Austin’s burlesque troupe The Jigglewatts are presenting The Bettie Page Tribute Night, hoping to emphasize Bettie's flirty nature. “There’s a lot of humor in it. There’s a lot of wink-and-a-smile," explains burlesque artist Miss Coco Lectric about the nature of The Jigglewatts' brand of tease. “It’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m about to take this off. You guys really want to see this? Are you sure?’” she tells the Houston Press.
Join the fun at Houston's Alamo West Oaks as Austin's The Jigglewatts shake and shimmy in tribute to the late great Bettie Page! The live burly-q is augmented by multimedia presentations from Bettie Page's film, Teaserama and featuring a special sneak preview of Bettie Page Reveals All, the forthcoming documentary produced and directed by Mark Mori!.
Tickets are only $12 in advance and available right here on our website!
Performers on hand to celebrate Bettie's enthusiastic embrace of real women and woman-positive portrayals of sexuality include:
- Miss Coco Lectric
- Ruby Joule
- Goldie Candela
- Pearl Lux
- Grace Truvant
- Ruby Rockit
- Ruby Lamb
- Ginger Valentine
- Maye Applebottom
- and Mistress of Ceremonies...Cherry Zap
The skinny on the shimmy:
Bettie Page Tribute Night with LIVE Burlesque!
Saturday, Jan 16th
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema/Alamo West Oaks
West Oaks Mall #429, Houston, TX 77082
General Info: 281-920-9211
Showtime info: 281-920-9268
(photo depicts Ms. Pearl Lux)
Click HERE for another video, like the one embedded above, capturing a previous performance.
Julia of the Brazen Betties store was kind enough to send a video of the Brazen Betties Bettie Page Lookalike Contest, an official part of "Torrington Day" in Torrington, CT, in both color (above) and black and white.
This contest was the first of its kind in this area. (Torrington is an up-and-coming arts hub.) I''m planning another contest for next year as well. It was such a huge success! I love Bettie and your blog captures her perfectly.
We can''t wait for next year''s contest! Julia also sent us photos of the first, second and third-place winners:
First Place Winner
Second Place Winner
Third Place Winner
AHHH! Zombie Bettie? Don''t we know Halloween is over? Is this some exploitative image meant to shock or upset?
Actually, it''s a homework assignment, of sorts. The artist, Shannon Warren, is a student at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and completed the work according to a specific criteria...
Basically the assignment was to use a famous icon of your choosing, create at least a 2 layer stencil of their face, and use it in a way that would in some way coerce an emotion from the viewer. Whether it was humor, empathy, challenging, etc. With my piece I really wanted to push the limits of "ideal beauty" and see how far you can take someone so beautiful away from the normal social views of beauty with out altering their actual self. So in a way I suppose it''s meant to be disturbing, but the work is definitely not intended to offend Bettie Page fans. If I didn''t absolutely adore her and everything she stood for, I would not have done a piece on her at all.
I chose to do my work on Bettie because to me she IS the ultimate woman. I know historically she wasn''t the first pinup, but I feel like she really opened up the door for a more diverse culture to take the spotlight, especially in pin up artwork. And in my opinion she commercialized people''s hidden "taboo" fantasies, which also paved the way for a totally different outlook on sexuality in society. To me, its as though most pinups before Bettie just kind of allowed themselves to be pinups rather than owning it. Bettie Page was an example of society accepting the "perverse" nature of itself, and validating it.
And I chose to portray her in the gory way I did because I feel like zombie pinups are the next wave in delving deeper into different areas of the darker corners of society. Its becoming much more acceptable to be interested in what you personally find interesting. I personally love gore and zombies, but I also love the female form. Because of people like Bettie Page, what I like to make art about is far more acceptable and less likely to be seen as perversion.
If you have an interest in the work, the original painting is for sale. Feel free to EMAIL the artist, directly.
Alycia Fraser, a "self-taught Canadian artist based in British Columbia", shows her love for Bettie, with two recent graphite pencil portraits.
Why Bettie? Alycia explains: I chose to draw Bettie because she is a gorgeous, unconventional (at her time) beauty! I think she holds a lot of confidence and power in the photos that represent her.
Check out the rest of her gallery at http://www.artbyalycia.com (and tell her the Bettie Page Blog sent you).
