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Friday, July 6, 2012

Classic Hollywood: All Shapes and Sizes

A few days ago, one of my "best blogging friends", Bette, wrote this post on the subject of something called "thinspiration" and what it has to do with Audrey Hepburn. She also talked about the different body shapes of Old Hollywood stars, and since I agree wholeheartedly with what she's said, I asked her if I could do a follow up post to add in my own two cents and she gave me the okay. So here we go (and please, go check out her post if you already haven't, it's fantastic with tons of valid points).


34A - 20 - 34. 5"7. 103.

The above numbers are the measurements, height, and weight of Audrey Hepburn. To some girls, these numbers are inspiration (or rather, 'thinspiration') to become stick thin.

Eating disorders have become much too rampant amongst teenage girls these days. As most everyone knows, they are very dangerous medical conditions that can also wreck the mental state of a person, and result in much more disastrous consequences. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can spiral out of many reasons. One common factor is the media obsession with being a "perfect size 0." It's well understood that teenagers are impressionable and quite often a little too concerned with their physical image rather that when it's inside. So when teenage girls see a photo of bikini clad model or actress as skinny as a rail, they see this as pressure to be just as thin. The modeling industry makes matters worse, encouraging girls as young as twelve to diet until they become unhealthily skinny.

Back in Audrey's day, however, things were a lot different. Curves were greatly appreciated in the modeling industry and in Hollywood - in fact, they were desired. Marilyn Monroe, for example, the greatest sex symbol of the 20th century, was a curvy girl who actually looked like a woman. I once read how when a woman suggested to a young Lucille Ball, in her twenties or so, that she could become a model (this was when Lucy was pounding the pavement in New York and needed a way to put food on her plate), Lucy was appalled. Fresh out of her youth, Lucy was tall and very slim with a 21 inch waist. She did not understood how a body like hers would ever be desired or useful for the modeling industry - so ironic today, isn't it? (The woman explained to her that her body type was perfect for modeling fur coats.) 

So Audrey Hepburn did not boast those numbers listed above because she wanted to be a poster child for something called "thinspiration" - not like it existed back then, though - or because she wanted to have a figure like a model (such a body like hers would be inadequate back then) and especially not because being quite thin was the "in" thing then. The reason for her particular weight has roots in her childhood in war torn Europe, and there were periods for days and days when she had little to no food. At the time, her weight dropped to ninety points, dangerously skinny for her 5"7 frame. Little light has been shed on this period of Audrey's life. This is what she herself said about the topic:
"Then, on the morning of December 24, my mother's widowed sister told us there wasn't a scrap of food left. I had heard that one could fight hunger by sleeping. Perhaps, then, I could sleep through Christmas - I would try - but first there were the stairs to my room. I tried, but I couldn't make it - I was too weak. My legs had begun to swell from edema, I was dangerously malnourished, and I was turning a frightful color from jaundice - my mother actually feared I would die from hepatitis." 
After the war, her weight ying-yanged. It was hard to regulate after the latter mentioned period. Did you know that at one point she was actually 150 pounds? This couldn't be considered "overweight" with her height, but it does lean towards the chubbier side. However, for most of her life (and certainly during the prime of her Hollywood career) Audrey's weight was below 110 pounds, save the occasions when she was pregnant.

The point is however, Audrey's weight was not attributed to trying to be skinny because it was the "in" thing. And the more important fact is that this is definitely not the way Audrey Hepburn would want to be remembered. She set standards for women, but not because of her weight but rather for having such a kind personality and being one of the most committed of UNICEF spokespeople. It just goes to show you that weight shouldn't define a person.

As a teenage girl, I can tell you this: girls my age could learn plenty about body image from the women of Classic Hollywood (amongst other things).

This is because, as I mentioned earlier, actresses actually looked like real women back then. While today much of the industry would encourage skin and bones for their leading ladies, in those days studios wanted meat on the movie queens. I remember reading a story about Constance Bennett. She had become rather skinny, to the point where her vertebrae could be seen. Whereas nowadays she might have been given a badge of honor, her studio in the 1930s became genuinely concerned about her and they tried to figure out why she had become so thin.

