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Vintage Guide for Strip-teasers: Bettie Page Illustrates What Strippers Are Allowed To Show By State

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In the 1950s, striptease artistes were confused: what could they show legally in each US State? For its second issue, of December 1953, Chicago-based Carnival magazine hired Bettie Page to demonstrate the various legal constraints on stripping in different states.

The cover model is Lilly Christine, aka The Cat Girl. The photographer is Nick de Morgoli, as seen in the less salubrious Vogue and LIFE magazines.


Carnival magazine 1953

Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


…In Kansas.

You’ve got to be covered from thigh to shoulders, but you don’t have to use a horse blanket. To strippers, knowledge of local ordinances is vital.


Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


…In California

California is where little girls go to be big movie stars. Some of them wind up in strip alley, where they can remove everything but bra and panties. The Breen Office doesn’t care.


Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


…In New York

Who’s mayor counts a lot. In ’41 bumps had to be sideways, and the girls could uncover only one breast for eight bars of music. Now the girls might as well stay home, which is where many patrons are.


Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


…In Illionois

Illinois means Chicago, and Chicago means let ‘er rip. Limit in Chicago depends on the club owners’ discretion. Chicago club owners’ are hardly noted for discretion. Generally speaking, strippers find that climate of opinion, rather than local ordinances set the tone. In most cases strip laws forbid indecent exposure. Definition of indecency will depend on police chiefs.


Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


…In Texas

Texans are not notably fastidious about their dress, but they want their daughters to cover at least six inches around the hips. Visiting girls are encouraged to maintain the same lively standards.


Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


I…n Florida.

Coverage must resemble bra and panties whenever possible. What happens in the heat of summer is fun, too.


Striptease guide 1953 Bettie Page


…In Lousiana

New Orleans is noted for its gay French market, and its Old World charm. It is also noted for what you can see on stage, which has a kind of charm, too. No further comments is needed, or forthcoming.


Via: Pulp International, True Burlesque



  • Dave Handerson

    I’m pretty sure that’s not Bettie Page…