Saturday, March 9, 2013

"That's How Much Longer You've Got to Be Alive, and It Isn't Long, My Pretty, It Isn't Long"

May, 1962
Not even negotiably the States' first "super" model, Betty Brosmer had it seemingly all. A crazy hourglass figure, something between 38-18-36, and what they at Novel Books in the early 1960s perceived as 44-26-36. By that time she had married legendary bodybuilder and fitness Maharaja, Joe Weider, so it's possibly the two settled in to a comfortable marriage and decided to have just one more scoop of ice cream before bed. The editors at Novel Books, Chicago based (which equals smut galore, thanks, the Outfit), embellished for all the right reasons, but here they weren't too far off. We'd like to imagine the extreme, and Betty was the extreme in real life, combining the best of fantasy and reality into one compact and teasing blonde with a body to kill and a brain to best entrepreneurs today. I would play chess and lose admirably, but in a tender way, because, again, A Body to Kill.

Jan, 1961
Novel Books published "Men's Digest" in 1961, so naturally they employed the same photography circle, perhaps no more than four or five shooters at one time. Keith Bernard worked there. Keith Bernard shot Betty Brosmer, and she knew how to love the camera, and I imagine Bernard took it lightly and professionally: shaking like a leaf behind his lens. He is credited with the photo for "Bed Crazy," but not for "The Teaser," even though the place and time is right for him to have done both.

Left, the design crew made full use of their poor production and Betty's bodacious curves in one Go. Then they were "The Man's Line," and a year later we can see they dropped that little grab. All we really see is the word "EASE" and aint it the truth? Not much teasing going on here, but her smile and hair-covered fingertips pull us right in. The tease is her intangibility. She's essentially two-dimensional, and the missing dimension is what makes us pick this up fromt a wire rack at a drug store (or a vending machine at an airport). Her magnificent cotton curves look perfect against the black matter galaxy in which she reigns as center of the universe for whoever owns the book.

Orrie Hitt had her in mind when he penned "Bed Crazy" in 1960. What he didn't consider was that his characters could be made real, brought to life on the covers of his novels (something of a ghost in today's mainstream publishing market...when do you see a hardcover novel in a photo-illustrated dust jacket anymore?) by the best in the industry. Here Betty's waist is front and center, second to her bust, in contrast to the layout of "Teaser." The draw here is the abrupt change in composition, manifesting in just under a year, of the cover art. Colors are clearer and less negative in appearance, red and green much easier to look at as image than black, white, red and yellow. They were established to the point that they didn't need to advertise their more accessible product, no longer elating their being "The Man's Line," and no adverts at all in "Bed Crazy." Betty's skin is matte and her hair is glossy, the green top almost a cut-and-paste job. Damnit, the Outfit! Put her in her teasing white slip and call it a day.

Betty's back must be like the yellow brick road, with so much 3/4 twisting and posturing.
Betty is Betty Weider now and can be found at her name DOT COM

Back of "Teaser," somebody finally cast
Betty in gold. 

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