Black and white pin up photos have now become a trend. Modern girls try to imitate the girls from vintage photographs. It’s no surprise because these photos are easy on the eyes. If you know what I mean.
Like the photos of Betty Brosmer, American bodybuilder, and physical fitness expert. During the 1950s, she was a popular commercial model and pin-up girl.
In 1961, married Mr. Olympia founder and magazine publisher, Joe Weider. She then started her lengthy and successful career as a spokesperson and trainer in the health and bodybuilding industry. She’s also a longtime magazine columnist and co-authored several books on fitness and physical exercise.
Betty Brosmer started her career as a catalog model and won 50 beauty pageant titles before the age of 20. She also graced the covers of countless magazines, calendars, and record albums. We’ve gathered some of her best photos for you.
Betty Brosmer was born in Pasadena, California, on August 2, 1935, to Andy and Vendla Brosmer. Her first name has sometimes been reported as Elizabeth, but she has denied that.
19. Early Life
She lived in Carmel during her early childhood but from about the age of ten, grew up in Los Angeles. She has a naturally small frame. Betty Brosmer set out on a personal bodybuilding and weight training regimen before she was a teenager and was raised as a sports fan by her father. She was skilled in athletics and was “something of a tomboy”.
18. Print Model
When she was 13 years old, a photo of Betty appeared in the Sears & Roebuck catalog. The next year she visited New York city with her aunt and posed for photos in a professional studio where one of her photos was sold to Emerson Televisions for use in commercial advertising. It quickly became a widely used promotional piece, printed in national magazines even for several years after.
17. Young Model
Betty Brosmer returned to Los Angeles and was asked to pose for two of the most celebrated pin-up artists of the era, Alberto Vargas, and Earl Moran. With high hopes, her aunt took her back to New York City again in 1950, and this time they took up residency.
Betty built her modeling portfolio while attending George Washington High School in Manhattan. Despite her age, over the next four years, she was booked frequently as a commercial model and graced the covers of many of the ubiquitous postwar “pulps”: popular romance and crime magazines and books. As she said, “When I was 15, I was made up to look like I was about 25”.
16. Glamor Girl
Some of her most famous modeling work during her time include glamor appearances in Picture Show, People Today, Photo; and Modern Man. She also worked as a fashion model, and in 1954 posed for Christian Dior.
With her stunning good looks and curvy figure, there’s no doubt that she’ll become an instant favorite of photographers and advertisers.
15. Pageant Girl
Aside from modeling, she also joined several pageants. She won numerous New York area beauty contests in the early 1950s, most famously “Miss Television”. She amazingly won 50 beauty pageant titles before the age of 20.
With her win, she appeared in TV Guide, as well as on the widely seen programs of Steve Allen, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason and others. Her fame had grown so much by 18 years old that when she left New York and returned to California – this time to Hollywood – her takeoff was noted in the celebrity column of Walter Winchell.
Back on the West Coast, Betty Brosmer continued as a busy freelance fashion and commercial model, while continuing her education at the same time. She majored in psychology at UCLA.
She also had a lucrative contract with the glamor photographer Keith Bernard, and she worked steadily with him for the rest of the decade. For Bernard, a well-established photographer who had worked with Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, Betty proved to be the top-selling pin-up model of his career.
13. Highest Paid Model
Betty Brosmer’s publication work during the late 1950s includes appearances in the cover of Modern Man, Photoplay, and Rogue. During this time, Betty was said to be the highest paid pin-up model in the United States. She was seen in “virtually every men’s magazine of the era”.
12. No to Nude Posing
Playboy magazine chased Betty for an exclusive pictorial, and a photo shoot was set up in Beverly Hills. However, the resulting photos were rejected after she refused to do any nude posing: “I wore sort of a half-bra or low demi-bra with nothing showing … and that’s what I thought they wanted.”
11. Future Family
Playboy threatened a lawsuit over the said breach of contract but ultimately let go of the case. The photos were then sold to Escapade magazine and published in its anthology issue Escapade’s Choicest #3.
Betty Brosmer never did any nude or semi-nude modeling throughout her long and successful career, as she explained later in life, “I didn’t think it was immoral, but I just didn’t want to cause problems for others … I thought it would embarrass my future husband and my family”.