You can also contact her via Facebook.
The Flaming Lips "I Can Be A Frog"
The Flaming Lips | MySpace Video
As reported by The Oklahoman''''s Brandy McDonnell, in her BAMblog, two Oklahoma-based bands draw inspiration from Ms. Bettie Page in two recent offerings. The alt-country band Cross Canadian Ragweed chronicles her story in their song, "Pretty Lady", while the stalwart cult band The Flaming Lips (in this instance collaborating with Yeah Yeah Yeahs'' Karen O) give a visual nod to the image of Bettie Page in their video for the song "I Can Be a Frog".
It’s an interesting concurrence of ideas – and further evidence of Page’s lasting mark on pop culture – that two Oklahoma bands with such different aesthetics found inspiration from the “Pin-up Queen of the Universe” at practically the same time.
Why stop with just two bands? That''s what we say!
Scott Ehrisman is a painter, political cartoonist, Bettie Page and Tom Waits enthusiast and "one of the most high- profile artists currently working in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area" according to a bio on the National Coalition Against Censorship page. He is an avid political, cultural and media blogger. His art and commentary can be found at South DaCola.
When asked about the inspiration for his Bettie Page paintings, he replied, "I guess I have been a fan of Bettie for a long time and just recently decided to do some paintings of her. I have always felt that she was too beautiful and innocent for bondage, but hey, maybe that is the appeal. I also love her black hair, never been a big Marilyn Monroe fan."
Go to "SOUTHDACOLA.COM" and BID via the comments section of the South DaCola’s Big Frickin’ art auction, well becuz, I am broke post.
Go to "SOUTHDACOLA.COM" and BID via the comments section of the Bettie Page Art – New Painting of the day “Bettie in a Bind” post.
Movieline has a "cold case" article in which director Mary Harron reflects on her unauthorized, but generally respectful biopic, THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE.
What was it like to be a member of the mythic Concorde Camera Club, following Cass Carr and snapping photos of nude models at a time when such a hobby could land you in prison?
The amazing blog Camera Club Girls explores the work of Rudolph Rossi, one such photographer. The photos, while hardly the glossy, highly choreographed and produced pin-ups to which we've become accustomed, give a clear vibe of these slightly scandalous shoots.
Here''s what the site has to say about Rossi:
Camera Club Girls: The work of Rudolph Rossi
The extraordinary hand-painted photographs of Rudolph Rossi. Rossi was an informal member of the New York City Concorde Camera Club in the repressive 1950''s. For a ten dollar fee, he photographed Bettie Page and a plethora of interracial models, then later meticulously hand-painted the photographs creating the illusion of color photography. An exceptional body of work by a previously unknown and unrecognized photographer and erotic artist from a time when such activity was taboo.
The blogger, Jim Linderman, appears to operate other blogs that (call me crazy) may interest Bettie fans... blogs with names like "Vintage Sleaze" for instance.
The Bettie Page look a likes pose as they wait for the announcement of the winners on Main Street. The event was sponsored by Brazen Betties, and was part of the Torrington Day celebration
Torrington, CT seems like a great place to live, given that part of their town's annual festivities included a Bettie Page lookalike contest, hosted by a very cool-looking independent fashion boutique (with a great name, to say the least). On the comments of the paper's online article, however, it's clear that not all residents are of that opinion:
My God Save Us wrote:" Torrington Days used to be about food, cultures and good clean family fun. Not parading 1950s smut starts down Main St. You should all be ashamed of yourself, especially Mayor Bingham, Rose Ponte and Steve the helper for turning the streets of Torrington into a parading brothel. "
Nice to see that even after half a century, Bettie's aura of empowering sexuality (even fully dressed) is potent enough to ruffle feathers!
[Roesler's] real clients are the heirs and estates of the dearly departed, who ultimately approve or reject the merchandising deals that CMG puts together. ...Products range from low-end tchotchkes like trashcans and handbags, to the mid-range items like "Marilyn Merlot."
Also for sale are playfully prurient outfits inspired by the late pinup queen, Bettie Page. They are marketed as Halloween costumes, but Roesler says they seem to sell all year round.
Anyone for some "after Halloween" shopping?
