Thursday, July 24, 2014

BYGONE ERAS: Hidden History and a Look at Bunny Yeager

As it is with most bloggers and video bloggers, my posts come from my own views and observations of the world, along with things I've come to learn along the way. My Night Terrors and Bygone Eras blogposts started as a way of me sharing my research, theories, and some interesting findings I made while writing The Birthrite Series. The fire for the Bygone Eras series was lit when I got really tired of seeing otherwise very intelligent people accepting what was being said to them by the mainstream media. A couple also tried saying my characters weren't believable because they supposedly weren't 'true to their eras' (the 1800s and 1930s). In my story, a of my female characters were intelligent, had a love for reading, and boyfriends who were actually supportive even if they (the boyfriends) did struggle a little with subscribing to the traditional male/female roles.

I'm not going to reiterate my entire rebuttal in this post. If you want to see that, visit these previous blog posts:

This is the very first Bygone Eras Series post if you want to read what I have to say on such statements.

I got tired of all the demonization without acknowledgement. It sometimes seems that unless you are only pointing out the negative, people tend to tune you out. Instead of taking comfort in the fact that there were those - men and women - who made waves against the agenda of the powers that be, they just want to reiterate the same tired stereotypes (yes, stereotypes) pushed by our media.
It also seems that there is alot of hidden history. Why is that?
Recently, I came across a college student who referred to herself as a feminist. While I did not take issue with that, I was a little thrown off when she obviously had no idea who women like Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart were. Really??
Now I can hear some out there saying "Oh, but she's young...she can't be expected to know all that yet." I can understand not knowing every last historical figure. Hell, I'm still coming to know several myself. But I was being taught of Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart by fifth grade. And college-aged is not THAT young to where such ignorance should be excused. But at the same, she can't really be blamed. Obviously, somebody failed her somewhere. I do believe in personal responsibility and in people taking the time to look things up for themselves. But unless they are taught the basics on where to look and who to look for, how is someone to know?
This also begs the question of WHY is there so much hidden history? Why are we only shown small portions of what went down before our time? There are so many accounts of events that one really does need to read it from different angles and perspectives in order really gauge a realistic view of what happened.

Since we are on the subjects of Women's History, let's look at a short posting I made not too long ago regarding women in comics, cartoons, and illustrations. How many knew that the first known female cartoonist in America was selling her work at around the turn of the 20th century?

For more on this history, here's the link to the article: Women in Comics: The Platinum and the Golden Ages

And here is another (which includes the woman I'm featuring today and women I may do a post about in the future): 
Hidden History: Female Pinup Artists

And my own blogpost that sort of touches on this subject: "Mixed Messages and Our Media" or "Check Yourself Before Pointing Fingers"

Recently, pinup model and photographer, Bunny Yeager passed away at the age of 85:

 LA Times Article on Ms. Yeager's life and death at 85

Even perusing articles that tributed her life, it amazed me how few there were paying their respects or sharing these articles (at least in the ones I saw). Again I ask: why are we not giving these women and men the respect and credit they deserve?



For my tribute, I will being by saying that I first heard of Bunny Yeager when I decided to look more into the life of Bettie Page (who I absolutely adore). I discovered more about the photographers who had worked with Ms. Page, and Ms. Yeager was among them. In fact, Bunny Yeager was someone who worked with not only Page, but other models in pinup and erotica throughout the 1950s.
She was born Linnea Eleanor Yeager in Wilkinsburg, PA on March 13, 1929. Her interest in photography was born at a young age. According to the LA Times article, she started practicing in her teens with her friends posing in a variety of poses that were on the erotic side, but nudity was never involved, as there would not be anywhere she would be able to develop them. Soon after moving to Miami, she broke into the modeling industry and became one of the most photographed models in the state.
In the early 1950s, she retired in favor of working behind the camera and attended a photography school. In 1954, she met Bettie Page, and the two worked together frequently, including shooting the Playboy spread that made Page famous (the infamous nude Santa).
Yeager had a way of photographing eroticism, making it beautiful and artful. She was among many driven and accomplished women of the era, making a living in a trade considered rather taboo. Sure, there were those who looked down on what she did, calling it pornography and/or smut, but there were also those who appreciated what she did and still do so today. She made a living in what was considered a 'man's industry' and still, in a way, is. She took what was already being done and creating her own style that made her stand out from her counterparts.

Bunny Yeager is one of many amazing women who should be remembered for the person she was and her accomplishments. She should not be hidden in history. She is one of many who should always be given props.

I future Bygone Eras installments, I will be spotlighting women and men who made waves against the powers that be. I will also be continuing to address the various strawman arguments. My intention in everything I do is not to tell people what to think, but simply give people something to think about. Maybe do a little research of their own. Research that may be a little more outside the box.





Bunny Yeager Official Website
Link to an Interview with Bunny Yeager





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My stories, "The Cemetery by the Lake" and "Dusk to Dawn" are available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK. More retailers will follow, but Smashwords is pretty compatible with most e-reader and PC formats.
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