Why Women Should Look To Hollywood's Golden Age Ladies As The Real Role Models


We live in 2014: smartphones, selfies and an overall lack of privacy are all commonplace. With the media’s influence embedded into our brains and emblazoned on our television screens, it’s hard to escape the influence of celebrity.

We follow A-listers on Twitter and stalk them on Instagram, desperately hoping for a favorite or a retweet. Even though we get easily caught up in the “best friend in my head” phenomenon with our favorite stars and subsequently start mimicking them, we should reconsider.

If we start taking cues from the ladies of Old Hollywood, the ones who were stealing screens before computer screens were invented, we might be better off.

How many iPhone pictures have you seen of Kim Kardashian? She’s racked up so many selfies that she’s coming out with a book dedicated to them next year.

Gone are the days where Hollywood’s elite women were solely photographed by professionals, creating iconic images that withstand the test of time, like those of Audrey in front of Tiffany’s, or Marilyn in that billowing white dress.

If we can catch a glimpse of a celeb hanging out in her pajamas with the click of a button, it takes away the glamor that is meant to define Hollywood.

Let’s face it: Liz Taylor probably would have never succumbed to the selfie phenomenon. If we try giving up selfies for even a day, we might actually capture something worth saving.

Of course interest in the lives of celebrities has been around for as long as the first actors and actresses rose to fame. Yet, with the social media we have today, it’s safe to say we’ve become a million times more obsessed.

Stars air their dirty laundry online, wage wars against others via Twitter and get caught pretty often by TMZ’s cameras. Now we have entire shows dedicated to chasing celebrities, reporting on their every move and digging deep into their personal lives.

Way back when, celebrities kept their private lives private as often as they could. The public wasn’t notified moments after Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra split. Debbie Reynolds didn’t tweet her frustrations about her husband Eddie Fisher cheating on her with the infamous Liz.

Although information got leaked to the public, celebrities still held a piece of privacy. Today, cameras follow Tori and Dean around their house, categorize the Kardashians’ every move and are ready for any potential story that might break. This leaves little to the imagination to say the least.

If we rethink that angry subtweet, skip a revenge #mancrushmonday photo and decide against the all-too-personal Facebook status, we could keep sacred parts of our lives to ourselves, where they belong.

Google any old Hollywood glamour girl like Natalie Wood, Lauren Bacall or Grace Kelly. What do you see? Elegance, timelessness and class. They were icons, role models and true stars.

They held themselves with poise and posed professionally. Never would you ever catch them twerking in short shorts, exposing their assets or stumbling out of bars.

Today, anything goes: Britney’s breakdown and Lindsay’s yo-yo lifestyle have made dozens of front pages. Celebrities are applauded and criticized for their actions constantly, and their fans follow suit.

This behavior only results in regrettable Facebook uploads and moments we wish we could forget. If we keep it classy, we’ll be taken seriously and not have to fear the morning after humiliation.

Not only were celebrities of the Golden Age classy, they were real. They couldn’t turn to Photoshop to slim their thighs or even out their complexions. They lived in a time before extremely thin was in, and many of Hollywood’s leading ladies embraced their curves.

Marilyn was known for her voluptuous body parts and the style of the times highlighted hourglass figures. With the surge of skinny, most celebrities today are almost see through.

With the constant influx of these images, the public feels like this type of beauty is the only type that’s acceptable, and this is detrimental to women and girls everywhere. If we look back on how celebrities of the past embraced their bodies, we may find ourselves doing the same.

As a part of the modern age, our generation is influenced by the constant stream of media revolving around us. We are constantly submerged in the lives of celebrities, so much so that we often forget about our own.

However, Old Hollywood was a time before we became selfish enough for selfies and obsessed with everyone else’s personal lives.

If we look back at the practices of the Golden Age, we can learn valuable lessons with a longer shelf life than the average celebrity hookup.

Photo Courtesy: Paramount Pictures/To Catch a Thief