"Bunny Yeager's Beautiful Backsides" Book Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Published by Schiffer Books
Photographs by Bunny Yeager
2012, 144 pages, Photography
Released on February 28th, 2012
I love the female body. Love it. If asked to pick between being an ass man or a breast man, it really is a tough choice, but if backed into a corner, I'd probably lean toward the derrière . Maybe it's less likely I will get caught surreptitiously checking out the posterior of lady walking in front of me, or maybe I just like it a little more. It's probably the former, but what the hell do I know. Either way, I was extremely pleased to find Bunny Yeager's Beautiful Backsides in my mailbox, waiting for review. 144 pages containing over 200 pictures of ladies' backsides? This book gets five stars off the bat.
Born in 1930, Bunny Yeager started her career as a model (where she was one of the most sought after in Miami). In the '50s, she made the transition from in front of the lens to behind it and thus began a new career as a pin-up photographer.
In 1954, she photographed the then relatively unknown Bettie Page, in turn playing a key role in Page's fame as one of the most popular pin-up girls to this day. Not just skilled in photography, Yeager also designed two-piece bathing suits for models to wear. Remember, this was a time where a one-piece was the norm and Yeager wanted something to make her models stand out.
Beautiful Backsides is an awesome collection of women in various poses, all showing off what the title promises. The (tiny) mature and responsible part of me demands that I speak of the artistic aspect of this book. Sure, these ladies may be doing some ridiculous things naked, such as climbing the rocks at a random beach, or assuming the arrest pose on the side of their house, but there's an innocence to it all that is appealing.
When I was a kid, we used to go to my grandparents (as families do, I suspect) and the first thing I would do upon arrival is run down to my pap's workshop. The primary reason would be to see him, of course, but the secondary would be to look at the pictures on the walls. He was a pin-up fan, and always had a few pictures of ladies picnicking or combing the beach for seashells, all with a lack of clothes...maybe a big hat to block the sun. It took me years into puberty to figure out what exactly I liked about those pictures, more so than what I saw in the Playboys that I swiped from under my parents' bed, and that was the women were so natural. I mean, yeah, they might be doing some silly things without clothes on — like doing a yoga pose on the bed completely nude — but they weren't airbrushed or slathered with makeup. There was a whole innocence to them.
And that's what's so wonderful about Beautiful Backsides, the innocence of it all. The majority of the women found in its pages are the girl next door you could know. More Mary Ann than Ginger. Plus, in addition to being natural (meaning no photoshop here), they are women. They are curvy and beautiful and silicone free. And it's all fantastic.
While I stated at the beginning of this review that it got five stars off the bat (and it did), if there's one frustrating thing about the book is it's just photographs, and nothing else. Well, there is a brief introduction telling a little about Bunny Yeager, but the pictures themselves have no notations. No name of the model, no year it was taken, no location. Don't get me wrong that's not a big deal when it comes to looking at pictures of beautiful women, but at least the names of the models and the year of the picture would have been nice, for curiosity's sake. That actually hurts it some, because I would have loved to know at least a little about the models in the photographs.
However, at the end of the day, it's still a book that a guy can have in his bookshelves without raising questionable eyebrows. It is an artistic look at the women of yesteryear, after all. If you dig those pin-up ladies of the '50s through the '70s, this is one to pick up.