Bringing Back Bettie Page: A Pinup Goddess for the Contemporary Woman

Share Article

With Bettie’s unique mix of vintage innocence and a modern gothic edge, Pink Kitty Studios suddenly has women flocking to their studio doors to be photographed in the image of the popular 1950’s pinup queen.

In a hot pink house in Los Angeles, California, a photography studio run by two women has become the site of a growing trend – women are anxious to be transformed into that bathing beauty with a whip in her hand -- Bettie Page. With the upcoming release of Picturehouse and HBO Film’s “The Notorious Bettie Page” (starring Gretchen Mol) on April 14, 2006, the studio phone has been ringing off the hook with housewives and working women interested in temporarily turning themselves into the model-come-dominatrix. In fact Bettie Page is so popular nowadays, that recently she was #9 on the list of the top 20 overall searches on Yahoo and #12 on Google’s “Zeitgeist” list.

All things “retro” are back in. “The look the women are often going for when they come in for a photo shoot is that vintage-style posing made famous by such classic pinups as Betty Grable and Jane Mansfield,” says Lori Mann, photographer and co-owner of Pink Kitty Studios. “But lately, the clients are specifically asking for the Bettie Page style, which is a bit more leather than lace,” Lori giggles, “and her hair style and clothing choices remind us of the current ‘gothic’ genre and therefore appeals to younger women as well”. (Vintage hair and make-up styling is also essential, and trained experts are brought in to the studio to spend a couple hours with the women before shooting begins.)

“I think the reason that she is so popular right now,” says Adrienne Cragnotti, co-owner and clothing stylist at Pink Kitty Studios, “is because on the one hand her poses and expressions show that sweet innocence that the vintage pinups of the 1940’s embodied, but she also represents a powerful woman who is in control… sometimes literally with a whip in her hand!” This is more reflective of today’s woman who is a care giving mother, lover and friend, but also often a business owner or corporate executive. “Bettie Page represents a more balanced woman than the older vintage models who seemed helpless and vulnerable, and contemporary women can relate to her more easily.” Lori adds, “and I think their boyfriends and husbands, who often receive the photographs as a surprise present, rather like the sassy images too!”

Lori and Adrienne are co-owners of Pink Kitty Studios, and both have been in the glamour photography business for over 15 years. What makes them unique is that both have been in front of the camera themselves many times. Plus, the women are more comfortable with them then they often are with male boudoir photographers. “And,” Lori adds, “many of the women state that they’re not sure how their husbands would feel about them shedding their clothes for a male photographer!”

Pink Kitty Studios has been featured on television on The Today Show, Inside Edition, ABC News, Fox11 News, UPN News 13, KCAL’s 9 On The Town and on radio on KROQ’s Morning Show with Kevin and Bean.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lori Mann