Release Year: 2004
Duration: 90 min
Director/Writer: Carlos Larkin
She was the quintessential 1950’s pinup girl, jet-black hair, sultry smile, flashing eyes, and a body that drove men wild. But, there was much more to Bettie Page than met the eye. Here is her story, from her small town beginnings to her worldwide acceptance as a pop culture icon. Featuring the vintage films, and pictures that made her a phenomenon, BETTIE PAGE, THE GIRL IN THE LEOPARD PRINT BIKINI, focuses on the life and times of the legendary model, the times in which she lived, and the impact her career had on the subsequent fifty years. Though her days as a photographer’s model and actress are over, and her time in the spotlight relatively brief, the young girl from Tennessee is more popular than ever. And now you can see why… BETTIE PAGE, THE GIRL IN THE LEOPARD PRINT BIKINI. Bonus Footage: This program includes uncut versions of some of Bettie’s best films from the 1950’s.
Check it! Pimp your iPhone with Bettie, thanks to Dark Horse Comics!
Over the years, Dark Horse has been committed to incorporating art into our everyday lives through prints, T-shirts, mugs, and a variety of other items that help make this world more colorful. Now Dark Horse is proud to collaborate with GelaSkins to bring over twenty new designs to their line of protective skins for laptops and phones.
Our second wave of designs includes the Dark Horse logo and the timeless beauty Bettie Page, the new line of GelaSkins is the perfect way to protect your technology while showing off your signature style.Publication Date: January 10, 2010Format: Protective iPhone skinPrice: $14.95UPC: 7 61568 16925 6 00
Geek+Nerd blog has found a great way to use images of Bettie Page:
READ about her craftastic re-purposing of Bettie Page imagery. As everyone awaits a film poster for BETTIE PAGE REVEALS ALL, this could be a great decoration for viewing parties once the film is on DVD.
Bettie's name was invoked in a recent UK article about the "return of the sex bomb":
My jaw hit the floor when, a couple of weeks ago, I walked into a pub to meet my friend Sam and found her dressed as a tramp. Not the vagabond kind, but the Bettie Page kind — which was even more shocking. Sam is a stylist, so she normally wears what I will kindly describe as avant-garde hessian sacks. Instead, much to the delight of some men drooling by the bar, she was sporting spray-on jeans, a low-cut ribbed vest, killer heels and a cropped leather biker jacket with fetish-looking zips. She had accessorised with a glass of ropey house white, an unlit fag and immaculate red lipstick. MORE
Elvira rarely is seen wearing heels or platforms lower than 5 inches, which make her "feel confident, long and lean." Without stilettos, she's 5-foot-4. Her long, straight black locks and bangs are reminiscent of Bettie Page, the notorious 1950s pin-up queen who died last year. Page, in fact, is one of Elvira's favorite subjects. Pictures of the '50s model adorn the salon. Elvira's eyes light up when talking about the cult icon; she, too, does fetish modeling.
READ about Oak Park, IL Elvira Garcia's Bettie-love.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="802" caption="Precious Paws"][/caption]
Olivia has donated an autographed lithograph of pin up queen Bettie Page and a copy of her book to a celebrity auction that benefits Precious Paws. The animal charity devotes tremendous resources to supporting the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to limit the unwanted pet population.
Click HERE to bid on Olivia's items, between November 5th and 15th.
Excited about the upcoming Bettie Page documentary, BETTIE PAGE REVEALS ALL? Go to the HERITAGE RADIO NETWORK to hear an exclusive audio interview with director Mark Mori. Listen to him talk about Bettie Page''s enduring popularity, facts about her life and preview some of the things we can expect to see in the documentary!
Bonnie Burton graciously agreed to allow us to reprint her reflection on the loss of Bettie Page in its entirety. Bonnie created GRRL.COM, wrote the new book, GIRLS AGAINST GIRLS, as well as many fine print and online articles. She also works for LucasFilm, including contributing considerable quality material to STARWARS.COM and writing YOU CAN DRAW STAR WARS. Thanks, again, Bonnie, for letting us share the following:
Goodbye Queen of Curves:
Bettie Page Dies Dec. 11, 2008
Words: Bonnie Burton
I''ve worshiped pin-up icon Bettie Page ever since I laid eyes on her (or at least a magazine cover of her) in a comic book store my freshman year of college. The comic book store owner had seen me walk by the store for months and finally urged me to come in so he could show me the cover of a fanzine called The Betty Pages. He thought I looked aa lot like her and I was completely dumbfounded by the compliment. I became obsessed with this black-banged beauty from the start. Who was she? What became of her?
