April 22, 2007, is Bettie Page's 84th birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETTIE!
In the early 1960s a friend of mine handed me a stack of girly magazines and pointed out one of the models. "That's Bettie Page," I remember him saying.
I'd like to claim that I knew even then that Bettie would become the cult figure she is today, but I didn't. I thought she was pretty and sexy. She even stood apart from the other models, but I didn't imagine then that four decades later people would devote websites, magazines, books, and movie biographies to her.
I think the pictures that we all thought were perverted back in the 1950s look innocent today. Would you be scared if you saw this smiling woman with a whip? Bettie did a lot of bondage photos but frankly, she just wasn't the dominatrix type.Many people have done their own versions of Bettie though artwork……and some by mimicking her look.Here's Bettie a couple of years ago with Anna Nicole Smith and Pamela Anderson. There is a spark in the smile that shows the young Bettie.Click on pictures for full-size images.
The Bettie Page that is the object of the Bettie cultists is an invention, not a real person. There are thousands of pictures of her available everywhere and they are the object of worshipful fans. The real Bettie Page had a life and did all of the everyday things the rest of us did. In later life she even got religion, becoming a born again Christian. As with Marilyn Monroe the image took over the reality. But in her youth she had a look that the camera loved and it is these pictures that we know as Bettie.
Ciao for now.