Of course, if you look at the inches of the waistlines these actresses had, you'd probably be surprised, especially if you matched them up with today's standard. They were incredibly tiny, giving most of the actresses as an hour glass shape. Audrey's 20 inch waist was quite common back then, with some waists measuring even smaller, for example, Brigitte Bardot's 19 inch. I have also heard that a young Elizabeth Taylor had an 18 inch waistline, but I'm not positive. (None the less, hers was also super small). However, despite these slim waistlines, most of the actresses back then were a perfectly healthy weight all the while. There are many reasons for this. For instance, in the 30s and 40s women were still wearing undergarments like girdles to trim their waistlines, because it was a still a time where tiny waists were considered particularly attractive and feminine. Also, as the years have passed, portion sizes in the United States have increased and as a result, the American demographic has become heavier and heavier. Also, people back then had much more exercise on a daily basis than we do today. Thus, obesity wasn't half the problem it is now and the average person from the 1940s would simply be smaller than the average person of today. In the past forty years, our waistlines have increased by four inches. So it's easy to understand why waistlines were so slim back then - and why the women that boasted them were still totally healthy.

However, waistlines withstanding, women in Classic Hollywood were an assortment of different sizes and shapes. A curvier, voluptuous hourglass figure like Marilyn Monroe's was well desired, and as shallow sounding as it may be to say it, she's good proof that you don't need to be stick thin to be adored by the male sex. There are many different measurements given for Marilyn's figure from several different sources, but her real measurements were most likely 36- 25 - 37. Besides Marilyn, there's Sophia Loren, also with a full figure. Her measurements were 38C - 24 - 38, and she herself said, "Everything you see I owe to spaghetti." Then there's Elizabeth Taylor, who grew up in movies, so audiences saw her blossom from a little girl into a young woman with a fabulously "curvy, petite" figure. But like any woman, as Elizabeth gave birth to children and became older, her figure became more womanly than it had been in her late teens or early twenties. In the 1960s, her shape was much fuller than it had been in the decade before but she was still hailed as one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Besides the hourglass shape, there were plenty of other sizes and heights boasted by the woman of Classic Hollywood. Although many of these women were the average height for their time, (5"3 - 5"6, give or take), there were certainly exceptions. How about the ever so fabulously lovely Ingrid Bergman? She was very tall, for then and for today, at 5"10. And she towered over many of her leading men. She had a larger frame and the measurements of 34 - 24 - 34, and she, too, has been considered one of the prettiest woman to exist. And she loved to eat - American ice cream, butter cookies, and crawfish particularly.

Katharine Hepburn (34B - 22 - 33), too, was a tall, at 5"8. In fact, when she met Spencer Tracy, she said something along the lines of, "I'm afraid I'm a little too tall for you, Mr. Tracy." She was slim and leggy and had the shape of a natural athlete, which she was, and proud of.

There were very petite woman in Hollywood, too. If they were standing flat footed, Judy Garland and Veronica Lake would be itsy bitsy at 4"11, and other big stars like Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow 5"2. Bette Davis and Vivien Leigh, two of the most domineering screen presences, seemed very tall on screen but were 5"3 in reality, and one of my very favorites, Natalie Wood, a pint sized 5"0.

Our perception of beauty changes over time, often according to trends. Whereas ghostly fair complexions were the latest trend, today a tanned, brown tone is what's most desired. And not more than fifty years ago, tiny waists were the most beautiful, but today apparently 'waspish waistlines' are in. But one trend that I wish we could be consistent with is excepting beauty in all its different forms, shapes, and sizes. I know I sound totally and positively cliche right now, like a therapist writing in an article in a middle aged woman's magazine, but I do mean it. I don't understand how people can compare someone's beauty to somebody else's, or even have the gumption to rank them. I see lists of the 20 or 40 most beautiful Old Hollywood actresses (in a particular order) on Youtube, and I just don't get it. It's a personal opinion, certainly, but more importantly, in the way one person is beautiful may not be in the same way somebody else is. Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo, for example. Two totally different beauties, one's of the natural, laid-back sort and the other is of the more dramatic and vidid sort. It just doesn't make sense, or some fair, to compare.

