Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Notorious Is as Notorious Does?

I watched, for the first time, last night the film The Notorious Bettie Page. It's a little bit of a clunker of a film, but I was intrigued by her as a character. They depict her as being completely innocent to her actions and her surroundings. After having professed to believe in Jesus, she's asked by the photographer what she thought Jesus would say about the things she was doing. The answer she gives is either a tremendous amount of bullshit, or the most convoluted rationalization imaginable.

First, she talks about how each person has a talent and how God wants each person to use their talent. She even says something bizarre about how what she's doing is helping someone. (Now, don't get me wrong, dear reader. You know me and you know I actually DO believe her bondage and spanking photos are helping people. Perverts, like you and me. But we know this is not the view of the wider population. Then, even less so.) She goes on to comment about how Adam and Eve are naked in the garden, so....

I guess I just wonder how naive she really was. In the film they make her out to be a Pollyanna character. A church going, God fearing, innocent. And that, in the end, she did turn to God and repented at some Evangelical church in Florida. And, maybe that's what she did. I'm just skeptical that in the years she was making those pictures, she was unaffected by her actions.

Was she not dripping wet during some of those shoots? Tied up to the chair, splayed out for all to see (albeit covered completely by contraptions in lingerie), was she not in some state of arousal? They depict the spankings as being fake. The hand never actually meets the bottom. But did she yearn for it? Did a part of her secretly want to cry out begging to be spanked? Being tied, gagged and blindfolded was real. I cannot believe she was not affected.

In doing a little research I came across the Official Site of Bettie Page. I combed this site and nowhere is there a reference to the BDSM aspects of her photography. They have bondage pictures, but in her biography, and other essays about her life, there is no discussion of her involvement in these photos.

In Hips, Lips and Tits...It's Bettie Page, I found this paragraph:

Was Bettie really into bondage?
In order to fulfill customer requests, Irving Klaw required that Bettie do at least some bondage or fetish for all of her shoots (Klaw and Bettie were not bdsm enthusiasts themselves). For the setups, the tying of ropes was done by his sister Paula, a trusted friend of Bettie's. Bettie has said that she enjoyed all of the modeling she did, including the bondage scenes (as well as spanking, wrestling, whipping, dressing up in a leather pony costume, etc.), and did not feel exploited. So while the Dark Angel was not a real-life bondage queen, she did have fun posing for the pictures.

So, she had fun.

I guess we'll never know if it was hot for her. Even if it was, she probably wouldn't admit it. And maybe she really was an innocent. Maybe she thought it was just a little fun, a job that paid well, some notoriety, and somewhere, it was helping someone. I wonder if she ever considered in what way those photos were helping.


HSWLOVER said...

I guess they were pretty explicit for their day, but I would rather she a good photo of a real person, such as you, E, anyday. Much more exciting to me.

-eve- said...

I'd say it's possible. I feel I could be her; I don't see anything wrong with being into bondage; but yes, after repenting, she couldn't be doing it publicly; but I don't see anything wrong with admitting it was fun....:-)

Eve in Chains said...

Well, I know if I was her, I'd certainly be having fun.


Thanks for stopping by -eve-.