Bettie Page: an American original

January 15, 2014

This post has an adult theme. If this offends you, please do not go further.




bette cuBack in the day, pin-up girl Bettie Page became famous for photos with a BDSM theme. There was no naughtier girl in the early to mid-1950s. It’s ironic that such a repressed age would produce such explicit fetish photographs and films and make a household name out of their star. She was just beautiful, though, her girl-next-door looks contrasting with her salacious scenarios.

You name the fetish, Bettie had a photo for it.  Here are a few of the milder themes, reminiscent of her photos.

bettie page naughty nurse, naughty nurse

Naughty nurse — who doesn’t love a naughty nurse?

bettie page baseball player

Naughty ballplayer — this has to be a specialty, I’m not sure this is a popular fantasy, is it?

bettie page naughty teacher

The stern headmistress — obviously, a spanking is in order, and she’ll make him wear the Dunce Cap, right? I love the modified page boy.

bettie page naughty cop

The naughty cops I know look nothing like this.

bettie page

I love all the girlie-girl accoutrements. Oops. Just saw that it’s a little more ribald than it seems.

Bettie Page cowboy spanking

If you can figure it out, let me know.

There was a day when the words “mainstream” and “Bettie Page” wouldn’t appear in the same sentence. And yet, wandering around a Tampa mall last weekend, a brand-new Bettie Page store caught my eye. Apparently there are quite a few of them in the U.S., featuring rockabilly and retro wear, all very respectable.

Here is an example of very respectable and mainstream retro wear at the Tampa store:
bette page retro dress
Bettie would probably approve; in the late 1950s she became an evangelical Christian and worked for Billy Graham. Later, she was admitted to psychiatric hospitals for depression and violent mood swings. I’m sure evangelical Christians believe her fetish work (sin) was responsible, but me? I think it was her conversion.

bettie page red bikini

Regardless, I think she was a fresh-faced beauty, quite sexy and certainly unique.

She died in 2008. RIP, Bettie.

7 comments on “Bettie Page: an American original
  1. Roz Warren says:

    Agreed. Times have certainly changed if BP is part of the mainstream. And IMHO it’s a change for the better.

  2. I love Bettie Paige. I always thought she was beautiful and I loved her edginess. She was pretty cutting edge for her time and it’s funny that’s she’s considered main stream now, and then again, maybe not considering what’s out here. I didn’t know she went on to work with Billy Graham or that she was in the nut hut, I’m with you on that one, life on the road with Billy Graham would’ve def made me a lit’l nutso. – Great post. I really liked it.
    Stopping by from The Blogging Lounge.

  3. pia says:

    I have always loved Bettie Page. Well when I was young we would go to a client of my father’s who had girlie calendars and girlie magazines. I was offended even in pre-feminist days.

    But when I began my blog my 9.5 years ago I used a Vargas pinup and a pink striped background that looked exactly like a pair of sheets I loved.

    People were confused as I said I hated cute–still do. And I’m obviously a “feminist.” Never even changed my name when married at 21.

    In the intervening years I have learned so much–and I think some of the best American books ever written are pulp.

    Now my blog looks very different. But I will always have a pinup.

    Love your blog : )

  4. Jo says:

    I love learning about the Billy Graham thing…had no idea and like MiMi. Had no clue she spent time in the home. She was lovely and wild and scandalous in her day…who could have guessed this would be okay to display today? It’s a newer and les restrictive world no doubt! I’m okay with that.

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