Bettie Page: The Legend of a Pinup Queen

As a NYWIFT member, I’m proud to work on the publicity for the documentary Bettie Page Reveals All. Directed by Oscar-nominated director Mark Mori, the film explores the life of a female pop culture icon that undertook the risks, and paid the price, that opened the door for performers like Madonna and Lady Gaga to express themselves.  

Music Box Films has kindly allowed me to give away three Blu-rays of the film to NYWIFT members. Just send out a tweet about why you admire Bettie Page with the hashtag #BettiePageNYWIFT between now and midnight May 10, 2014, and you may be one of three winners selected randomly to win a Blu-ray.

Want to know more about Page? Read on:

While her staple black bangs, red lipstick, stockings and stilettos made Page notorious, it was her smile and character that made her one of America’s most beloved pop culture icons.

Bettie Mae Page grew up with a troubled childhood stemming from a broken home, molestation, an imprisoned father and a brief stint in an orphanage. As she got older, Page sewed her own clothes, traveled the world and paved her own way. After an unsuccessful marriage, she brushed herself off and got back on the road with big dreams of becoming a glamorous star. 

By her mid-20s, Page was a top pinup girl in New York City and named Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in 1955. She signed with a renowned photo agency and appeared in over 250 photographs, which shocked the nation and arguably made her one of the most famous pinup model of all time. 

As she caught the attention of Americans nationwide, her fame came at a price: Eyebrows raised at her scandalous bondage photographs. American society was not ready at that time to see women exploring their sexuality so openly without shame or regret. Page never apologized for being comfortable in her own skin, and America could not accept her behavior. 

At the height of her fame, Page disappeared without a trace. While off the radar, the most remarkable thing happened: Her fame grew. America began to appreciate her role as a feminist icon. 

Page didn’t have it easy, but she kept smiling through it all, and her struggles made her the iconic woman admired today. She paid the price and helped open doors for a woman’s right to inspire, create and enjoy freedom of artistic expression.

— MARGARITA CORTES

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