It's not that today's society doesn't accept women's different body shapes, it just seems as if sometimes they have to make more of an effort to. Or be obvious about it. They have to make a point of saying, "Isn't she pretty for a curvy woman?" Why can't she simply be pretty? It sometimes feel our media is trying to give themselves a pat on the back for finding a woman with a fuller body shape attractive. "But skinny is best," it seems to whisper, and that's why you find so many teenage girls starving themselves to death to become just as stick thin as the model they saw on TV. No, healthy is best!

This is why I wish girls my age could look at the women of Old Hollywood. All these women are absolutely gorgeous in their individual ways. They didn't come out of a cookie cutter mold and they weren't all alike. Perhaps Classic Hollywood were fans of curves, but they weren't obsessive about this particular body shape like much of the media is today about being way too skinny, and having 'thinspiration' and all of that. I believe that as long as stars were in a healthy shape, they were appreciated by the studios and loved by the audiences alike. Nobody called Audrey Hepburn too skinny. And nobody called Marilyn Monroe fat.

I'm not trying to sanitize the studios, or say that these women were perfect people that never had any reservations about their body image, or didn't diet, etc. But I still to my guns about saying that to be quite honest, yesterday's Hollywood seemed to embrace women that looked like real people - whether they were on the  slimmer side or leaned to being curvy - a lit bit easier than today's pop culture, which oftentimes seems to act like a gun's being put to their head about the varying shapes of actresses. And I think, from this, many teenage girls could learn a thing or two. They could learn that many of the prettiest, confident, healthiest ladies came in an assortment of different body types, and they were all unique because of it.


Sorry if I rambled on too long, or sounded completely cliche in many ways, because I probably did. But all these eating disorders many girls have today are a big deal, it's like an epidemic, and it's wrong. I personally have never had one. So I could never give a personal account or say I know how it feels. And I'm not saying Classic Hollywood would solve everyone's problems, but it could give a little inspiration rather than thinspiration.

Per usual - CALLING ALL BLOGGERS! Have you signed up for me and Natalie's [or Natalie and I's??] blogathon yet? You can do so now! And, as usual, thanks to those of you who have already gotten on board :) It's going to be a ton of fun!

Okay, that's all for today, and please, by all means as usual, leave a comment on the discussion if you have something to say! This is one of those rarer occasions where I discuss a serious issue and I'd especially love to hear your input on it. :) Alright, be back on Sunday for the review! Ciao!



Rianna, I'm totally with you. I knew that there were Internet campaigns that defended eating disorders, but nothing like "thinspiration", clearly used by people who didn't know Audrey's story.
I myself have a great relief about my favorite actresses, because almost all of them were very short, yet talented. I'm about 5 feet 1 inch, so I'm proud of being basically the same size as Mary Pickford and Jean Harlow.

Marcela Costa :} said...

This is your best post yet. I'm glad to hear someone around my age (this is an assumption since you said you're a teenager, I'm 18, how old are you?) has a brain in her head and isn't affected by the impossible standards set by today's media. To be honest, this post made me admire you a whole lot as a person, and I applaud you for it. This is one of the reasons why I love Old Hollywood so much: all the women were naturally beautiful, there was no photoshop, no plastic surgery, no nothing! And also, they came in all shapes and sizes and they were all relatable. I am Ginger Roger's height and my measurements are really similar to those of Ava Gardner's :) I feel really good about myself knowing that these amazingly gorgeous women have something in common with me. And the stick thin supermodel-like "celebrities" of the current days were never relatable to short, curvy me. I have suffered a great deal for being built differently even though I was in the lower end of the healthy weight spectrum all my life. Old Hollywood makes me feel really good about myself and now I wouldn't trade my curves for a squared figure in a million years! :D
By the by, the music on the bottom is really great! Adds that extra tone!

Rianna said...

