Having her Cheesecake and Eating It: Performance, Professionalism and the Politics of the Gaze in the Pin-Up Self-Portraiture and Celebrity of Bunny Yeager
Bunny Yeager was a pin-up model and photographer/instructor who appeared on TV and in exploitation films, whilst creating pin-ups and ‘art’ nudes for Playboy, coffee table books, and ‘how-to’ publications. She is currently experiencing a revival as part of a subcultural vogue for 1950s/60s Americana. In her images she was often subject and photographer and her self-reflexive pin-ups engage with issues of authorship, control and the sexualised gaze. This paper will examine Yeager’s portraiture, instructive writing, her representation in Bunny Yeager’s Nude Camera (1963) and the way she positioned herself when discussing her work, to demonstrate how she embodied a mode of professional and sexual agency that engaged with broader, progressive ideas pertaining to women’s labour and identity circulating in 1960s America as part of feminism’s second wave.
Citation : Wright, E, (2016) Having her Cheesecake and Eating It: Performance, Professionalism and the Politics of the Gaze in the Pin-Up Self-Portraiture and Celebrity of Bunny Yeager. Feminist Media Histories, 2 (4), pp. 116-142
Research Group : Cinema and Television History Research Centre
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester Media School