MAE WEST did a fascinating interview in March 1960, discussing her philosophy of "upbeat thinking." Let's revisit this and learn her secrets — — including how to appear tall when, in fact, you are barely five feet (or sixty inches).
• • "Mae West — — Upbeat Gal" • •
• • Mae West has as many gems of feminine advice as Diamond Lil had rocks and she's much quicker to share them. The amazing Miss West is generous with her wisdom on anything from how to hold a man ("in your arms, of course") to the ground rules ("Love thy neighbor. But not thy neighbor's husband!") to how a woman can appear taller than she really is.
• • "people think of me as a tall woman ..." • •
• • "Lots of people think of me as a tall woman," she confided with pride. She stood up to demonstrate, striking the pose that has launched a thousand imitations — — one hand on hip, the other waving an invitation to unseen admirers. "Actually, I'm only five feet, five inches tall in my nylons." [sic] Mae added, "This is a medium altitude for a woman. But I have tricked some fool people into thinking I'm as willowy and long-legged as one of those six-foot showgirls." The moment she stands up, the famous actress reveals her high-wattage aura and, by holding her chin high, she appears to be looking down at the world.
• • "I never gesture downward," Mae said in explaining her "look tall" secrets. "I always move up with my arms, hands, and my shoulders. It's always up, up, as in 'Come up and see me sometime'!" To prove the difference, she suddenly dropped her arms, let her head sag and relaxed her shoulders. Instantly, the change took inches off her height and added years to her age. "Wardrobe," Mae points out, "can also contribute to the upward look."
• • Her flamboyantly feminine costumes are designed to focus attention on the bustline, shoulders, and face. "But I think a woman with really pretty shoulders should show them off," and she casually rearranged the lace of her bare-shouldered hostess gown. Another trick to adding stature is accomplished by the arrangement of her long, platinum hair, which she usually wears in an upsweep."
• • Finally, Mae confided, "I think upward. Unpleasant thoughts drag you down. I won't have it." . . .
• • Source: The Ottawa Journal (Canada); published on Saturday, 5 March 1960.
• • On 10 March 1926 in Variety • •
• • A news item noted that a new play by "Jane Mast" (Mae West) called "Sex" was coming to Broadway. This announcement ran in Variety's issue dated for 10 March 1926.
• • On Saturday, 10 March 1934 in Australia • •
• • Staring Mae West, "I'm No Angel" had its Sydney opening at the Prince Edward Theatre on Saturday, 10 March 1934. This successful 87-minute comedy (9 reels) ran for eight weeks in Australia.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West's stage plays were banned in Philadelphia due to their content. In 1932, a theatre owner in Philadelphia questioned Paramount's decision to use her in their films, feeling their is no place for such "filth on the screen."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I've got three generations of fans. I have the grandparents and the parents, and now I have the kids. Isn't that just great?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Times Recorder mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West, W C. Fields in 'My Little Chickadee' at the Liberty” • •
• • Mae West and W. C. Fields, two of the most celebrated figures in the entertainment world, are at the Liberty theater today in their new starring picture, Universal's "My Little Chickadee." Heralded as one of the outstanding screen combinations of all time, the curvaceous actress and the flaming-nosed punster blend their colorful personalities in a rip-snorting comedy of frontier days. The story is said to be alive with rootin'-tootin' action played against a background of romance, skullduggery and music. Mae West is seen as a glamorous big-city belle who stirs up a mess of trouble when the boys of the wild and woolly frontier start to vie for her affections. Among "the boys" is W.C. Fields, as a medicine man and card sharp, who is completely captivated by Mae and strives throughout the film to claim her for his very own. One of the strongest supporting casts of the year was assembled for the production. ...
• • Source: The Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio); published on Sunday, 10 March 1940
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2866th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • circa 1960 • •
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