Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Noses and Profiles

I have been thinking about beautiful noses a lot lately because of my own not so beautiful nose. Honestly, I know very few people who like their noses. I also know very few people whose noses I like. Movie stars, however, being blessed creatures, have generally perfect noses and even better profiles. Observe the following pictures (of actresses mostly--men have more leeway with what could be considered an attractive nose). Then, with a hand mirror and a hanging one, take a look at your own profile. That is the only way you can really see it (besides a camera) and if you haven't done so before, chances are you will be alarmed. I was.

Grace Kelly

Not fair, is it? Peter Lamas once remarked that Grace looked just as beautiful from the side as she did from the front. He was right.

Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra

The fact that Ava's dinner partner (and husband) is Frank Sinatra immediately excludes this one from the "fair" category.

Natalie Wood

Too bad the things I would do for that face aren't legal.

Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly

Perfect, perfect, perfect! Darn them.

Audrey Hepburn

Apparently, Audrey Hepburn was insecure about her nose, but it was pretty good relatively. A bump shows up in some pictures, but it never detracted from the way she looked.

Vivien Leigh

Too bad the only thing that wasn't perfect about this lady was her life.

Sarah of Cinema Splendor did a post about profiles once too so you might want to check that out as well.

Last of all, not a profile, but is this beautiful or what?

Monday, March 23, 2009


Recently, it occured to me how often people I know deliberately or indirectly insult classic movies. Sometimes they do it just to irritate me--because sadly it is very, very effective. Here are some examples of said insults:

On Fred Astaire: "Why do you want to watch that sissy tap dancer? Imagine his kids...'Oh, my father dances for a living'...[mumbling]...useless job...[more mumbling]..."

(That one was paraphrased slightly because it has taken place over the course of several years.)

On Marilyn Monroe: "People like her? Why?"

On Frank Sinatra: "At least I don't like some sissy tap dancer. [accompanied by a snobbish expression]"

(It seems my family has something against male dancers. Although not quoted here, my mother also frequently remarks on how old Fred Astaire always looks.)

"Frank Sinatra? He was part of the mafia, you know. [I protest] Aw, come on, he was Italian!"

"I think I'm prettier than Grace Kelly." (That does certainly count as an insult.)

On Rita Hayworth: "She can't dance."

On the Put the Blame on Mame number from Gilda: "I don't like the song or the dance. They're stupid."

And the absolute worst; I think it absolutely takes the cake as the most outrageous, insulting thing anyone has ever said to me about a classic movie star:

On Grace Kelly: "She looks like Paris Hilton."

Friday, March 20, 2009

"She's prettier than me!"

If you read quotes attributed to classic actresses lauded as great beauties, you will often come across a strange pattern. They deny their own beauty and lavishly praise someone else. Even in a couple cases, people wish they looked like each other. See the following quotes and anecdotes.

In her autobiography, Ava Gardner called Katharine Hepburn, Lena Horne, and Greta Garbo "perfect beauties". In Lee Server's book, "Love is Nothing" she is recorded having looked at pictures of herself and saying she had hoped she looked as nice as people were saying, but, sadly, she was nothing special after all.

Elizabeth Taylor: "I don't think I am a beautiful woman. Ava Gardner is. I think Audrey Hepburn is. But the way I look is all right with me."

Audrey Hepburn said that when she was younger, she wanted to look like a cross between Elizabeth Taylor and Ingrid Bergman. She also denied being glamourous, giving Gardner as an example of a glamourous woman. And how ugly Hepburn though herself to be sometimes is well documented.

Even Marilyn Monroe said she was "pretty, but...not beautiful." And Ava Gardner and Vivien Leigh ran into each other once in England and spent about five minutes telling the other how much prettier she was than themself. The list could go on and on, including how Natalie Wood thought her face was fat and Marlene Dietrich wished she could be as mysterious as Greta Garbo.

Moral: If you think you are beautiful, for goodness's sake, keep your mouth shut! The most beautiful women in the world probably would have been barely attractive if they had known it themselves.

There are, however, a few notable exceptions. Lana Turner was far from insecure, and Gene Tierney didn't exactly think herself ugly. But, as in Gene Tierney's case, if vanity keeps you from jumping out of a window and killing yourself, please disregard previous advice.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grace Kelly: The Style Icon, Part I

Since I just realized I had three followers, I feel compelled to start blogging regularly now before I tend to things like layout and pictures. So this will be the first "real" post.

Among the numerous fashionably dressed women in Hollywood, Grace Kelly was one of the ones that really stood out. You can't get much more elegant than Grace. She was like Audrey Hepburn in the sense that she knew exactly what looked good on her own person, paired with her own personality. Things that looked classy on Grace would have looked average on other people and very often did. Her are some pictures and descriptions of different parts of her style and appearance.

She wore her hair this way or in a very similar fashion for most of her life. Since she had a square shaped face, her hair looked best at this length, as opposed to when it was longer, when it made her features seem slightly "lost", and when it was shorter, which made her face seem wider:

Her hair was rarely styled in an extreme triangular shape, poofy near the roots and increasing in volume with length. Styles with lots of voluminous, big hair were generally not her preferred coiffure. Instead, her hair was usually sleek and smooth and styled in an S shape.

At the end of Dial M for Murder, her disheveled look illustrates how a sort of uncomplicated but meticulously groomed appearance was important to her style, ditto to a nice, if subtle, lipstick (also absent in this scene). Her hair also looked nice curly, which made her seem more delicate (Vivien Leigh was the same way).

Take note of her makeup in the next picture, an outdoorsy style, and her makeup in the picture after that, which is brighter and far more suited to electric lights.


Because Grace was not a follower of trends and relied on simple basics, her look is very timeless. She was also consistent, so many of her pictures seem ageless and hard to date.

I may be exceptionally bad at guessing ages, but to me she looks anywhere from a mature twenty to a young 39 (very young).

Grace was, rather obviously, extremely slim, but not in a waifish, sickly way (and no, I do not think Audrey Hepburn was sickly looking). This picture illustrates best of any that I have seen how impossibly gorgeous her figure was:

The next Kelly installment, focused more on her clothing, is coming soon. There is just so much that can be said about this exquisite lady. And I refuse to apologize for being obsessessed.

I will, however, apologize for any bad writing contained in the above post. I am still getting the hang of this blogging business.