Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Birthday to the Queen of The Pin Ups

Hey guys and dolls!

That's right today is Bettie Page's birthday! She would have been 92 today! I have an undeniable love for Bettie Page since she is one of the main reasons I found  passion for all things vintage. I was around 14/15 and was dealing with a bad hair cut so my bangs were a mess so I ended up cutting them short and rounded unaware that this was the beginning of my vintage journey. I remember an older lady coming up to me in Walmart saying how I reminded her of a famous pin up named Bettie Page. I kindly thanked her despite having no clue what she was talking about. I later went home and searched this ionic women that the older lady mentioned. The instant I seen her I fell in love with her raven hair, bright blue eyes and smile, and those killer bangs. I wanted to be just like her, so I being exploring vintage fashion and noticed how natural it felt so then I started to look at vintage furniture and cars. I felt like I belonged for once in my life.

Enough about me though lets talk about the babe called Bettie Page. As we all know Bettie was born on April 22, 1923 in Nashville Tennessee. She was one of six children to Walter and Edna Page. She actually went to college and going to be a teacher, but then changed over acting hoping that she could be a movie star like the ones she use to embody as a teenager with her sister. She did graduate with a Bachelor of Arts. Her first job was typing for an author before getting married and then divorced. She later moved to New York purse being an actress, and also worked as a secretary to support herself. Though in 1950 Coney Island would forever change Bettie's life. She was noticed by Officer Jerry Tibbs who recommended her to try pin up modeling, and was also the one that gave Bettie the idea for her signature bangs to hide her high forehead.

Bettie went on to pose for camera clubs, and became a hit due to her openness with posing. Her images appeared in many men's magazines, and was actually Miss January 1955 in Playboy. Bettie went on to work with Irving Klaw and his sister Paula, where she would pose for both pin up and fetish/BDSM themed shoots. These photos are some of the most well known photos of Bettie. Whether it was her being the dominate one or being the helpless victim. Even in the 50s everyone had their fantasies that did not conform to the 50s ideals. She was also featured in two burlesque films with stars like Lili St. Cyr and Tempest Storm.
Bettie Page and Irving Klaw standing next to each other
Bettie also worked with pin up turned photographer Bunny Yeager, which in my opinion turned out to be some of my favorite photographs of Bettie. After a few years of posing for Bunny and Irving Bettie disappeared from the public eye, up until she found out about her growing popularity, and the rest is history.
Bunny Yeager and Bettie Page posing with two live Cheetahs
Like many women I have Bettie Page to thank for my interest in the vintage/pin up world, as well as showing that it was okay to be yourself. I always make sure I celebrate Bettie's birthday since I owe her so much. And just like every year today I was able to add on more piece to my Bettie Page collection.


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