Bettie Looks Back: Gaze, Autonomy, and Power in Pin-Up

Bethany Woods


The following paper seeks to investigate 1950 pin-up and fetish model, Bettie Page. John Berger’s text, Ways of Seeing, Laura Mulvey’s essay “Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema,” and director Jill Soloway’s speech, “The Female Gaze” are all used to provide insight into the complicated role of Page’s identity performance in photographs and films. A collection of poetry that explicitly addresses Page’s sexuality and her impact on feminism, and a confessional essay which details the author’s own sexuality is included.