Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Bettie Page

In the 1950s, Bettie Page was a naughty treasure, hidden from the public eye. Today she's known in some circles as a style goddess, worshipped for her sex appeal, lack of inhibition and ease in front of the camera. Her jet-black hair, thick bangs and innocent blue eyes defined the the bad-girl look of the era. As a pin-up model, Page was the favored subject of photographers such as Jan Caldwell, Bunny Yeager and Irving Klaw, and even became one of Playboy'sfirst Playmates in January 1955. Page had always hoped to become an actress, but she never made it to the big screen. Instead, she dabbled in bondage and fetish photography, alternately playing the role of a bold dominatrix or helpless victim. By the early 1960s, Page's star had faded. She converted to born-again Christianity and moved to Key West, where she married and divorced several times. Years went by as Page lived in anonymity, but in the 1980s, she received a bit of a revival, with women around the world emulating her trademark style and devouring accounts of her life in the limelight. Page re-emerged, claiming to be "penniless and infamous," and sought profits for the products using her likeness. Page died in 2008 of a heart attack, following a stream of rumors about her health, but inscribed on her tombstone is how she will be forever remembered, as "Queen of the Pin-Ups."