Exactly, it's such a shame that this is what a majority of people will remember Audrey Hepburn for. It's terrible. She was so, so, much more than her weight and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Oh, cool, I'm just about the same height as Lucy - 5"7 - which makes me very happy. :) And this is what I meant; regular people could identify easily with an actress from Old Hollywood and realize she had the same body type, or height.

Rianna said...

Oh, wow, thank you so much! This whole comment really made my day, to be quite honest. You're really too kind! I'm so glad we're on the same page about everything, I agree with all of what you say. I'm sure any 'regular person' could find a actress in Old Hollywood with the same height as theirs, and the same measurements. They're totally relatable unlike the dangerously skinny models the media presents to us today. And you said it perfectly, Old Hollywood makes us feel good about ourselves! You also said "no plastic surgery", and you're totally right about that too, actresses aged so gracefully back then.
Thanks, I'm glad you like it! :)

Anonymous said...

great post and i totally agree. what is so great is that all shapes and sizes where celebrated in old hollywood. i have a short and curvy shape and growing up it was old hollywood that i could relate to.
when you think about it actresses of today look all the same with a few exceptions and as you said they are always mentioned with their differences instead of just beautiful.
it's great to hear women talking positively like this.

Rianna said...

Exactly. There are so many shapes in Old Hollywood that could be relatable to everyone. I'm kinda tall and leggy so I can relate to Kate and Lucy in their earlier days, and my measurements are a bit similar to Julie Andrews's. Which is quite fabulous considering all three are some of my favorites! :)

If our media could be just be more excepting of varying body shapes, I do think it would help even the tiniest bit with the eating disorder problems we have today. Thank you so much! :)

Kristen said...

Amazing tributes, not just in regards to weight but I wish the idea of "actresses" was like how it used to be in the day as well. What's sad though is that eating disorders amongst celebrities was very hush-hush. It was only later that stars like Vera-Ellen and Sandra Dee revealed their struggles with eating disorders. If anything I think we have a greater knowledge of disorders than in the day but I do wish the idea of curves was embraced. Thanks for the post!

Rianna said...

Aw, thanks so much! Yeah, there were definitely disorders back then and its unfortunate they weren't publicly spoken about as they are today. Besides the two you mentioned, I believe Jane Fonda struggled with bulimia for a number of years. The unfortunate thing is the reason behind our greater knowledge of disorders: because they have become so much more rampant. I think its good for girls to also see that famous women have struggled with disorders, actresses and for example, Princess Diana with her bulimia, but these woman should not be a goal to have the same disease but rather role models for girls to look at, relate to, and try and learn how to become healthy again like most of these women became. Disorders, curves, lines, whatever; it's all part of being human and if teen girls can see confident women in the same position it would help them tons. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

I agreed 110% with this post. Being 19 myself I draw much of my inspiration from actresses like Katharine, Marilyn and Audrey, amongst others. I feel that it is so important that girls today realize that society's perception of beauty is entirely warped. Of course that's not to say that women in classic Hollywood were any less self conscious than women today (Katharine Hepburn never saw herself as particularly attractive, while Vivian Leigh and Marilyn Monroe were constantly worried about their looks), but I agree with your point that these women all looked different and they were still accepted as beautiful. It is something I find to be so important.

Rebecca said...

while this is well written, I have a huge problem with when writers like you decide to define what is a "real woman". I'm a bloody 'real' woman, yet I'm naturally slim. I don't feel less 'real' because of it, I don't think I'm a fake woman or inauthentic in any way. Who are you to define what a woman 'should' look like? I'm happy with my figure despite lacking 'curves' and I don't need people like you (who no doubt thinking they are doing a service to women) to dictate that my body isn't how a real woman should look. I'm not about to go get plastic surgery just to fit your ideal

Rianna said...

You need to simmer down. No where in the article have I said that a real woman can't be naturally slim. I'm pretty damn naturally slim myself. In the last paragraph, I've written, "Women that looked like real people - whether they were on the slimmer side or leaned to being curvy." Where have I dictated to you how you should look? The whole point was that real women come in a VARIETY of shapes. If I seemed to emphasize the issue with curves, it is because seven million women in the US alone have anorexia, because they feel the need to lose dangerous amounts of weight. I'm sorry you felt that I've done a disservice to women with this article. That wasn't my intent at all. Thanks for your input into this.

