Bettie Page. A woman as mysterious as she was beautiful. Bettie Mae Page was born April 22, 1923, in Nashville. She lived a pretty normal life until 1950, when an encounter with an amatuer photographer would change her life, and the world of pinup’s forever. In 1955, she was voted Pinup Queen of the World. I first saw a picture of Bettie thanks to Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer. This iconic print was all over the place in the 80’s, and after hearing that this was based on a real woman, I had to find out more about this beauty. I would read the fanzine, The Betty Pages, every time I could find it.
Remember, this was the 80’s, so all these underground zines were usually photocopied and sold in head shops and alternative bookstores. You had to really look for them here in North Texas. While the woman had a gorgeous body, it was her face that mesmerized me. She had the smile of the girl next door; and her eyes made you wonder what she was thinking to make them sparkle like that. She could be so naked, but look so…pure. This wasn’t the face of pornography. This wasn’t a woman that had been jaded and burned out. This was a woman who was so at ease with her body, she looked natural while she was naked. She radiated a vibrancy that transcended a mere photograph. I would look at this woman and believe that she could make eye contact with you across a crowded room and make everyone else just disappear.
It’s like you could walk in on her and catch her totally undressed, and she would ask “Oh hi, you like some lemonade?” Even the bondage photos she did during Irving Klaw (what a name for a bondage producer, huh?) still had that tongue-in-cheek innocence to them. It was the way she was just at complete ease with her sexuality that made her so disarming. This was a woman that knew the power and beauty of the female form and she wielded that energy with a smile and a wink. Sadly, we lost her in 2008. But she knew how popular she still was, and she was amazed by it. If you’re a Bettie fan, check back here every Tuesday. I think Suzi will be right up your alley. If this is your first time on the site, then please click on the header and check out the story so far. If you haven’t heard of Bettie, close this window and go look the woman up. There is so much more to her than a bunch of nude photos. Bettie has inspired women for over half a century and her influence continues to grow. I invite you to discover this for yourself. And if you do, let me know what you think. I would love to hear from fellow Bettie fans