I spent all of my college years researching her life. This was long before she came out of seclusion and no one really knew what had happened to one of the most famous models that ever lived. I wrote my first published work of freelance journalism "I Was a Teenage Betty" about my search for her and how famous she had become. In the process, I ended being one of the last people to speak to Bettie''s photographer Paula Klaw.
I entered Bettie Page look-a-like contests, collected photos of Bettie from her heyday, as well as comics, vintage magazine covers and anything she happened to be mentioned in. During the early age of Web sites in the early ''90s, I created The Bettie Pageso I could compile my photo, comic, magazine, art and other Bettie collections, as well as news, articles and essays, all in one spot for other Page fans to check out. It was one of the first Bettie Page fan sites to exist online, and it brought me closer together with other fans who wanted to know more about the mysterious icon. I was a bonafide Bettie Page fan, and proud of it! (Still am.)
(As seen in Entertainment Weekly magazine - Oct. 13, 2006)As the years passed by, her popularity continued to grow. We all had our own theories why a pin-up from the '50s could continue to leave such a last impression of fans decades later. In the Richard Foster's book The Real Bettie Page, I explained my own ideas of her continued fame:
"I'm a Bettie fan for the mere fact that she's gorgeous. No other model has been photographed more than her, and for good reason: She's the best there is. I love Bettie because she sort of brought innocence back to sex. When you mention pinup models and men's magazines to most people, they think you're talking about porn or smut. With Bettie, you aren't embarrassed to appreciate looking at her, whether she's being spanked, trying on stockings, or playing in the buff on the beach. She makes sex seem okay instead of a sin. I think a lot of older fans left over from the 1950s appreciated that quality in her when she was in magazines like Playboy. She made you feel at ease with your sexuality, and most of all, she had fun with it."
Bettie Page influenced everything from my desire write about people who do extraordinary things with their lives, to the way I wore my hair, to the self-confidence I gained in living by her example -- having fun with life, calling the shots and being my own person. She was one of the first models to do weight training, be a vegetarian and do such a wide range of modeling genres (from beach bunny to bondage queen).
Bettie Page had an incredibly difficult childhood and adult life, yet managed to bring a smile to millions of fans every time she graced us with her presence -- whether it be in photos, comics, magazine covers or even the campy mini-films she made to entertain us all. Without her, I never would have been so passionate about journalism, I never would have started my site Grrl.com (which began as the Bettie Page fan site) and I never would have met many of my friends I still have today.
It's difficult to explain to others why I feel about Bettie the way I do. She helped me decide who I was and who I wanted to be as a young woman. Her life inspired me to do my own thing and not care what others thought. I hope that my appreciation and dedication to her life helps other discover who she is and why she's so incredible. I never had the honor of meeting her face to face, but she had a profound effect on my life and I will never forget her.
Rest in peace, Bettie Page. Rest in peace.
There is nothing worse than deciding you want the classic Bettie Page style u-shaped bangs and being unable to get your stylist to cut it. I went through a series of awful ''fringes'' before someone finally got it right and when I look back on photos of me w/ a ''bad bang-job'', I still get irritated. The Bettie Bangs are u-shaped, not straight accross as they may appear to be and almost always, they are nipped under w/ a flat or curling iron to achieve that traditional look.
Through trial and error (lots of error), I have finally discovered the best way to get your perfect ''Bettie''. Cut them yourself! Below are some the steps I take to achieve the bangs I want...
Go to The Lisa Freemont Pages, "a beauty blog devoted to the styles and glamour of the past as well as product reviews and fashion news", to read the rest.
The head honcho of Pinup Sticks saw our post about Olivia selling out of her Pinup Sticks at the Con and is giving a 10% discount ONLY to readers of the Bettie Page Blog...
I was amazed to see that Olivia was completely sold out at Comic Con. Pinup Sticks can offer 10% off to Olivia/Bettie Page fans that stop by the www.pinupsticksstore.com and make their "Olivia" Pinup Sticks purchase before Friday, July 31st, 2009.
