Yesterday in Los Angeles, pin-up icon Bettie Page succumbed to complications from a heart attack suffered almost three weeks ago. She was 85.
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Few women in modern history have incited such lust and reverence in men and women alike. To the rockabilly culture, she embodied the ideal woman - voluptuous and healthy, with that leveling sneer. She seemed to dare you to not stare at her. Her hairstyle launched a thousand girls to slice off their bangs and get out the black dye.
"Bettie Page," the Amazing Royal Crowns
Literally tens of thousands of women are walking around today as perfect Bettie clones of all shapes and sizes. With her nude photoshoots, the bondage angle and her defiance in the face of censorship, she was a precursor to the '70s feminist movement - '50s punk rock in heels and garters.
Page has been the inspiration for dozens of songs all across the musical landscape, but it was the rockabilly guys that took to her the most; not to mention female-fronted bands like the Horrorpops or even pop's Katy Perry. Even Amy Winehouse's look in the beginning was a derivative of Page. - Craig Hlavaty