Monday, December 31, 2012

Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren "Betty" Ford

Betty Ford dancing on cabinet table on
her last full day as first lady. Jan. 19, 1977
(photo credit: tumblr)

Second in our line-up of women we love is the venerable Betty Ford.  We admire her so much that we designed a Tee in her honor… BFF = Betty Ford Forever!

Born April 8, 1918 in Chicago, at the height of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, Elizabeth Ann Bloomer, would go on to become a role model as First Lady of the United States.  She gained fame for her candor as she commented on every controversial issue of the time, including feminism, equal pay, and the Equal Rights Amendment, not to mention topics that are still hot today – sex, drugs, abortion and gun control.  In 1975, Time magazine named her a Woman of the Year along with other feminist icons of that era.

Only weeks into her job as First Lady, Ford underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer.  Forthright to the core, she brought breast cancer out into the open and raised public awareness of the disease causing what became known as the “Betty Ford blip,” i.e. an increase in reported cases of breast cancer because women were now self-examining.

A bon vivant, she was known to dance the “Bump” along the corridors of the White House, wear a “mood ring,” and chat on CB radio with the handle “First Mama.”   It perhaps, then, came as no surprise when her family staged an intervention and forced her to confront her alcoholism and addiction to opioid painkillers.  She is quoted as saying, “My make-up wasn’t smeared, I wasn’t disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?”

After her recovery, she established the Betty Ford Center, aka Hollywood’s Recovery Oasis, in Rancho Mirage, California, where other SRBs -- Elizabeth Taylor, Mary Tyler Moor and Stevie Nicks, to name but a few -- have since enjoyed recovery.

Betty died of natural causes on July 8, 2011, at the age of 93.

Why we love her?  A woman before her time, she spoke up for pro-choice, gun control and equal rights; issues that rage on today.  She was brave, brave, brave… and a survivor!  After leaving public office, she could have rest on her laurels, but did not.  She is credited with rejuvenating the ERA movement and, in 2004, reaffirmed her pro-choice stance and her support for the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  That makes her a Champion!

We salute you Betty Ford.
This January 2013  we salute Betty Ford for inspiring us in many ways, including our adorable and sexy BFF: Betty Ford Forever slogan. We can’t provide you with a gift certificate to her facility, but generously offering  20% OFF  tanks and tees this entire month. Offer ends January 31, 2013.