While reading the article on Bettie Paige's life and death in the LATIMES today I felt inspired to share some thoughts on how it is hard to be a "Bettie Paige" today and find real modeling success. Monetarily and respectfully.
The first photographer's she worked with were amateurs and she might have been considered in the internet age "just another show off model on Myspace" but in the
1950's her edgy photos and pinups would leave a mark that girls of ModelMayhem and Onemodelplace.com usually do not gain.
Prancing around with a whip and a bondage pose usually doesn't lead a girl to become a global iconic figure but more of a "porn star" or "slutty thing."
In that regard, Bettie beat the odds. Turned her fun and play into a business that has made a Queen of pinups.
However the article in the LATIMES quotes her saying, ""I had lost my ambition and desire to succeed and better myself; I was adrift," Page recalled. "But I could make more money in a few hours modeling than I could earn in a week as a secretary."
I think many aspiring models that are "web models," and “internet models" amateurs would agree. But today you can quickly become "another wanna be" faster than in the 1940's and 50's when less girls wanted to be models, and more of them just wanted to be a secretary.
My question is: Who marketed her images? The photographers? Did she make any money from this branding over the past century? If so how did it happen.
I think it is hard for a girl to be a Bettie Paige today, and make a living from it. Bettie Paige stopped modeling at 35, and that is not the life line of modeling today, but if a girl is trying to be a sexy model until she is 40, she will not be taken as seriously as if she was a commercial print model working with brands, ad campaigns and representing commercial products such as jewelry ads, travel ads and magazines, panty hose, tampons, skincare and beauty products.
Being a Bettie Paige today is a short lived pursuit and it can even limit your chances as a model actually. Especially if you are petite like Bettie, who stood only 5'5."