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Celebrity Sex Workers: Betty Page

Born in 1923, Betty Page is a former American model who became famous in the 1950's for her fetish modelling and pin-up shoots. She worked as a 'camera club model' before moving into the field of glamour photography, her confidence and lack of inhibition made her a hit in front of the camera. Her name and image quickly became well known in the industry, and by 1951 she had appeared in men's magazines such as Wink, Titter, Eyeful, and Beauty Parade. In 1952, she started posing for Irving Klaw doing bondage and sadomasochistic themed shoots for mail-order, officially making her the first ever famous bondage model. On top of this, Klaw casts Page in in dozens of fetish films that he directed. These short black and white films contained Betty and other women acting out scenes of domination, abduction, and slave-training, with bondage, spanking, and elaborate leather costumes and restraints. Stills from these fetish films have gone on to be some of his best-selling work.

In 1953, Betty Page began to secure several roles in theatre productions and even TV appearances. She also features in three Burlesque films in 1953! Amongst all of this, it was still said that her first love was pin-up modelling., and in 1954 on a trip to Florida she met photographer Bunny Yeager, who signed Betty up for a photoshoot at an African Wildlife Park. Photos from this shoot show Betty modelling nude with two cheetahs! Bunny Yeager sends photos of Betty Page to Hugh Hefner, founder of playboy, who featured her as January 1955's Playmate of the Month, printing her image on the centerfold.

Betty continued modelling until 1957. Reasons for her retirement may have included a trial she was involved in - regarding the death of a young man during a bondage session inspired by the famous bondage model - and also her conversion to Christianity, after which she dedicated most of her life to the study of religion. She passed away in 2008, at the age of 85.


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