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How the ideal of female beauty changed in Hollywood: from fragile beauty to chocolate bbw
How the ideal of female beauty changed in Hollywood: from fragile beauty to chocolate bbw
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For the most part, we are used to seeing cinema as entertainment. Nevertheless, it is also a powerful conductor of ideology, ranging from political ideas to the standards of human relations. As an art that makes extensive use of visuals, cinema has actively shaped the concept of feminine beauty. However, the heroines of different eras themselves actively promoted the images they created at the "dream factory". Let's follow the evolution of the ideals of female attractiveness using popular Hollywood films.

The era of silent movies

Maid Normand

The peculiarities of black-and-white photography and the lack of sound required the fairer sex to comply with clear requirements: it had to be a young woman with expressive eyes, thin lips, accentuated with dark lipstick, and lush hair. This image was not only popular at that time, but also reflected the specifics of the cinema image - this is not a theater, it required bright and accurate facial expressions. However, this exactly reflected the demand of the time: a woman had to be touching and fragile in order to become a heroine of men's dreams and an object of imitation of women.

Cinema at this time does not abound in the number of genres, the main plots were drawn from theatrical scripts. And women got to play only pretty beauties who were met only in melodramas and comedies. The first movie stars and hostages of the image were Maid Normand and Lillian Gish. But Mary Pickford tried to go beyond and declared a riot. The news about the short haircut of the "matured" lady immediately hit the gossip, but the audience categorically did not like the new Mary: the mature lady did not cause either emotion or desire to imitate her. The creative path of silent film actresses ended at the age of 30-35. There was a golden rule in Hollywood: cinema helps you dream.

"Ideal woman" 30-60 years

Vivien Leigh

Following this rule, the studios continued to shoot various scenes, which eventually repeat the story of Cinderella. Even female characters, who, in accordance with time, acquire more and more masculine characters, must still comply with patriarchal foundations. The magnificent Vivien Leigh in the film "Gone with the Wind" excites men at one glance, and the film star Marilyn Monroe in her works is perceived as something unrealistically erotic. Even in historical films, love stories are given much more time than the events of the past.

The main conclusion is that a woman was created for male pleasures, otherwise her life has no meaning. For example, the famous Catherine II performed by Marlene Dietrich cares more about her romantic friend - Count Razumovsky. Her disappointment in people at the end of the picture should lead the viewer to the conclusion that an excessive desire for freedom makes a woman lonely and unhappy. By the 60s, the development of advertising and the beauty industry is gaining momentum. An unrealistically beautiful image, enhanced by an abundance of artificial light and evening make-up, is imposed in everyday life.

Musical as a popular genre of the 60s

Liza Minnelli

In the race for box office success, studios are tackling screen adaptations of popular musicals.This is how Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand get to Hollywood, whose appearance is very different from the images of sophisticated sexy beauties approved in the cinema. The filmmakers did not dare to invite other actresses to play the roles, because it would be strange for the audience to see other actresses in their favorite Cabaret or Funny Girl. Thanks to the success of musicals, the canons of female beauty are expanding - Hollywood ladies should not only accept beautiful film poses, but also professionally master their body and voice.

70s independent cinema

Gina Rowlands

The development of independent cinema, isolated from the whales of the film industry, leads to a change in the attitude towards the person in the frame and towards the woman in particular. Now, instead of "licked" ideal faces, textures full of emotions appear. The director is more concerned not with a popular print, but with human experiences, so a woman may appear with disheveled hair, streaks from mascara and wrinkles that are not covered with makeup.

Examples of this are the films "Faces", "Minnie and Moskovitz", "Premiere", "A Woman Under the Influence" of the wonderful actress Gina Rowlands. Or the famous film "Bonnie and Clyde" - here the main character can afford to eat with her hands and does not at all look like a decent respectable girl. At the same time, films are being released that for the first time try to rethink the life of a woman: "Alice does not live here anymore", "Woman under the influence", "Rachel, Rachel". The actresses in them are not shy about their middle age, wrinkles, and their outfits are devoid of decorativeness - a very unusual image for Hollywood.

Emancipation and its impact

Meryl Streep

Since the late 70s, the influence of views based on emancipation has increased. In films, more and more questions are raised about marriage and family. Now the happy ending of the Cinderella story with the wedding at the end does not seem to the audience the end of the happy story. The heroines of "Unmarried Woman" and "Kramer vs. Kramer" think about their fate outside of a relationship with a man. The beauty of an ordinary American woman comes to the fore - it is at this time that the stars Meryl Streep and Jill Clayburgh rise. Now the main character of Hollywood no longer claims to be a sex star, but at the same time has a memorable appearance. Her face is devoid of "war paint" and is natural and well-groomed.

90s - the attack on the "male" genres

Linda Hamilton

The “wind of change” was getting stronger every year. If earlier women were entrusted with shooting only in melodramas, comedies and dramas, now their roles began to differ in variety. The shaved-headed Demi Moore in the action movie Soldier Jane and the athletic Linda Hamilton in The Terminator ushered in the era of women in the classic male action genre. Female characters are increasingly choosing male professions - think of Agent Scully or Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs. The appearance of Chloe Sevigny from the film "Children" can not be attributed to any type - it can be called both beautiful and completely non-sexual. But she is so human that the viewer is imbued with a sense of what is happening in real life. We meet the same faces in other actresses of this time - Kirsten Dunst, Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci. New Hollywood is sporty and courageous heroines.

The new millennium: a woman's ability to be different

Charlize Theron

The study of female attractiveness and role in life opened in the new millennium with the cult series Sex and the City. Frank conversations, candid shots, eternal problems. In 2004, Patty Jenkins' debut film "Monster" was released. In it, the sexy blonde Charlize Theron was allowed to disfigure herself with all her passion. It was this experiment that allowed the actress to be different, to show her versatility and get her first Oscar.

Another showcase film-nominee for the prestigious award - "Treasure", where the main role was played by the unknown Gaburi Sidibé.This black bbw has proved the main axiom - an artist can be of any appearance, the main thing is acting potential. And the promising actress of modern Hollywood Jennifer Aniston does not get tired of reminding from the screen that human beauty is harmony within us, and what is around is no longer important.

No matter how much time passes, Hollywood casting directors will still select actors based on external data. But I am glad that there are no “ideal heroines” anymore, and art is looking for inspiration among ordinary people.

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