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2 Asian women stuck in daylight in the center of SF

The Telegraph

The Woman with the Impossible Waist: How Betty Brosmer Inspired Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish’s uncharacteristically hungry, cleavage-bearing photo shoot for this month’s Vogue, set to introduce his new, blonder gaze to the world for the release of his upcoming album Happier Than Ever, has inspired a rash of internet perception. Some say she has betrayed her young female fans by giving up her baggy-jumped, green-haired two fingers to normative patriarchal beauty standards; others say it is her body, her choices, and nothing but her own; while still others accuse Vogue of having pushed her into appearance. (Although Eilish in the interview emphasizes that the recording was solely her idea.) At heart, this is a debate about the female body and who gets power from it: is the woman with the confidence to show it and enjoy the feeling of being alive in its own skin, or is it the men who see it, spit on it and treat women more like objects and less like people because of it? The career of Betty Brosmer, California pin-up and supermodel from the fifties, which Eilish mentions as inspiration for her new look, can provide an answer. Known for her exaggerated hourglass figure (she was nicknamed “the impossible waist”

;), photographs of Brosmer papered the walls of bedrooms and offices across America when Marilyn Monroe was still a chord in small-budget studio comedies. She was born in Pasadena, but got her first modeling shot in New York for department stores Sears & Roebuck at the age of 13. Soon she caught the attention of the famous pin-up photographers Alberto Vargas and Earl Moran, and two years later in 1950 she moved permanently to New York with his aunt to spend his teenage years modeling men’s magazines, including Modern Man, Photo and People Today. Her image appeared in advertisements everywhere from milk cartons to billboards and on the covers of popular novels about pulp; she won several beauty pageants, including Miss Television, for which she was photographed on top of the Empire State Building to the front page of the TV Guide.

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