Pin-up girl Bettie Page — sex symbol of an older, weirder America — has died.
She wasn't my generation's pin-up girl. Like many young men in the Reagan years, I had that obligatory poster of Heather Thomas in a pink bikini on my bedroom wall, a sort of advertisement for my heterosexuality. Miss Thomas is perfectly adequate, if your tastes run that way, but she is no Bettie Page — all high-def blondness and obviousness. But if your tastes run more to the dark side, or to the unexpected, then you are bound to find yourself transfixed by less obvious sex symbols — Bettie Page, maybe, or in the case of some conservatives, Sarah Palin.
In my case, it has always been Miss Manners.
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