Whats a Lady?

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Something about vintage clothing, vintage actresses and  ladylike manners is so appealing.

This might be a bad reason to write this blog, or at least a bad example, But last night I watched To Wong Foo. If you haven’t seen it, its a movie where Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo and Wesley Snipes are drag queens on a cross country road trip. It’s a cheap Hollywood attempt at competing with “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” (amazing movie), and consequently is almost total crap, with some cute highlights and supposed life lessons.

Anyways, It made me wonder about what it means to be a lady today. Not a woman or a girl, but a “powder your nose, carry a silk handkerchief” lady. The characters in the movie, especially Swayze, almost always wear dresses or pants suits, expect men to open doors, are well spoken, walk beautifully, always wear dress shoes, keep their composure under pressure and don’t do things like, pick wedgies or noses, wear leisure shoes outside or curse. I could use the same examples for all the old Film Noir movies Ive been watching lately but as far as recent films (recentish), when do you ever see women acting like that anymore? and why in a movie can I only find men as women acting that way?

I have so much admiration for ladies who can strut their feminine stuff, but I feel so much about women today is detached from this movie ideal I’ve created in my head.  I’m not sure there’s much point in reviving it in myself without a total re-translation, after all, I bite my nails, chew gum and cant stand when men open doors for me.
Saying this, Ive decided to do a hunt for ladies now and then and try to understand what happened to the grace and charm of Grace Kelly and Catherine Hepburn along the years leading to actresses like Angelina Jolie. I want to recapture this essence if only in photos, as so many members of the group do so well.

Ladies then:
Julie Newmar (Original Catwoman and the muse in To Wong Foo)

Miss Cheekbones, Catherine Hepburn

One of the most badass, strong woman of the silver screen, Joan Crawford

Princess Grace Kelly

Lena Horne

And of course the countless other ladies like “Doris Eaton, the oldest living Ziegfeld star and subject of a new book entitled,Century Girl: 100 Years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies.”, from the blog Advanced Style

(p.s. Shes 102 year old in this video!)

Ladies now:

Zooey Deschanel

Lucy Liu

not ladies, Hilton and that crazy girl that shaved her head.

Anyone have any examples of amazing ladies today and what they think has changed and why?

As I sit slumping in my chair, I wish I had the habit of sitting straight, accent of Catherine Hepburn and pendmanship and writing skills of a trained 19th century novelist, but I dont and wont. Maybe this is just a phase but I thought it was worth mentioning.

  • kjb

    It’s Katherine, not Catherine.

  • jv

    *Katharine.