10. Future Husband
That future husband would turn out to be champion bodybuilder and magazine publisher Joe Weider. He first knew of Betty through his contact with Keith Bernard for fitness models.
Betty Brosmer’s first photos for a Weider magazine appeared as a four-page layout in Figure & Beauty in December 1956. After that, Weider regularly desired her work among Bernard’s submissions. She was known to be his favorite model and he requested her more and more frequently after their first face-to-face meeting in 1959.
9. Work and Love
Betty and Joe grew close due to their mutual professional and personal interests in fitness and psychology. Not to mention that Joe was completely smitten with Betty. They eventually got married on April 24, 1961.
Their marriage was Joe Weider’s second, and he had one daughter from his previous wife. While this is Betty’s first. He and Betty had no children together but their marriage lasted over fifty years, until Joe death in 2013 at the age of 93.
8. Goodbye Pin Up Model
After her marriage, Betty stopped posing as a pin-up model. That’s how much she valued her marriage. But she continued to be frequently photographed. For many years she was seen regularly in Weider publications in helping advertise a wide range of fitness products. She remained a highly visible presence among the various magazines and was continuously included in their editorial photo work as well.
7. Fitness Magazines
Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, she appeared in many pictorial layouts, and also often on the covers of Weider titles like Jem, Vigor, and Muscle Builder. Her later cover appearances were sometimes paired with other prominent bodybuilders of the day like Frank Zane, Mike Mentzer, and Robby Robinson; her final cover shot was on Muscle and Fitness in May 1988, with Larry Scott.
6. Fitness Writer
Under her marital name Betty Weider, she worked as a regular contributing writer for Muscle and Fitness for over three decades. As her writing style developed, she focused on her own monthly M&F columns, “Body by Betty” and “Health by Betty”. She also worked as associate editor for the female-oriented Weider magazine, Shape.
With her husband, she authored two book-length fitness guides, The Weider Book of Bodybuilding for Women and The Weider Body Book. With Dr. Joyce Vedral, she designed an all-age workout regimen for women, published in 1993 as Better and Better.
5. Charity Work
In 2004, Betty and Joe donated $1 million to the University of Texas at Austin to support the physical culture collection of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports.
The gift was key to the Stark Center’s establishment of a permanent exhibition space, now known as the Joe and Betty Weider Museum of Physical Culture. The museum holds hundreds of items in its 10,000 square foot gallery space and was opened to the public in August 2011.
4. Vital Statistics
Betty Brosmer may be one of the most famous models you’ve never heard of. A curvy blonde with an impossibly small waist. Her body measurements are 38-18-36. Her gorgeous face and womanly figure made her an instant favorite. She’s a vision to look at and you’ll never get tired of staring at her.
3. Pop Culture
In The Dirty Dozen, pin-ups of Brosmer can be seen on the walls of the MP barracks. Posters of her are also seen hanging on gym walls in the documentary Pumping Iron, and she makes a walk-on appearance as an audience member at a bodybuilding competition in Pumping Iron II: The Women.
Her pin-up photos is considered to be timeless. Just like Marilyn Monroe. Only her impossibly small waist is impossible for average women to achieve.
2. Classic Beauty
Betty’s classic beauty put her on over 300 magazine covers and books and had the greatest hourglass figure of all time. She was in thousands of magazine spreads.
Her face appeared on full-page ads in Life, Time, Fortune, Look, Saturday Evening Post and other leading magazines of her day.
Betty Brosmer was the ultimate Calendar Girl and appeared on hundreds of calendars.
She was also on numerous music album covers, on billboards in Times Square and billboards across the country. She even had life-size cutouts in retail stores selling Kodak film, Thom McAn shoes, and other products.
1. First Super Model
Betty was the first model to receive residual pay every time her picture was published and was one of the first models to own the rights to many of her negatives and photos.
She was the highest paid model of her time. Betty Brosmer was the first true Super Model.
Every time you see a green tree hanging in an auto windshield, think of Betty. It was her vibrant smile on display cards that started that trend and made these tree air fresheners famous throughout the world which are still sold today.
Betty Brosmer is a classic beauty who proved that you can be attractive without going nude. She showed some of her assets without giving away too much. And she proved her love and respect for her husband by ending her pin-up modeling career when she got married.
Although they didn’t have any children, their marriage was one that stood the test of time. Betty wasn’t only all about looks, she was also a woman of substance.