Yo vovel said...

Hello, I came across this page. I was wondering if I could know the link of the song, "As Time Goes By." It's a beautiful song.
Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Actually Marylin Munroe had a 22 inch waist, not only has it been stated many times, but her signature white dress was made for someone who fit those measurements. Audrey is in fact, very curvy with a 22 inch waist and near 35 inch hips. As someone who battled as eating disorder for 7 years, I can easily say that old Hollywood hasn't got much of a difference. Even Bettie Page had a 22 inch waist.
Ideals for women haven't changed much at all, but the growing epidemic of young girls facing eating disorders is. This hasn't got much to do with famous women being a 'thinspiration'. If somebody wants to be skinny, then that's what they want, regardless of what society thinks. And there will always be incredibly thin women for them to look up to regardless of what body shape is trending. It stems from incredibly low self esteem and them looking for a way to console themselves until they see themselves as what /they/ find beautiful. Some look at is as an outlet for their frustration/depression much like self mutilation. Girls need to be taught that they DON'T HAVE to be beautiful to be happy, not that they should be a certain size(regardless of how big or small that size is)

Anonymous said...

*Audrey was very curvy with a 20 inch waist and near 35 inch hips. So obviously she would be a good model choice, because regardless of size she has a phenomenal waist-to-hip ratio.

My apologies.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that there was just as much cosmetic surgery and even more makeup in old hollywood than there is today. Also frankly the only measurement to differ drastically from modern stars is the tiny waist measurement; a consequence of self induced disfigurement with generations of girdled, corseted, restricted and repressed women. Not very 'real' from where I'm sat. All in all I'm pretty damn pleased with how far the beauty 'ideal' has come.

Rianna said...

"Just as much cosmetic surgery"? Sure, it existed but its use was not as widespread as today. Anyways, I'm glad you are pleased with today's beauty ideal. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I beg to differ. Thanks for your comment.

red lips said...

This is a beautiful article, but I just have to say corsets! Corsets! Though girdles were the most popular, their not-so-flexible cousin would be worn in the 50's when Dior's New Look was in. I believe Elizabeth Taylor wore one on a regular basis, as well as many other old Hollywood stars. Thus, the 18 inch waist is explained.
Also, corsets are not as restrictive as people make them out to be. Actually, if you're wearing a REAL corset, it fits like a glove. I started wearing a corset because it was a way for me to learn more about fashion (and who doesn't like better posture and a smaller waist?). I have found that I am more comfortable in a dress with a corset on, which is what most Old Hollywood stars wore, anyways.Many modern people assume that corsets were the constricting snake suffocating hundreds of Victorian women, but that is not the case. Oh, and if anyone out there would like to learn more about corsets, I recommend Lucy Corsetry's blog or!

Additionally, I'd just like to mention that um yes, beauty ideals change (that's for you, anonymous). As someone who spends so much time looking at historical fashions of different cultures and tries to find the anthropological meaning of these things, I am confident in saying that yes, they change. I honestly don't completely understand why as an individual you would want a sickly body, but hey, it's in fashion.

Nowadays, it's relatively acceptable to dress however you wish. Embrace your body whether its curvy or not. Without doubt, it's never a good idea to starve yourself.

red lips said...

OH, and as for that comment about repressed women: did you know that Susan B Anthony wore a corset? Did you know that men in the Edwardian and Victorian Eras actually encouraged the removal of corsets?
Oh, and did you know that they were also worn for SUPPORT just like a modern bra?

Men DID have ways of repressing women though heels and embellished clothing, but laces were mostly enforced by other women.

