Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's in A Name? Honoring All "Bettys!"

Here is one of the famous "Bettys," Betty Grable. I just love her look, her iconic style, and her energy. She was just truly beautiful and talented. Betty was a singer, dancer, model, and actress. One my favorite images of her was of course her famous pin-up photo! I also loved her work in "My Blue Heaven."

Bettie Page. I just love her! Her hair, her beauty, and her willingness to embrace her femininity without fear. Like Betty Grable, Bettie Page was one *the* classic pin-ups of the 20th century. While Betty Grable's image was that of the cute girl-next-door, Bettie was the naughty mistress with the leather whip and the jungle queen looking fierce in a leopard bathing suit. Betty flirted with the camera while Bettie made it her servant.

Betty Friedan was an American author, activist, and feminist. Her famed work, "The Feminine Mystique" spoke of girls going to college not to earn a degree, but rather to solely find a husband. The book also bore witness to the notion that women not only wanted to be homemakers but breadwinners too. When I was in middle school, I discovered Friedan's masterpiece and it echoed my own budding feminist ideals. My mother has always been an inspiration to me. When I was going into my teen years, she stressed an importance on getting an education, getting a job, and being independent. Along with my mother's encouragement, Betty Friedan's message was the gospel I longed for and it helped shape the woman I am today.

This is me, Tara, in 1992. I was 17 and about to begin my senior year of high school. I still cannot believe 18 years have gone by since this photo was taken on that hot August day.

I am Tara and I am a "Betty." When I started my vintage modeling portfolio, I wanted to pick a moniker that invoked a vintage and yet timeless sense of femininity. To me, the name "Betty" is threefold: Betty, the pin up next door, Bettie, the beautiful and brave, and Betty, the intelligent and feminist.

When I did photo shoots and participated in fashion and hair shows, I went under "Betty Mystique." I felt "mystique" was fitting because it not only honored the work of Betty Friedan, it also reflected my view that a woman's beauty should be a bit of a mystery. The part of our charm was how a part of us is hidden and not 'all out for the world to see.' WE are in control.

So, whether I am "Betty" or "Tara." I am me when all is said and done. I will always honor myself and all women in my life. Whether we are the girl next door, the pin up girl, the inspirer, the philosopher, the feminist, or just the girl making dinner, we are all amazing. And in our own way, we are all "Bettys!"


  1. I have another amazing Betty for you. Betty Bacal, aka Lauren Bacall. If you've never read her autobiographry 'By Myself' you should! Makes me cry every time.

  2. Wow, Holly, I had no idea Lauren was actually Betty! I will have to add her to my list of amazing Bettys! I will also be sure to get my hands on her autobiography. It sounds like a good read!

    As for Lauren Becall, I love her style and her spirit. A while back she criticized modern celebrities due to their lack of class and the fact most act like vulgar attention seekers, especially when it comes to the paparazzi. I love that!