Bettie Page

Bettie Page was the greatest pin-up of all time. In the 1950s her photos rocked America, violating taboos, provoking the wrath of a US Senate committee and immortalizing her forever as a sexual icon. Then, in 1957, at the height of her fame, she vanished without a trace. Born and raised in Nashville during the 1920s, Bettie Mae Page would eventually go on to a successful modeling career in New York. Popular with professional photographers and amateur camera clubs alike, Bettie embodied the stereotypical wholesomeness of the girl next door, perfect camouflage for her other exotic personas. She was one of the first models to pose for a fledgling men's magazine called Playboy. Posing nude was a daring and profane act of rebellion in her time. More daring yet, she also posed for fetish and bondage scenarios, earning her a fanatical underground following. By 1957, a Senate investigation on obscenity and her own advancing age caused Bettie to walk away from modeling forever, effectively disappearing for the next 40 years. During her self-imposed exile, rumors quickly spread concerning her fate: Was she dead? Had she left the country? For decades, Page cultists, journalists, photographers and the curious, tried unsuccessfully to locate the missing icon. She finally resurfaced in 1992 on the television program, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. A taped message of a shadowed-Bettie said she was alive and well, and genuinely surprised at the notoriety and fandom her life had created. Although offered numerous public appearances and endorsement opportunities, Bettie has rarely spoken to her adoring public in subsequent years, still preferring a simple life out of the public spotlight. Today Bettie Page is a phenomenon, influencing contemporary style and fashion from Soho to Paris. Her trademark long bangs and raven hair have been imitated by women worldwide. With more magazine appearances than Marilyn Monroe and Cindy Crawford combined, she is the model of the century, yet she remains a mystery. - The Bettie Page Papers

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