What Happen to Dorothy Dandridge

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Crimson stained lips, hair coiffed to perfection with deep waves and dark hues, sullen eyes with smoldering liner and just a hint of mascara for vulnerability. Shoulder pads and dresses with stiff hems, long trains, and sophisticated bustles. Perfect posture, elegance, demure. Strong yet weak at the same time. These are all qualities that come to mind when I think of Hollywood glamour. You stop and stare at awe at their beauty, grace, sheer style. It was an era of decadence and true fashion. What has happened to real Hollywood glamour?

When I think about what is supposedly glamourous now, I cringe. Dresses made of meat, showing nipples and ass, leaving nothing to the imagination. Stars like Lady Gaga are charged with being cutting edge in haute couture but could never hold a candle to the screen queens of the day: Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich, Natalie Wood, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge. And who could forget the quintessential glamourous legend, Audrey Hepburn? With her effortless style in film gems like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s, its timeless and golden. Holly Golightly could walk the runway of today wearing the same frocks from the 1961 film and cause all other on the catwalk to mourn in shame.

Times change and so do trends, but glamour is the one true constant that knows no decade or season. Real glamour is not trying too hard to shock and awe and cause a controversy. Real glamour is done without thinking. It causes heads to turn because it is authentic and true and genuine. Celebrities these days don’t know what glamour is because they are too busy thinking “what glamour is”. You don’t THINK glamour, you just DO glamour. It should ooze out of your pores like sweat during a workout.

I can think of few Hollywood ingenues who keep it glamourous. Charlize Theron comes to mind when comparing old Hollywood glamour to the glamour of today. There are times when Halle Berry channels her inner starlet and radiates a glow that speaks old school cinema. Also Scarlett Johansen encapsulates that old Hollywood sleekness and style with a voluptuousness reminiscent of a Jayne Mansfield. I know I am missing a few others but as I am writing this, those three beauties come to mind. There aren’t many “pioneers” left—for everyone is trying to be the “most creative” which ends up being most boring.

I would love for celebrities to return to the true Hollywood glamour that made cinema and music a captivating visual masterpiece.

Until then, I’ve got Audrey and Dorothy and Marilyn and Lena and Natalie. Once upon a time….in Hollywood.


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