Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bettie page, femme icon, femmes, kink, queer, r.i.p.
Such sad news that Bettie Page has passed away. She has always been, in my head, a bit of a femme icon – at least aesthetically. Though I’ve never heard or read of her having partners other than cisgendered men, she knew how to work fishnets, thick-cut bangs, and stilettos better than most. Bettie, if not in her own personal sexual practices, was a bit queer because of the nature of her work that started out as mere pin-ups, but quickly transitioned to fetish modeling that included bondage and spanking shoots. Most of these latter photos were of her with other women.
Last summer, I was on a road trip with my family. My dad was passed out asleep and my mom, grandma, and I were playing a game in order to pass time. One of us chose a famous person they would embody and the other two would have to ask questions to find out who they were. I chose Bettie Page once and my mom and grandma were guessing for nearly 30 minutes before they gave up. When I enthusiastically yelled, “Bettie Page!” they both looked at me all confused. Neither had any idea who she was.
For someone so “notorious,” it seems that Bettie Page’s revival and now legacy will go on living in the hearts of very particular subcultures. I’m glad that she’s a little bit part of mine.
R.I.P., Bettie Mae.
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