The sticks are brand new and this is a product that VERY few collectors of Olivia have.
To get the 10% discount on Olivia Pinup Sticks:
- go to www.pinupsticksstore.com
- order Olivia Pinup Sticks
- enter promo code: SDCC10
Thanks to Pinup Sticks for this exciting offer!
Reader "Secret Info Santa" sent this pic of Bernie Dexter at Olivia De Berardinis'' booth, modeling an AWESOME new "kawaii" version of Bettie Page that Olivia has been secretly working on for some time. Great to see the image debuted... and in a way anybody could take home!
These chicks are bangin'... on drums, cymbals and maybe even a cowbell. Thanks to a patented, completely unique process, a new company, Pinup Sticks is putting the best cheesecake artwork on professional-quality drumsticks... for sexy drummers everywhere.
Before you leave the Con, stop by...
Booth #5358 - Ozone Productions, AKA Olivia De Berardinis'' booth. We already told you about the new killer T-shirts, but she also has PREMEIRE drumsticks from Pinup Sticks... that would be awesome drum sticks with her art featured on them. With luck, she will still be there to sign them for you!
Booth #5023 - The Pinup World Art booth, featuring Mark Wasyl and HIS signature Pinup Sticks. Sadly, Mark was only signing on Friday and Saturday, but his sticks are worth it wtihout the signature!
Not at the Con? Already left WITHOUT getting your Pin-Up Sticks? Head over to www.pinupsticks.com to get sticks featuring the pin-up art of:
Pinup Sticks can also make custom sticks with your artwork or band logo. Their only criteria is, in keeping with their chosen mission, the artwork needs to incorporate a pin-up girl! We certainly admire a company that stands by their principles!
NOTE: A twitter reports that the sticks are sold out at the Con.
Virginia-based illustrator Robert Ullman has a tasteful style and great control of his linework, creating the slightly flattened, but still evocative, uncluttered retro pin-up girls that really convey personality and spark. It''s deceptively hard to do... proven best by the many who try and fail to generate characters with real appeal, using this style.
The above sketch was done at a Richmond, VA incarnation of "Dr. Sketchy"... the life drawing sessions that bring out the best in visual artists and burlesque artists, alike. This event featured burlesque models paying tribute to Bettie Page.
HERE for more of his sketches from that event.
He''s currently displaying at the San Diego Comic Con - P-10 in the Small Press Area, exhibiting as "Wide Awake Press", selling his new collection:
And don''t forget to say "Hi" to Olivia in both #5358 if you are at the Con!
Bernie Dexter was kind enough to personally furnish us with the following photos of the new Olivia-designed T-shirts that she will be modeling at the San Diego Comic Con TODAY (Friday, July 24th, 2009) and TOMORROW (Saturday, July 25th, 2009) from 12:00-4:00 (although if she's having fun, she admits she will probably come earlier and stay later!)
She and Olivia De Berardinis will be appearing at Olivia's booth, #5358. Olivia will be at the booth for the entire run of the convention (through the end of the day, Sunday, July 26th, 2009).
Bernie will be modeling the awesome t-shirts seen below...
If you can''t get to the Con, you can buy these incredible shirts at BETTIE PAGE HOLLYWOOD or BETTIE PAGE LAS VEGAS.
From Bernie Dexter...
I am pretty sure i am one of the luckiest girls in the world!!!!
I will be modeling for Oliva at Comic Con in San Diego. booth #5358 FRI & SAT!
her new Bettie Page t-shirts! they are so adorable!
If you are there be sure to come by & see us!
Comics fans will recognize the distinctive work of Terry Beatty from the classic "Ms. Tree". Strap in for a 1994, 5-page comic, recently posted on his blog, which he describes as an "oddball piece -- complete with guest appearances by Criswell, Eck, the Little Rascals, the Bowery Boys, the Stooges (Shemp!), Mary Hartline, Edison''s Frankenstein, Volto, Toto, Snowy/Milou, Vampira, David Letterman as a flying monkey -- and of course, Bela Lugosi. So please enjoy my tribute to the Swedish man mountain, Tor Johnson, and the ever-lovely Miss Bettie Page."
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST!
From Black Book Magazine...
