The Life and Death of Pinup Icon Bettie Page

Bettie PageBow your heads, ladies. The world has lost one of its most legendary, feisty, and fabulous females: “notorious” ’50s pinup model Bettie Page.

The woman who turned posing in your skivvies into an art form (and inspiring a million ill-advised short-banged hipster hairdos in the process) passed away at the age of 85 today after suffering a heart attack and a recent bout of pneumonia.

Known for her raven bangs and curvy figure, Page found fame and courted controversy as a scantily clad Playboy centerfold and pinup model during the ’50s. In later years, Page battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian (even working for Billy Graham!), but will ultimately be remembered as a groundbreaking icon of the burgeoning sexual revolution. “I was not trying to be shocking, or to be a pioneer,” Page once said. “I wasn’t trying to change society, or to be ahead of my time. I didn’t think of myself as liberated, and I don’t believe that I did anything important. I was just myself. I didn’t know any other way to be, or any other way to live.”

RIP, old gal. We’ll be wearing black bras tonight.

-Erin Donnelly, Style Editor