In the 1950s, a time when the use of plastic surgery was purely for medical reasons and it had not been perfected to sculpt perfect hourglass body shapes, models like Betty Brosmer, who were blessed naturally and had put in blood and sweat in the gym to get their perfect bodies, were the most sort after and successful people in the business.
Join us as we take a look at the life and career of this bodybuilder and fitness expert, who is said to be the first model to have rights on all her photos, getting a percentage every time her photo was published in adverts, trade catalogs, milk cartons, and roadside billboards.
Betty Brosmer’s Biography
On the 2nd of August, 1935, in the Los Angeles County city of Pasadena, California, Betty Brosmer was born to her parents; Andy and Vendla Brosmer. Her parents raised her in the city of Carmel, Monterey County, until around the age of 10 when they moved back to Los Angeles.
From a very young age, Brosmer became interested in bodybuilding and weight training, which she began to get involved with in her early teens. Her toned body and figure, matched with her natural beauty meant that she was able to find herself in a Sears catalog publication at just the age of 13. At 14, her photo was sold for commercial advertising, as she appeared in magazines throughout the country, further raising her profile in the modeling and advertising world.
With the encouragement of her family, specifically her aunt, Betty Brosmer moved to New York in 1950. She was enrolled at George Washington High School in Manhattan and began her career as a commercial and fashion model, gracing the covers of much popular romance, crime, and pulp magazines, before getting to pose for Christian Dior. She also participated in a number of beauty contests in the New York area which she won.
After completing high school, at the age of 18, Brosmer returned to California, where she continued her fashion and commercial modeling work, appearing on the covers of magazines like Modern Man, Photoplay, and Rogue, among others. During this time, she chose to further her education by enrolling at the University of California, Los Angeles, to study Psychology.
Not much is known about Betty Brosmer’s parents; Andy and Vendla Brosmer. It has been reported that while growing up, Brosmer was somewhat of a tomboy, due to her very close relationship with her father who was a huge sports fan. This relationship was what was responsible for her huge interest in sports and fitness.
Who is Betty Brosmer’s Spouse?
On the 24th of April, 1961, Betty Brosmer married Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur, Joe Weider. The pair had met a few years earlier after Brosmer first appeared in Weider’s magazine in 1956. It is said that Weider was very impressed with Brosmer’s work, that he kept on requesting to work with her, often describing her as his favorite model. The two later grew close with one another, as they bonded over their mutual interests that surrounded fitness and psychology.
During this time, Weider was married to his first wife, Hedwiges Uzar. The two went on to get a divorce in 1960, after having a child, a daughter named Lydia Ross, which gave room for Brosmer and Weider to tie the knot. Together, the new couple, who were now regarded as the first couple of bodybuilding, began working side by side each other, authoring books on bodybuilding; The Weider Book of Bodybuilding for Women (1981) and The Weider Body Book (1984), and then playing significant roles in making the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) what it is today.
Brosmer and Weider did not have any children of their own, but remained together for more than 50 years, until Weider’s death on the 23rd of March, 2013, at the age of 93.
Betty Brosmer was famously known for her very small waist size, which earned her the nickname “girl with the impossible waist”. Her large natural breasts and wide hips further added to what made her arguably the most popular commercial pin-up model in the 50s.
According to multiple sources, her exact body measurements during the peak of her career were 37-18-36 inches (94-46-91 cm). She was said to weigh around 45 kg (99 lbs) and stood at 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm).
Where is She Now?
Following the death of her husband in 2013, Betty Brosmer has maintained a low profile, although she has from time to time been spotted at a few public events. In 2014, she was present at her induction into the International Sports Hall of Fame. On the 4th of June, 2016, she was spotted alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger at the official opening ceremony for the Backbone Trail at Will Rogers State Park. In 2017, she was present to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Arnold Classic.