I think just about everyone who is into spanking is familiar with Bettie. The spanking and bondage photos she shot with Irving Klaw are very well-known, and for many of us, they were the first spanking photos we had ever seen. Irving Klaw used a lot of models in his photos, but there was something about Bettie that stood out and captured our imaginations. Bettie thought that maybe it was her smile.
She may have been right, to a certain extent. Bettie had some acting aspirations that never amounted to anything, but she did know the value of the right facial expression for the situation. I always thought that was one of the things that set her apart from the other models she worked with.
According to Bettie, people were always saying that she was a sexual innovator. Funny thing is, she never thought of her pictures as sexual. She was just doing her work and having fun in front of the camera with friends. She was very free in front of a lens, just letting herself go, throwing herself into whatever the shot may be. She loved the camera, and the camera certainly loved her back.
Whenever I think of Bettie Page, the spanking photos come to mind, of course. But the one photo that stands out in my mind was her Playboy photo when she was Miss January, 1955. Bettie was kneeling at the base of a Christmas tree, hanging some ornaments, with a little red Santa hat on her head--and nothing else. As she reaches out to put an ornament on the tree, she's facing the camera, giving us a big smile and a wink as if she's letting us in on a joke--sort of, "Kind of silly, isn't it? Me, naked, decorating a Christmas tree? But at the same time, isn't this just FUN?"
Of course, there's a little bit of symbolism here that shouldn't be missed. By being under the tree, Bettie--in all her glory--could be seen as being our Christmas present. It was just what we wanted--and clearly, one of the best we ever got.
Goodbye, Bettie Page. You're right--it WAS fun! And God bless you......