Okay okay I'll shut up now!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rianna,
I wanted to thank you for this amazing heartfelt post.I have battled with Anorexia for almost 9 years now and have been everywhere from 82lbs-140lbs. My anorexia didn't take total control over my life till at the tender age of 13 when I was told that I was fat!
My family has been blessed with fast metabolisms, but the reason for my looking a little chubby, is because I was sexually abused at 12 years old and looked to food for comfort.
9 years later, I still struggle with anorexia from a mental stand point, but am slowly climbing out of this grave. I have been everywhere from resenting food to being emotional incabable of being "one second" without it.
When I turned 16 I saw a picture of Marylin Monroe that made me cry, because she was so beautiful and "in my eyes at the time" she was fat. Ever since then I have been in the progress of getting better and focusing more on health and letting my body be naturally what it wants to be.
Today I am thankful to say that I have no idea what I weigh or what my measurements are. Body ideals always change, but the most beautiful is a happy heart which can't be measured!

Rianna said...

I'm sorry for taking so long to reply to this comment, but I really wanted to thank you so much for leaving such a beautiful comment :) I'm so glad to know that you're getting healthier and better. You're right.. body ideals change but truly being beautiful is in the heart. :)

Anonymous said...

i agree with almost all you say except for the depressing use of plastic surgery (it most certianly did exist..also shading or inserting wires into the hairline to accentuate the jawline as an actress aged..drug use encouraged by the studios..specifically benzedrine and other amphetimine like drugs for energy and thinness (judy garland is a pergect example of that) excessive cigarette smoking...plastic surgery most assuredly has been around since the 1890's if not earlier(wax injections to change the shape of noses) breast implants..diets ..corsets and girdles..and of course studios lying about measurements.eyebrows were plucked redone..rhinoplasty..mole removal(elizabeth taylor refused to have hers removed or her eyebrows altered..only girl. never forget hollywood then was a roaring macbine of industry..but i agree size was not the issue..just beauty. it was a kinder world to curvy or thin women. thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this was mentioned but Marilyn was pregnant in that photo so not exactly a good photo to show off her figure.

Audrey said...

It should be noted that Audrey Hepburn had a life long battle with anorexia. She was not thin by choice, but because she had a psychological disorder (eating disorders are considered mental diseases, due to the chemical changes in the brains of those with eating disorders and body dysmorphia). It's pretty common knowledge actually. (And, yes, that is my real name)

Anonymous said...

Awesome Thank you made me feel a whole lot better xx

Anonymous said...

I love this article and those old Hollywood beauties! However, those tiny little waistlines seem almost un-natural in proportion to hips and thighs. How did they do it?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Tiffany.

I really enjoyed this post!
But I was curious - you mention in earlier comments that you are 5'7", which is the same height I am. Do you wear high heels? I feel very self conscious, but I LOVE how they look. However, I don't like towering over people anyone, and everyone in my family is short. (Most women in my family are 5'2" or so, most men are 5'7"-5'9") What do you think about tall(er) women wearing high heels?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hemant Sharma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eyebrow Bar said...

Hell yeah, this post is really what I am looking for. I am really lucky today. Thank you admin!

Anonymous said...

"for example, the greatest sex symbol of the 20th century, was a curvy girl who actually looked like a woman". "This is because, as I mentioned earlier, actresses actually looked like real women back then. While today much of the industry would encourage skin and bones for their leading ladies, "..........and then "But one trend that I wish we could be consistent with is excepting beauty in all its different forms, shapes, and sizes. "....what a hypocrite you are. You say we should accept beauty in all forms, shapes and sizes but at the same time you pull the term "real women" out of your ass stating that women who are not curvy a la marilyn monroe are not real women? What happened to accepting all bodyshapes and sizes? What would you call me, a naturally thin, but healthy (yes both my doctor and dietist says so) person? A non-woman? Last I checked I had a vagina which is the ONLY qualification for REAL WOMEN. I absolutely hate those words "real woman" because they are only used to talk down on thin people, if I had been subjected to those words during my early teens I would not have been alive today. I've been superthin all my life but I have NEVER talked down on chubby women, EVER.

BlueLotusDreamer said...

