Creator / Bettie Page
Black and white has never looked so gorgeous
The world was not quite ready
For you in your satin teddy..."
- Olivia Olson, "Oh, Bettie"
Bettie Page (b. April 22 1923, d. December 11 2008) was an American model and pin-up of the Fifties
who was famous for her fetish modelling and often called the "Queen of Pinups". Her signature look has influenced several celebrities from Katy Perry
to Dita Von Teese
and she was one of Playboy magazine's earliest Playmate of the Month
s. Her fame was mostly in the 1950s but experienced a resurgence of popularity the 1980s
that has carried through to the present day.
Bettie disappeared at the height of her popularity in the early 1960s, leading to numerous rumors that she had died. In the late 1990s, she was discovered alive and well, though living in poverty and completely unaware of her cult following. Various admirers (including Hugh Hefner) united to insure that Bettie would receive royalties for reproduction of her image. With this security, she lived comfortably until her death in 2008, though she made no public appearances, stating that she preferred fans to "remember [her] the way [she] was."
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to most '50s pin-up girls. Also her more modern interpretations tend to paint her as much Darker and Edgier than she was.
- Dominatrix: Many of her fetish photos had her in this role.
- The Fifties: Bettie's heyday.
- Fur Bikini: Bettie's other distinctive look was wearing fuzzy bikinis.
- Good Bad Girl: By all accounts (including her own) Bettie felt no shame about either her love life or her modeling...but also felt one did not reflect on the other. Those who worked with her recall her as a consummate professional.
- She had no problem with nudity, which she viewed as natural, but she hated profanity, which she viewed as vulgar.
- Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: For a committee investigating claims of pornography causing juvenile delinquency. Although she never ended up testifying in public, during the committee investigation, a lot of negatives of her modeling work were destroyed.
- High Class Gloves: standard part of her wardrobe. Probably 60 to 75% of all the pictures popularly circulated of her had her wearing them. At least one pair even found their way into a museum collection. This helped popularize the long gloves which are part of the dominatrix look.
- Jungle Princess: In 1954 Page did some modeling work in South Florida, and model/photographer Bunny Yeager took her to a animal park in Boca Raton to pose with various animals while wearing leopard-pattern bikinis. Those photos are considered some of her most famous works, and had been used for postcards and Florida tourism promotional materials for years.
- Memetic Hair: Those bangs! Her signature look came about when a photographer suggested she cover up her forehead instead of pulling the hair back in a ponytail. It's now considered the go-to look for any woman posing as a dominatrix or 50s-era sex kitten.
- The Muse: Men (and women) wanted to photograph her in The Fifties. Men (and women) have been using her as a drawing model and fetish icon since The '80s.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Many of her costumes included corsets.
- Kinky Spanking: This was her specialty, more or less (as both spanker and spankee).