...Let’s talk about today’s photo shoot. How did it feel to dress up like Bettie Page in her S&M phase?
One of the things that struck me about Bettie Page, like Marilyn Monroe, is that even though there’s an obvious sexuality to her pictures, there’s also joy and insouciance—a lot of life force in her. You could have 10 different girls doing the same bondage shit, but when Bettie does it, it’s got that extra-special viva verve...
Bettie Page's name is invoked to convince women of the truth for lots of guys... that Madison Ave.'s ideal of beauty isn't necessarily shared by the guy down the block, in this article by Michelle Gwynn for the Examiner.
The Bettie Page Blog has always stood for body acceptance and solidly against the beauty myth... that Bettie serves as an icon for alternative beauty is perhaps the best thing to come from her enduring popularity.
How has Bettie helped you learn to love yourself? Comment below!
Mark Mori, the director of BETTIE PAGE REVEALS ALL has been very active on the long-running virtual cantina of die-hard Bettie enthusiasts, the Yahoo! group, BETTIE SCOUTS OF AMERICA.
THE BETTIE SCOUTS OF AMERICA is the original Bettie Page fan club started September 9, 1992. Steve Brewster, the founder & Scoutmaster, invites you to come on in and share your thoughts, photos, art, links about Bettie.
Here''s a few sample exhanges to urge you to both join that group and be more active in our forums here at BettiePageMovie.com:
Posted by: Brian Keith
Irving destroyed a lot of negatives I understand - Paula saved many, but which ones?
Posted by: Mark Mori
In my 1996 on camera interview with Paula, she indicated that Kefauver did not order the destruction of negatives. This was done a number of times over the years by various judges, mostly due to persecution from the post office, but also local authorities. Irving finally got tired of years of harassment. By the early early sixties. Irving was ready to give it all up to try to stop the harassment, but Paula wasn''t. Paula saved many negatives, mostly ones of Bettie, as opposed to other models, by burying them somewhere in New Jersey, she said. Maybe others can shed more light on this.
Posted by: "Ti Eastman"
This is why -- despite Bettie bios, biopics, and documentaries -- we still need Mark Mori to tell the tale about what happened in Bettie''s life.
It''s true Kefauver started the ball rolling, but he was long gone from Movie Star News'' legal tangles when Irving cut a deal to get the Post Office off his back. He was told that he wouldn''t have to go to jail if they destroyed the "offensive" photos and negatives.
Why not post questions in the documentary''s "Ask the Director" section regarding what you want to see included in the film? It''s still on the cutting room floor. You have it in your power to affect its contents. In fact, if you go there, you''ll notice that Mark Mori has posted what Paula Klaw said about the deal with the Post Office.
This article was sent in by a reader, "Samantha", who thought it'd be great for the blog. She's right! If anyone out there sees good stuff, email it to me.
By Sadie...I love pinup fashion and hourglass silhouettes and classic glamor and the appeal isn''t lost on me. But a lot of "modern pinup" culture seems based on a very idealized idea of the 1950s, of what women like Bettie Page actually lived through and were made of. Postmodernism is one thing; historical misrepresentation? Quite another. Take Veronica Orso-Flores, a lovely Texas denizen and self-described modern pinup who describes her life of 50s-style cheesecake modeling to the Houston Chronicle as "all dress-up."For "Miss V," being a pinup means being a lady: well-groomed, well-mannered, impeccably outfitted."I don''t think people know how to be a lady these days, how to carry yourself, when to hold your tongue," Orso-Flores said at her home recently, as she served a guest cupcakes and lemon water.
The article describes her brand of kittenish appeal as a nice alternative to our culture''s overt sexualization. But that''s presuming that we have no alternative to some form of sexualization, right?
It''s a strange dichotomy, this mixing of the 50s housewife ideal and the pin-up ideal, both of which require a lot of, well, idealization. Bettie Page stood out because she maintained an aura of wholesomeness in a decidedly seedy world, and the gloss of camp conspired to idealize what was hardly the lifestyle of the average "lady." Pinups did not generally make cupcakes; housewives did not pose for calendars. This seems to be the same paradox at work with those "Time-Warp Wives" who live an idealized 50''s life: these women are drawn to the rigidity of the era''s roles and mores, but don''t seem to recognize that choosing these same roles is totally antithetical to the spirit of the age they idealize.
