Remember when women knew how to walk? Remember Marilyn Monroe and Rosalind Russell and Kate Hepburn and how they moved? Remember Bette Davis? By god, that’s presence. Not ministerial presence, of course, but PRESENCE. You know who has Presence today? Jessye Norman.
Those insolent tarts who walk the red carpet know nothing about it. A couture gown does not presence grant. Neither does daily injections of Botox, Miss Kidman, or starving oneself into a transparent gossamer condition, Miss Zellwegger.
Remember when women wore gloves, and they made putting them on and taking them off into a little Japanese tea ceremony of minute beauty and elegance?
Nowadays I see women shuffling along in FLIP-FLOPS — the dreaded flip-flops that are the enemy of everything elegant — looking and sounding like a paper-slippers-clad nursing home denizens — schluf schluf schluf. They blab away on cell phones and chaw gum at the same time, all while swigging from a Starbucks container. VERY elegant. Every time I see one of these beauties I think of that wonderful line from “Singin’ In The Rain,” plaintively spoken in a flat midwestern voice by a drab little flapper watching the great Lena Lamont on screen:
“She’s so refined. I think I’ll kill myself.”
For lessons in elegance, darlings, see Annette Bening in “Being Julia.”
Charming film, fabulous performance. Elegance, elegance, humor, and a study in the surgically unenhanced middle-aged beauty.
P.S. No one’s feet and ankles look lovely in plain old flip-flops. At LEAST get some with a bit of support and shape to them, for the love of Olivia DeHaviland.