Hi, Rianna,
My name is Padmini, and I came across your blog when googling some search terms regarding the figures of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
I am very impressed by this blog entry! It is like a professional article!
I also have a passion for Classic Hollywood and the female figure. Thank you for providing insight on what the modern era admires in a woman's figure. I had thought before that curves were also sought after today. What do you think? I think that it is possible to both thin and curvy. What do you think? A thin, willowy hourglass figure is my ideal.
I like the insight that you provided that in Classic Hollywood all female shapes and sizes were appreciated. I love the example of Marilyn Monroe!
I write about both Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe at the bottom of my 1st blog entry, which introduces me:
Please let me know what you think!
Thank you for such a beautiful blog entry! I also love exploring beauty and aesthetics!

Anonymous said...

Actually Marilyn Monroe was asked to lose weight when she first started acting. She had an emotionally difficult career because of the importance Hollywood placed on her appearance.

Rianna X. said...

May 1st anonymous: I wrote this post almost two years ago. I'm sorry if you think that I was trying to define a "real woman" as someone who is curvy. My intent with the expression "real women", was to refer to women whose bodies are a result of their personal, health conscious decisions, not women whose bodies are manufactured by an industry. That being said, I do say at the end of the post: "Real women - whether they were on the slimmer side or being a bit curvy." I gave examples of healthy slender women like Katharine Hepburn. But just like obesity is unhealthy, so is someone being so stick thin that there vertebrae shows. I don't think any extremes are justifiable. Anyways, rereading this article literally a long time after I wrote it, two years older than I was then, I do wish I had rephrased some of my sentences, but I think the bottom line of my article is clear. I wanted to give examples of Old Hollywood stars that /all/ girls can relate to, and not just in weight but in body shape and height. Your accusations are ironic because I'm naturally slender and I would NEVER want to shame another women for being skinny. I just wanted to promote the idea of a healthy weight. If I seemed to emphasize curves, it's because the modeling industry today sets dangerously skinny standards for young girls. I don't think that even you would argue that that isn't an issue.

BlueLotusDreamer said...

I received your comment on my 1st blog entry. Thank you very much. :) I also thought you might want to know that I just wrote a new blog entry on Audrey Hepburn Vs. Marilyn Monroe (I also briefly mention their figures):
Please let me know what you think. Your opinion as an expert on Golden Hollywood is really important to me. Thank you very much once again!
By the way, my name is Padmini, rather than Rani. "Rani Padmini" is just the title that I give myself. Also please feel free to check out my other blog entries. I look forward to hearing from you again. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for writing such a lovely, inspiring article. It can be so hard not to feel pressure to conform to a particular body shape - it is great that you (and everyone who has commented) has been so willing to share their thoughts on an important issue! xx

Anonymous said...

I'm 5'8 and 150. I have a large frame and am not on the chubbier side. I wear 4 dress if its not fitted in the hips and a 6 to 8 if it is. Please don't contribute to the weight crisis of young people reading these articles. There is a lot more to factor into a healthy weight than just height...

BlueLotusDreamer said...

Hi, Rianna,
I have not heard from you in a while. I was looking forward to receiving your feedback on my Audrey Hepburn Vs. Marilyn Monroe blog entry:
Please read it, and please comment when you get a chance. :)
I also just finished a blog entry on fashion models, which I think you would like since I have a lot of similar opinions to you:
Please read my blog entry on fashion models, and please comment on it. Thank you very much. :)

Suzzy Lilliy said...

Hi Rianna,
Great post. I liked it very much. I love the way you have written.

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Patent Attorney said...

Such an interesting post, there's a surprising amount of variety with the sizes of Hollywood actors in those days compared to now! Although I must say I've seen some of Marilyn Monroe's costumes and she may have been curvy, but she was still very tiny!

Anonymous said...

You lose all credibility when you use the term "real women"

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Thanks for your great informative writing.
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Randi C. said...

I thought your article was wonderful, and I can see that you clearly put a lot of work into it. I'm sorry that so many people chose to willfully misunderstand your words, which were very clearly in support of all body types--not just curvy ones.

One poster above states that Audrey struggled with anorexia. This is a gross over-simplification of Audrey's issues with food and health resulting from a childhood spent suffering the horrors of war and malnutrition, and, in my opinion, in very poor taste. Please see the below link for more information on the evidence for and against her supposed anorexia, which make these complexities much more clear.

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