READ THE REST @ JEZEBEL
Didn't know there WAS such a thing, but I guess you can mourn on a monthly basis (which is sadly not too funny, given the rate of significant passings to those who love 50's culture).
In a 2006 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bettie Page exclaimed, “I am more famous now than I was in the 1950s.” She was busy signing copies of her pinup photos, those saucy pictures of Page in naughty outfits and suggestive poses that adorned locker doors and helped propel America’s sexual revolution of the 1960s. Since then, the genre of pinup fantasy--bangs-and-heels, lingerie-and-costumes—has grown from the obsession of a tiny sub-culture to a grand American tradition, a tradition that lost its queen, Bettie Page, who died on Thursday, December 11. Page was 85.
Her career as a pinup model started on the beaches of Coney Island in 1950, where a police officer who moonlighted as a photographer discovered Page. He assembled her first pinup portfolio. It was a long way from her hometown in rural Tennessee. The New York Times, in their obit, narrates the wayward life story of the woman behind the pinups.
Her pictures were ogled in Wink, Eyeful, Titter, Beauty Parade and other magazines, and in leather-fetish 8- and 16-millimeter films. Her first name was often misspelled. Her big break was the Playboy centerfold in January 1955, when she winked in a Santa Claus cap as she put a bulb on a Christmas tree. Money and offers rolled in, but as she recalled years later, she was becoming depressed.
In 1955, she received a summons from a Senate committee headed by Senator Kefauver, a Tennessee Democrat, that was investigating pornography. She was never compelled to testify, but the uproar and other pressures drove her to quit modeling two years later. She moved to Florida. Subsequent marriages to Armond Walterson and Harry Lear ended in divorce, and there were no children. She moved to California in 1978.
For years Ms. Page lived on Social Security benefits. After a nervous breakdown, she was arrested for an attack on a landlady, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a California mental institution. She emerged years later as a born-again Christian, immersing herself in Bible studies and serving as an adviser to the Billy Graham Crusade.
Her bouts with mental trouble later in life form an odd counterpoint to the sheer joy and exuberance of her pictures in youth. Either clad (or not clad) in jungle sequences, frolicking on the beach, or festooned in fishnet stockings and black lingerie, Page seemed outside vulgarity. From a 21st century perspective, her photographs are positively innocent, as if Page and her photographers were experimenting joyously. Of course there were the S & M pictures, but those too, with all of their whips and leather, seem like play.
Simply, Bettie Page had a joi-de-vivre that still captures the imagination of her viewers. From tattoo culture, to hot rod racers to actresses and models who mimic Bettie Page’s iconic look, she is the centerpiece of an entire solar system of retro aesthetics.
Obit from the New York Times
2006 Interview from the Los Angeles Times
A fascinating list of Look alikes and Bettie Page-inspired models
Dark Horse has a line of official, licensed Bettie Page merchandise... which includes this special way to wake yourself up in the morning!
When a hot beverage is poured into the cup, a magical transformation takes place, and our sultry cutie's top fades away. Oh, Nellie . . . that Bettie!
If you remember our exhaustive coverage of the Bettie Page Heaven Bound art show at the Worlds of Wonder Gallery on Hollywood Blvd., an interesting thing has happened to that space... it is now the new home of the Los Angeles location of the Bettie Page Clothing Store. Already a mecca in Vegas, the Bettie Page Clothing Store has been looking to expand to LaLa Land for some time. The owners went to the Heaven Bound show, hanging out with Mark Mori, Dita, Lenore, Olivia and other luminaries in the world of Bettie Page... and something must have clicked, because a few weeks later, a gala party launched the store on this fabled street! From the looks of it, many of Olivia''s "Heaven Bound" pieces are still on display (and likely for sale as well).
The fabulous rockabilly gal, Bernie Dexter, covered the amazing event in a post on 21st Century Pin-Ups. Read it!
No, it's not a white slavery ring... it's the estate sale of Charles Martignette, the world's premiere collector of pin-up and illustration art. Charles co-wrote definitive books on my (and many of your) favorite "classic" pin-up artist, Gil Elvgren.
