Friday, September 28, 2007

Bettie Page ... Friend of the Camera

Bettie Page loved the camera and the camera loved her. With her perfect 36-24-35 figure, blue eyes and long hair, the "Queen of Curves" would both shock and delight her fans with her saucy poses. At the height of her fame, there was no getting away from Page - she appeared in countless magazines, her image splashed on everything from record albums to playing cards. In 1955, she was voted "Miss Pin-up Girl of the World" and won a coveted Playboy centrefold spot. But Page's appeal wasn't just about sex, for she brought an innocence to her steamy pictures. She was the ultimate fantasy: the girl next door who'd say yes. As Playboy magazine put it, Page had a look that "suggested forbidden fruit as well as apple pie".

On the surface, Page seemed a simple proposition - a nice girl from the country who viewed posing naked as a fun adventure. But behind her sunny smile, she was a woman of contradictions - a bright, intelligent college graduate who went from one failed relationship to another and then, quite suddenly at the height of her fame, disappeared.

But despite Page's withdrawal from the public eye, fame did not desert her. On the contrary, she became a cult figure, her image continuing to appear on everything from matchboxes to T-shirts, her legend growing stronger with the passing years.

"She's the most attractive woman who ever lived, " says Steve Brewster, president of the official Bettie Page fan club. "I've had hundreds of letters from men who say once you lay eyes on her, you're magnetised. "

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