two of these things are not like the other, and belong nowhere near Ms. Page, as one of these three are actually sexy.
posted by loquacious at 8:36 AM on March 12, 2006


Point is I can't tell who's AnneNicole and who's Bettie.
posted by elpapacito at 8:38 AM on March 12, 2006


One thing to consider is that if Ms. Page didn't have those bad experiences, we would never have seen her naked. Is your enjoyment worth someone else's misfortune?
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:52 AM on March 12, 2006


Bettie's the cute one in the middle, the other two are silicon blow-up dolls. Notice the trashy blond wigs both are wearing.
posted by mk1gti at 8:53 AM on March 12, 2006


One thing to consider is that if Ms. Page didn't have those bad experiences, we would never have seen her naked. Is your enjoyment worth someone else's misfortune?
posted by The Jesse Helms
---------------------------------------
That was uncalled for . . .

I don't think anyone who's a fan of Bettie was ever aware of most of her bad experiences, but I would say it's similar to Johnny Cash's misfortunes: Would we still be willing to listen to his music knowing that his father held him responsible for his brother's death at the sawmill, that he had a drug problem for a lot of his life, etc. etc. etc. Hell yes. Oprah was abused as a child. Many people still watch her show. A local newscaster was attacked by a serial rapist when she was going to college and nearly killed. We still watched her on the news. That was not necessary Jesse. Bad dog, no biscuit.
posted by mk1gti at 9:03 AM on March 12, 2006


Almost overnight, she became an underground sensation, attracting the attention of Irving Klaw and his sister, Paula, who operated a mail-order business specializing in cheesecake.

Page soon became the Klaws' busiest pinup and also starred in their peekaboo short films, "Varietease" and "Striporama."

They also had her pose with whips, tied up in chairs and wrestling with other women in their underwear. To hear her tell it, Page was deeply depressed and aimless when she joined the Klaws. The bondage shots are the only part of her modeling career she regrets.

"I had lost my ambition and desire to succeed and better myself; I was adrift," she said.

"But I could make more money in a few hours modeling than I could earn in a week as a secretary.

"But I never whipped anybody in my life; it was all pretend. Under my arrangement with the Klaws, I had to do at least an hour of bondage poses in order to get paid for the other modeling work."
Now, tell me again how being depressed and forced into performing sexual activities you don't like while someone else profits off an exploitive contract is sexually empowering and to be heralded as ushering in the sexual revolution? Isn't the sexual revolution about women controlling their own bodies?

At least she looks like she's having fun in the naked photos linked upthread, as opposed to looking drugged or like she'd rather be somewhere else.
posted by jennyb at 9:11 AM on March 12, 2006


jesse helms: we would never have seen her naked

Nah you just need to read the text again

Being in the nude isn't a disgrace unless you're being promiscuous about it," she said. She added with a laugh, "After all, when God created Adam and Eve, they were stark naked. And in the Garden of Eden, God was probably naked as a jaybird too!"

She's pretty right. I guess she had a sane sexuality and she was natural about her body, not a bit afraid of showing herself because the shame-inducement brainwashing didn't work on her.
posted by elpapacito at 9:25 AM on March 12, 2006


I'm sorry, but if the point is that without bad experiences we would never have seen Bettie Page naked, that is actually a rather strong argument in favor of bad experiences.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:00 AM on March 12, 2006


I had no idea she'd had such miserable beginnings. I've always enjoyed the persona the public has seen. For some reason, I enjoy the paintings more than the actual photos. I think maybe she should be proud of the longevity of her popularity, but perhaps it brings back sad memories for her. I'm glad to see that she still can profit from her past.
posted by annieb at 11:38 AM on March 12, 2006


I'm glad to see that she still can profit from her past.

Unfortunately, Bettie Page has long been abused with regards to seeing any "profit" from her likeness or popularity. (The business of managing her image, licensing, etc. is also a sordid story.)

There is quite a long line of photographers, artists, "managers", companies, etc. that have made money off of Bettie Page over the years, while she has not seen such rewards. (It's often said that Hugh Hefner has intervened over the years on her behalf, including bailing her out of bankruptcy.)

The LA Times article seems to imply that she is somehow enjoying some great financial reward from her image (or by signing autographs) -- while I hope this is true, this perception might not be entirely accurate.
posted by jca at 12:06 PM on March 12, 2006


allowed at least two publicity pictures to be taken of her

Damn, she's aged well and looks better at 80+ than the two blond bimbos standing next to her. As someone else said, she looks to be in her 60s, not her 80s.
posted by mrbill at 12:29 PM on March 12, 2006


Now, tell me again how being depressed and forced into performing sexual activities you don't like while someone else profits off an exploitive contract is sexually empowering and to be heralded as ushering in the sexual revolution? Isn't the sexual revolution about women controlling their own bodies?

There's been a trend in recent years towards female-produced erotica, with the idea that the workers are treated more kindly when the boss is a woman. However, this is a recent occurance, and certainly didn't happen until after Page was out of the 'biz.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:47 PM on March 12, 2006


I'll never understand those bangs.
posted by mullacc at 5:31 PM on March 12, 2006


I'll never understand those bangs.

RTFA:

Strolling the beach at Coney Island, Page crossed paths with New York police officer and amateur photographer Jerry Tibbs, who introduced her to shutterbug clubs and suggested she wear bangs to help cover a slightly protruding forehead.
posted by pmurray63 at 5:44 PM on March 12, 2006


pmurray63: So every indie chick with bangs like hers must also have a protruding forehead?
posted by mullacc at 5:55 PM on March 12, 2006


Uh, sorry to be a dick. Thanks for pointing out why she did it - I just don't understand why people thought it was attractive enough to copy.
posted by mullacc at 5:57 PM on March 12, 2006


i just think its sad that the some of her most famous shots are the bondage ones she regrets terribly.
posted by trishthedish at 6:24 PM on March 12, 2006


mullacc:
Go see a rockabilly show and see how the women emulate those bangs. I think it's a requirement to get through the door.
posted by DonnieSticks at 6:45 PM on March 12, 2006


jennyb: Now, tell me again how being depressed and forced into performing sexual activities you don't like [...]

Where does it say that the Klaw photos involved force? Page herself characterized the situation as an "arrangement". Give her some credit for taking responsibility for her choices.
posted by oncogenesis at 11:39 PM on March 12, 2006


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