Bettie Page, signing a photo in 2006, would not allow her face to be shown.
“I want to be remembered as I was when I was young.”
The official Bettie Page site is crashing on and off, not suprisingly.
Since it’s not nostalgia if you weren’t there, the affection young people feel for Bettie Page [nsfw] springs from another source, perhaps too mysterious to clearly articulate.
Even in her bondage shots, Page’s signature smile is on display (when she isn’t making a goofy face and mocking the procedings). I’ve long believed that it was Bettie’s wholesome, open-faced, all-American-yet-natural smile, as much as her incredible yet believable figure and her trademark hairstyle, that made her an icon.
Bettie looks like she’s having fun. As one photographer said, when she was nude, she never looked naked.
For all its faults, I’ll give fandom this: they are young people who respect their elders and treasure the past, as we witnessed when beloved idols like Forrey Ackerman and Ben Chapman pass away, idols who modeled graciousness, gratitude and generosity.
Most young hipsters and fanboys and girls call themselves liberals without a second thought, but who knows: maybe these old fashioned virtues will stick, and serve to steer them right some day…
There may even be hope for the Obamafied boys and girls on this DemocraticUnderground thread that started up when Bettie was hospitalized last week…
Bettie’s wishes were respected by her protective and loving fans. And her born again Christianity was never mocked on any fan site I ever visited. She was probably the first and only declared Christian some of these fans really “knew,” and one with the kind of sordid past that always makes them especially appealing and “acceptable” to less accomplished sinners. Think of Johnny Cash, another 21st century hipster idol.
Anyway: the most beautiful model of the previous century has died. Rest in peace.
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PS: how busy will Bernie Dexter be today, I wonder…
One of hundreds of tributes on YouTube: