Heroes of Naturism: Naked and confident: Dorothy Ellen Partington

Often, when considering nude models of bygone eras, there’s a handful of names that turn up, such as Josephine Baker and Betty Page.

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Josephine Baker

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Bettie Page

Back in the 1940s, when Betty Page was in her hey-day, it would have been a little more risqué to appear fully nude than it is now, but she certainly helped define an era and a style that still looks coolly sexy, never spilling over into tacky, tasteless porn -which appears to have been around back then in a more innocent era, as ‘hardcore’ as it is now, if some of the photos of the period are to be believed.

While we might define that late 40s and early 50s period as belonging to Bettie Page, I’m going to throw another name into the mix as a model of nude, natural classiness.

Dorothy Ellen Partington. I’ve found a small biography, but it’s in French.

While she appeared in films, she hasn’t had the same recognition for her work as Page (or Baker, in another era and different field of production).

Born in 1922, in Staten Island, Dorothy Ellen Partington oozes the same classy sexuality and confidence in her nudity as Bettie Page did, and it’s a shame he hasn’t been recognised more fully for her modelling work. These photos have it all, that sassy sexuality, high heels, gloves, stockings, a pearl necklace, even a colouring to the photo that seems time-locked yet timeless.

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She died in 2011, but perhaps it’s time to recognise a terrific model who pushed forward the boundaries of what constituted 1950s nude modelling and photography.

In traditional SLN2 style, we asked our model Abbey, with the aid of Harry, to do a little ‘SL replicates RL’ photo session, and the results are below.

nb: there’s no evidence that Dorothy Partington was naturist, but at a time when naturist magazines were routinely airbrushing pubic hair and genitalia (even male naturists seemed to develop a little posing pouch in many photos), it would have been photos like these, the ‘porn’ of their day but now very much artistic and glamour shots, that might have pushed the naturist press forward. That’s why we’ve decided to adorn her with our ‘Heroes of Naturism’ accolade.

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Ella

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