Monday, February 10, 2014

Before Implants

Loretta Young at 18, 1931
The Wonders of Foam
Back in 1974 I saw the movie That's Entertainment, and from then on was fascinated by Hollywood's Golden Age. As a kid, I loved watching old movies and reading any books about that glamorous time in Hollywood history.

The Image Makers: Sixty Years of Hollywood Glamour, by Paul Trent, was one of my favorite books, and it featured a spectacular variety of movie star photos from years gone by.

Loretta Young, without a doubt, is one of the most beautiful actresses to ever grace the screen. As young girls, this particular photo (left, found in The Image Makers) was what my sister and I aspired to look like--figure wise, anyway. We hoped that, when we grew up, we'd each have a perfect bust line just like Loretta Young's.

As an adult, perhaps a couple of decades later, I read a Loretta Young biography.  In it was discussed how she'd always been thin, so thin, that during publicity shoots in her teens, she'd have to be padded with foam at the chest and hips to provide her with the appearance of curves. No wonder my sister and I never achieved that look of perfection! Apparently, Miss Young hadn't either, at least not naturally.

Jane Russell,
The Real Deal
Falsies have been around for years. Wikipedia says that in the Victorian Era, girls were considered grown-up upon reaching the age of fifteen. However, many girls had not developed large enough breasts to fit into adult clothes, therefore bosom pads were used. 

Times have changed. Nowadays, surgical enhancement is common place, and anyone can look like Jane Russell!  Not familiar with her? Here's an amusing story from Wikipedia:

In 1940 Russell was signed to a seven-year contract by film mogul, Howard Hughes, and made her motion-picture debut in The Outlaw (1943), a story about Billy the Kid that went to great lengths to showcase her voluptuous figure. 

Although the movie was completed in 1941, it was not released until 1943 in a limited release. It finally was released to a wide distribution in 1946. There were problems with the censorship of the production code over the way her ample cleavage was displayed. 

Contrary to countless incorrect reports in the media since the release of The Outlaw, Russell did not wear the specially designed under-wire bra that Howard Hughes had designed and made for her to wear during filming. According to Jane's 1985 autobiography, she said the bra was so uncomfortable that she secretly discarded it and wore her own bra with the cups padded with tissue and the straps pulled up to elevate her breasts. 

Even Jane had to use a little artificial padding to achieve the right effect.

Lots of different surgical enhancements are available to consumers, yet there's one I don't understand: The Butt Implant.  Once a woman hits a certain age (somewhere in her late twenties or early thirties), her butt will start to get big all by itself! Just sayin...

Any thoughts?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!


Norma said...

I definitely don't need butt implants--or breast implants, for that matter.

My cousin was really flat. She tried to make her own padding, which failed spectacularly. She did it with her bathing suit. She jumped off the diving board into the pool, and...the makeshift padding came floating to the surface before she did!

shelly said...

I loved the silky flowing outfits from then. As for lots of squats.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Norma: How awful for your cousin! Now lots of suits come with padding.

@Shelly: The clothes were beautiful back then! As for squats, I agree! Certainly a safer alternative.

Old Kitty said...

No no no to implants! I'm all for padding out bras and pushing cleavages up a la the gorgeous Jane Russell (cos that just shows creativity! LOL!) - but actual surgery!??! Ew!

Take care

Maria McKenzie said...

@Kitty: I'm with you! Padding works just fine--I'd be too terrified to go under the knife for that;).

Jennette Marie Powell said...

It's amazing how much they do for movies and photos to achieve that look of perfection - of course we mere mortals can never achieve it! Though I have to wonder, did Jane Russel have as hard a time finding clothes that fit as my friends and relatives with her kind of figure do today?

William Kendall said...

I remember seeing that Jane Russell film... needless to say, it made an impression.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Jennette: That's a good question. I would say no, just because of all those all in one undergarments that look like devices of torture today;).

@William: Yes, I believe she leave an impression on any man!

Hilary said...

I dont understand the butt implants either. Did you hear that the new biggest plastic surgery has to do with arms?

Maria McKenzie said...

Hi, Hilary! I hadn't heard that. It's all too sacry for me. I'd rather try a natural alternative like wightlifting for toning the arms.