Bettie didn't drink, so she probably wouldn't've been a patron at Imperial Beach's Crystal Cove Coctails, but her posters happily adorn the walls of this "new oldtime dive bar" popular with the "rockabilly and rockachola" crowd.
READ ABOUT IT IN THE SAN DIEGO CITY BEAT (scroll down on the linked page).
Tracy Wilson-Tucker mused on Bettie in her blog, Black Holes and Barbies. I think she speaks for many of us:
What is it about a single Bettie Page photo that can make someone feel happy? Apart from the obvious, her photos have lifted my mood many a time. What a woman. What a lady. In her pix she''s portrayed as elegant, saucy, funny, and beautiful, a true boundary breaker who could handle just about any cinematic scenario. From glamour to bondage shoots, her personality literally radiates.
According to Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman''s Co-Creator Joe Shuster by Craig Yoe, the artist behind the creation of Superman also penned a series of mob-financed underground fetish-comics that sparked an anti-comic crusade among politicians but have been largely forgotten - until now. Yoe''s book has been optioned for the screen, making for a sort of Hollywoodland meets The Notorious Bettie Page prospect.
Fantasy Ink has great comic book and illustration-style pin-ups posted on a regular basis, but could not resist a photo of Bettie Page:
Although Bettie's funeral was shot on video exclusively by filmmaker Mark Mori, click on this LINK and scroll down to see some still photos of this solemn occasion.
Great, if older, article appreciating Bettie''s appeal, Greg Beato for the Las Vegas Weekly.
A house in the Seattle, photo courtesy of the delightfully named blog, Yard Sale Bloodbath.
Agent Lover''s photostream on flikr
Agent Lover''s blog and vlog
Agent Lover''s interview with Lenora Claire
=spaceduck=''s photostream on flikr
Lenora Claire''s photostream on flikr
Tiffany!''s photostream on flikr
Pepper!''s photostream on flikr (she was one of the "Bettie Nurses" who manned the spanking machine)
Motor City Blog
boing boing interview with Lenora Claire
LAist interview with Lenora Claire
Dita tweeted the event
ilikedginger tweeted the event
dedredhed (responsible for the Bettie Nurse costumes) has a great recap of the night (she tweets, too)
LA WEEKLY slideshow and article
WORLD OF WONDER coverage:
- MORE Bettie Page Heaven Bound pics (Tuesday, May 05, 2009 05:51 PM)
- JAMES ST. JAMES INTERVIEWS DITA VON TEESE AT ''BETTIE PAGE: HEAVEN BOUND'' PARTY (Tuesday, May 05, 2009 12:17 PM)
- ''BETTIE PAGE: HEAVEN BOUND'' OPENING RECEPTION (Monday, May 04, 2009 01:04 PM)
Here''s a glimpse of the excitement, beauty, and glamour at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery''s opening reception for the "Bettie Page: Heaven Bound" show this past Saturday. Burlesque icon Dita Von Teese, featured artist Olivia, guest curator Lenora Claire, screen legends Julie Newmar and Mamie Van Doren, Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira, Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro, Perez Hilton, fashion designer and RuPaul''s Drag Race judge and wowlebrity Santino Rice, Bobby Trendy, wowlebrity Calpernia Addams, wowlebrity artists Mathu Anderson and Austin Young, fashion designer Jared Gold, Ryan Heffington and his Dance Attack dancers, and burlesque beauties Selene Luna and Satanica were but a few of the luminaries who graced the party.
- Bettie Page: Heaven Bound - Opening Night (Saturday, May 02, 2009 07:49 PM)
- World of Wonder Gallery Peep of the Day (Friday, May 01, 2009 06:14 PM)
- LAist on Bettie Page tribute (Thursday, April 30, 2009 01:24 PM)
- Bunny and Our Honey (Wednesday, April 29, 2009 04:35 PM)
- Boing Boing Girls Gone Wild (Wednesday, April 29, 2009 09:48 AM)
- Hanging Bettie Page: Heaven Bound (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 05:11 PM)
- Bettie Page: Heaven Bound arrives! (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 04:00 PM)
- Another Subtle Reminder (Monday, April 27, 2009 03:28 PM)
- Lenora (and Lenora) on Lenora (Monday, April 27, 2009 10:43 AM)
- World of Wonder TV
- World of Wonder twitter