Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Short P.S.

For those who might wish to learn a little bit more about Bettie Page, I would suggest going to

If you click over to the second page, there is a "Press release: Bettie Page Obituary" that is a quick but excellent overview of her life. There are also other areas--a photo gallery, naturally--that you can browse around in.
I do have a few quibbles with the press release. They refer to Bettie as "falling under the spell" of Paula and Irving Klaw, who shot most of the spanking and bondage photos that she appeared in. It makes them sound like a couple of evil masterminds. By all the accounts that I have read, they all quickly became friends, with Bettie practically being treated as a member of the family.
The other point is when they refer to the photos as "sadomasochistic". The images I've seen are too mild to fall under that category. Bondage, yes--discipline, yes. But I have a hard time thinking of them as S&M.
Below is the last known (to me, anyway) photo of Bettie. At the time, she was 80. That's artist Olivia on the right, with Hugh Hefner holding up a poster of her work that was clearly influenced by the lady on the right--Bettie Page.


Michael said...

Thanks for the follow-up, Dr. Ken, and excellent point about the Klaws not being 'bad' people. Like you I had read they made Bettie part of their family and were very protective of her.


Dave said...

Bettie Page paves the way for the sexual revolution and was a true innovator. May she rest in peace.

Dr. Ken said...

Michael--thank you. I remember reading that the Klaws often took Bettie out to dinner, something they NEVER did for any of the other models they employed. That sounds more like "friends" to me.

Dave--amen to that!

Mina said...

Dr Ken, perhaps in the 50's that was considered S&M. Things change as we become more comfortable with them and then the categories shift and what was once hardcore is considered quite normal.


Gwen said...

I've seen that current photo of Betty on various sites but that's the first time I've seen it uncropped; I didn't know she was in the shot with Hugh Hefner. ... We all know about Hef's notorious pajama parties at the mansion. I see that he's in his signature silk robe and I'm wondering if in fact Betty is wearing plaid PJs in that shot? ... Not expecting an answer, just making an observation. Yeah. Lots of caffeine today. *G*

Dr. Ken said...

Mina--That's distinctly possible, I suppose. Where the line appears in her obituary, I was thinking it would have been written from a modern-day viewpoint, which is why the label seemed so odd to me.

Gwen--she might be. And are you in YOUR PJs, young lady? *G*

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Ken:
Thanks for the Update. I find that picture fascinating I would never have guessed that she was 80 in that picture! I also agree with Mina's comments about how things change and we become more comfortable with them these ideas become more mainstream and out in the open rather than something to hide or feel shameful about. That's one of the reasons why I have so much respect for her. She put herself on the line to live out her life the way she wanted to.
Thanks for sharing.
Andrades Girl