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Breakthrough, August 1976
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Breakthrough, August 1976 - Page 8. August 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3208/show/3195.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(August 1976). Breakthrough, August 1976 - Page 8. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3208/show/3195

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Breakthrough, August 1976 - Page 8, August 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3208/show/3195.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Breakthrough, August 1976
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date August 1976
Description Vol. 1 No. 7
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • Periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 20 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 8
File name femin_201109_519h.jpg
Transcript Cover model talks to feminists By Marsha Recknagel The "best li'l ole honey in Texas,"* Brenda Davis, has discovered that life in the Houston ad world is not always sugar and spice. Speaking with a h'vely animation that comes from her years of teaching deaf children, Davis, 25, who has appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly on three occasions,* talks about her modeling career. "I have learned that not everyone is sincere and trustworthy," explains Davis, who found that out the hard way. When she first started modeling, a photographer took stock photos (similar to test shots) of her. A year later her pictures began to appear on the covers of national confessional magazines. One of the cover photos was headlined "I'm pregnant with my brother's baby-and the worst is yet to come." She sued the photographer who sold her photos (for $100 each without her permission) to these magazines. More recently she posed for a health spa ad which appeared in both daily papers over the past months. She had agreed to the ad but not to the bold headline on a profile figure of herself which read, "I want your body. And, I want it now." Davis could not believe that the Post and Chronicle would even run "such* tasteless ads." She protested by having her female attorney write a strong letter of warning to the health spa owner. "I see why feminists were repulsed. I was repulsed," says Davis, who is beginning to realize that feminists have been offended by much of her modeling work. For two years she has been the calendar girl for a local utility ad, which resembles the WWII pin-up calendars, with Davis pictured seductively over the ad's appeal to call "the Cutest Little Number in Town."* This is actually the number to call for information on the location of underground power lines before any construction begins. "At first I was scared to show the calendar to my parents, especially my father," grins Davis, who says that now her parents have the utility calendar hanging on their wall. And even her grandparents have it on their wall in Louisiana. "I want it understood," she says "that I feel the calendar is an excellent piece of work-done with class. And, I will continue to do it if asked." Thumbing through her portfolio, Davis muses over her various modeling jobs. "They (feminists) would probably not like these," smiles the brown- eyed woman, referring to the photographs that range from cheesecake to sophisticated evening wear shots, from jewelry and the sleek high fashion look to lolling in a bathtub with few bubbles, to the mother role ads, depicting Davis, with her hair pulled back and high-necked dresses stirring soup with photogenic hands. Does she see herself as a sex object? Thinking for a second, she replies, "No, I have just never really thought about it before. I lived at home through college. Then dated for two years and got married." "I want to tell feminists that this is my job, it is hard work and I take pride in it." But the women's movement has helped boost her confidence, claims Davis, who believes the movement has given her courage in her career. Maybe an ironic viewpoint from the woman whose picture on July's Texas Monthly greets you from the newsstand with a sexy, c'mon stare. "I want feminists to understand that my Texas Monthly work has helped my career, not hindered it-and I want to do more covers." She also has a desire to use her past work as a springboard to radio and television. She laughs, recalling a beauty pageant she entered five years ago in Beaumont, Texas, to win a college scholarship. She did a pantomime act and then faced the judges for the two big questions, one funny and one serious. She answered the humorous one and had the people laughing. "Great! That went well," thought Davis. Then the judges asked her what she thought of the feminist movement. Feminist movement? She had no idea what that meant and while she struggled with a response, she saw her boyfriend, now her husband, squirming down in his seat. To the astonishment of the audience she replied, "Well, I like looking feminine. Dressing up. Being lady-like." She found out later she had blown it! But that was years ago and she now knows who feminists are and refers to them as the elusive "they" who criticize her work and take offense at some of her photographic poses. "I want to tell the feminists that this is my job, it is hard work and I take pride in it. I am professional," emphasizes Davis, whose usually high voice lowers to a sterner tone at this. "But in the last few months I have become more aware," she explains. "I watch the television commercials, seeing the women happily scrubbing floors. I could never do that." Yet asked if she would portray the stereotypical housewife in commercials, there is no hesitation. "Of course. If I could get national coverage. That's a lot of money," replies Davis, who put herself through college working as a Sears clerk. Like other experienced and professional models, Davis raises her fee (per hour rate) in hopes of sifting out "sleazy" ads from "classy" ads. As a professional model she wants to be taken seriously. She carefully checks out all aspects of each assignment before she agrees to model. And ;he has learned to say 'no.' She is amazed at the long way she has come from the sheltered girl who arrived in Houston with a new husband and a degree in speech and hearing therapy a few years ago. There is a feeling that comes from talking with Davis that she has come a long way. In the confessional magazines and health spa ad she felt exploited. For the first time she could identify with feminists. And she took it upon herself to warn other models about the photographers and ads. "I wanted to tSilk to Breakthrough," says Davis, "because I don't think they will rip me to shreds as I feel the ad did." As I leave, Davis leaves me with a parting word. "I never meant to offend anyone with my work," she said, "and my husband, who is in real estate, hires women. Tell them he even hires women painters," she adds as an afterthought. *Texas Monthly cover (July 1976). Davis appears with the TM editor who says "Hi! I'm Richard West with the best li'l ole honey in Texas..." He is sitting and holds up a jar of honey. She is standing and holds onto his knee... *ln addition to TM, July 1976, Davis was one of the three stewardesses on the December 1975 cover (see Dead Pans, Breakthrough, January 1976) and she posed for an illustration of a waitress on the May 1976 cover (see Pats & Pans, Breakthrough, May 1976). *See Dead Pans, Breakthrough, April 1976. 8 FIRST LADY I KLkJb CO. HOOVER & EUREKA Sales and Service Open 'till 8 pm DEBRA& DON ALLEN 713/666-1773 6605 Kirby Drive Houston, Texas 77005 Studio of Flowed Dried o*ct S^ Flowery Hrrangemen"V-s £ 'Supplies* 4Z35SAHFEUPE £Z3-W3 billie boyett gollnick the SCHOOL YOGA 517 lovett For information on V r\rLh classes call now 522-8938