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Betty Boop and the…First Woman Animator!

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An article from a 1936 Paramount promotional booklet for Popeye

It’s no coincidence that in 1933 Max Fleischer, the man who created the “liberated” Betty Boop, was also the person who hired the FIRST female animator. Max was often ahead of his time!

Although hiring a woman animator may not seem like a big deal now, it was a huge deal in the 1930s.  Studios only hired women in more lowly roles such as “inker” or “opaquer.”  If talented and very lucky, a woman might advance to the position of “inbetweener,” but never…NEVER as an animator. Continue reading

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Betty Boop’s Famous…. Garter

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Max and me in Miami, Florida
Circa 1940. Collection: V. Mahoney

MAX and Me
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by Ginny Mahoney
Granddaughter of Betty Boop’s creator, Max Fleischer

Betty came to life in 1930 when women, having won the right to vote just a decade earlier, were finally liberating themselves from tight, uncomfortable undergarments like girdles with attached metal clasps that held their stockings up.  For the modern, more liberated woman of the 1930s, “garter belts” and “roll garters” offered a newfound sense of freedom and liberation.  Not only did they secure a lady’s stockings without the use of awkward, pinching metal clips, they freed women entirely from the restriction and discomfort of girdles! Betty’s garter wasn’t just a fashion statement; it was one of the symbols of her status as a modern, liberated woman. For more conservative elders, the image of young women dancing with flashes of a garter belt showing represented everything scandalous and provocative about the fashions of day, making the placement of the garter belt as much a statement about a woman’s status as the wearing of it.

The Story of Betty’s Famous Garter… Continue reading

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