The Life of Betty Page
Betty Page was a pioneer, showing that it was possible for a women to be beautiful and powerful at the same time. Her elegant looks have been an inspiration to millions of women of all types to be proud of their own beauty.
Betty Page's Early Years
Born in Nashville, Tennessee on April 22, 1923, Betty Page had a somewhat hard childhood. She was given the responsibility of caring for her siblings, and when she was ten, her parents divorced and placed her in an orphanage.
During her teenage years she spent most of her free times at community centers learning to sew and dreaming of becoming a Hollywood actress. Her studies were the only escape of from her troubles at home so she became a very serious student. Her dream of being an actress led her to becoming the director of the drama club.
After finishing high school, Betty went to study education at Peabody College but she still dreamed of being an actress one day. At college is where she met her first husband, Billy Neal, whom she moved to San Francisco with. This is where she had her first modeling job wearing fur coats.
Page's Modeling Career
After divorcing Billy Neal she met an amateur photographer, Jerry Tibbs, who put together first portfolio and began her real modeling career. At the time, camera clubs were a way to skirt the indecency laws and her lack of inhibition made her an instant hit in this underground scene.
Throughout the mid 50's she took thousands of photos and appeared in several films. At times she would play the role of dominatrix, and other times she would appear as the helpless girl next door. By 1955 she was the most famous pi-up in the world, appearing in the January issue of Playboy and being named "Miss Pinup Girl of the World."
The Dark Years
In 1957 the Senate began investigating the bondage scene which heralded her to fame. Many companies were shut down and the climate was no longer friendly to her type of work. Shortly thereafter, Betty found god and decided to put her past behind her and live in anonymity. Several marriages were started and failed in this time and she seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. Even when confronted she would deny any relation to the girl in the photos preferring to live alone in peace.
By the late seventies her mental health had begun to fail her. She began having nervous brekdowns, and then further detriating in full blown schizophrenia. An assault on a landlady foced her into state care lasting into the early 90's.
While she was grappling with her own personal issues, a cult following was developing around her carreer as a pin-up girl. Still, she was very much gone from the public eye and many even believed her to be dead.
Betty Page Resurgance
A 1993 interview on The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous made Betty aware of her celebrity. She had no idea that an entire industry had grew around the art she helped to create. Her image was being used in various, books, ads, and collectibles. all of which were paying no royalties to her. In time she was able to gain legal counsel which enabled her to reclaim her rights to her likeness. At the same time she began re-establishing herself as a celebrity and started granting interviews, participating in interviews, and writing book.
Sadly, Betty Page passed away December 6th, 2008 due to complications of a heart attack. She will be greatly remembered and her influence can be still noticed in the careers of celebrities such as Madonna, Rhianna, Beyonce, and Kate Perry.