a bullet bra and an homage to Bettie

When I first learned that Bettie Page became a born-again Christian later in life, I had an idea for some pin-up photos.  When I met photographers I told them how I wanted to do guerrilla style pin up photography in churches.   Sneaking in and getting shots kneeling at pews, leaning over altars in pin-up lingerie… no one was up for the task.   And it’s probably for the best too, as I’m sure the adrenaline would’ve been too much and would’ve resulted in the most awkward pictures imaginable.  Plus, as “offensive” as these photos would be, it was not my sole intent to completely offend or blaspheme the church.  Luckily, I didn’t have to desecrate a holy place with my impiety!  My friend, the talented artist Leslie Winchester, heard my idea and was up for the task.  She made this piece for a class project in digital art.  It came out better than I imagined.

pinup art
art by Leslie Winchester, concept and modeled by me

Leslie posted this art on Facebook right around the time when all that drama with the Catholic Church trying to control women’s reproductive health was going on, which really gave new meaning to the picture.   It also could be seen as a portrait, as someone who was raised in the Catholic Church and grew up with sexual repression that resulted in me obsessively talking about sex on stages for years.  Damn it, Catholicism!   I would’ve had cleaner jokes and would’ve been on TV by now if I wasn’t raised Catholic!  Oh well, I wouldn’t be who I am today, either.  And I’m slowly working on the clean jokes, folks.

I have a little vintage lingerie collection that I’ve been meaning to share on here.  In the photo I’m wearing my favorite 50s bullet bra – circle stitch sheer black mesh with white lace inlay over the center.  I got it off ebay years ago.   Searching for vintage bras in my size is one of those constant things I search for on the ol’ net.






  1. Jan

    <3 <3 <3


    Is that you in the first pic??? Stunning, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  3. Mary Van Note

    Thanks! Yup that’s me. The pic was taken last year probably when I had shorter hair.

  4. Zoë Winters

    Oh Miss Mary Van Note you are lovely! What a great concept! When I was studying photography at uni I did a still life project about Bettie, being a naughty pin-up and dealing with religion! I had shingles at the time so did it from my sick bed! Plus it was in 2nd year or something so it’s not a masterpiece or anything but this made me smile! Ah, the memories! I love you and your wee blog! 🙂 Zoë x

  5. Hannah

    Stunning! you look amazing, such a fantastic concept, love Bettie xxx

  6. Miss Tallulah Porkchop

    I would be stoked if I had a photo like that of myself. You look SO HOT! The bra is heaven.