Sunday, 13 April 2014

A new trend in cinema? Or new beauty standards?

Please note, before you continue reading:
1/ I suppose you may say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I have no intention of trying to change anyone's opinion.
2/ In spite of the sentence above, I must remind you to think of these actresses in their prime, not when their beauty has faded or started fading.
3/ I know physical appearance's not the most important thing, and care more about acting, obviously- there are gorgeous actresses I don't like (e.g Elizabeth Taylor) and actresses I like that I don't find beauteous (e.g Cate Blanchett). This post is only about an impression I have, a feeling that there has been a new trend in cinema.
4/ This post is not only about features, but also about style, grace, movements, gestures, etc. 

I notice that, before the 1960s, the female stars (in the English-speaking world) were not only delicate, graceful, classy, glamorous but also pulchritudinous and dazzling, even ethereal. Their features were perfect. Just look at:

- Vivien Leigh

- Ava Gardner

- Hedy Lamarr

- Elizabeth Taylor

- Rita Hayworth

- Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

- Grace Kelly

- Greta Garbo

- Joan Crawford 

- Carole Lombard 

- Jean Simmons: 


A bit later came the time of other great beauties, such as:
- Nicole Kidman 

- Sharon Stone

- Catherine Zeta-Jones 

- Demi Moore

- Monica Bellucci

- Kate Winslet

- Salma Hayek 

And some other actresses who were not very beautiful but who had something special, something unique:
- Julia Roberts

- Angelina Jolie

Now, look at today's stars:

- Jennifer Lawrence

- Mila Kunis 

- Carey Mulligan 

- Mia Wasikowska 

- Kristen Stewart

- Ellen Page 

- Hailee Steinfeld 

- Amanda Seyfried

- Hayden Panettiere 

- Olivia Wilde 

- Kirsten Dunst 

- Emma Stone

- Michelle Williams

- Anna Kendrick

and Shailene Woodley, who will soon be a star:

I'm not saying that these actresses are ugly (take it easy), but in my opinion they look "ordinary", rather pretty/ cute but not beautiful, not at all classy or elegant, even plain and unremarkable (if they didn't appear everywhere, they probably would be forgettable too). It seems to me that people now tend to go for the natural, 'normal', simple, down-to-earth type.
a) This doesn't mean that people now prioritise talent over physical appearance. Among the ones mentioned above, Olivia Wilde, Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone, Mia Wasikowska, Carey Mulligan... are not good actresses. 
b) It may be seen as a good thing that people now like actresses to be like ordinary people rather than goddesses. As to me, the natural type might have its charm, but when natural goes to the point of unfeminine, coarse, unmannerly, vulgar..., that's another story. But I will not discuss this point further, as it is a matter of preference.

Wrote this post after watching My Fair Lady and hearing of the plan to remake it with Carey Mulligan in the role of the marvellous Audrey Hepburn. Now I don't know how to end this post, so, let's just place a full stop here. 

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