Model Betty Brosmer.
Like many models Los Angeles-born beauty queen, Betty Brosmer, got her start early, with her first photographs appearing in the Sears & Roebuck catalog in 1948 when she was just thirteen. A year later Brosmer visited New York City with her aunt and had the opportunity to pose for more photographs, one of which made its way to electronics company Emerson who used the photo in published advertisements in magazines across the country.
While she was still a teenager Brosmer received requests from two rather influential pinup artists—Earl Moran, who famously captured some of the earliest images of Marilyn Monroe (while she was still known as Norma Jean), and a man whose name is synonymous with the word pinup, Peruvian artist Alberto Vargas. That high-profile work would prompt Brosmer to make the move to New York City. While attending high school in Manhattan Brosmer would continue modeling, and her photographs would appear in numerous magazines as well as on the covers of sexy pulp novels. The young model was pursued by Playboy magazine, which ended up in a sitting for a shoot in Beverly Hills. But not in the nude as the magazine had hoped. The final photos were ultimately rejected by Playboy and I’m sure many of you will be disappointed to learn that Brosmer never did any nude photography during her long career, as she feared the images would be hurtful to her family, not because she thought it was dishonorable.
Although Marilyn Monroe is the most recognizable blonde bombshell of the time, it was Brosmer’s fair hair, face, and impossible eighteen-inch waist that made her the highest paid model of the 50s, and her image helped pave the way for both Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. In 1961 Brosmer married bodybuilder Joe Weider, the founder of the Mr. Olympia competition and mentor to former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a seven-time Mr. Olympia title holder. After that, Brosmer would drop her last name for Joe’s and subsequently end her modeling career. Betty would then go on to co-author a book with Weider in 1981 The Weider Book of Bodybuilding for Women as well as becoming a long-time contributor to Muscle and Fitness magazine, and an associate editor of the popular women’s fitness magazine, SHAPE. I’ve posted images of Betty (who still looks fantastic at the age of 82 by the way), below that must be seen to be believed.
More after the jump…