Clothed Sex: Wise Words from Audrey Hepburn


Scandal is that sweet-and-sour taste that you love to keep on your tongue no matter how burning an affect it may have, and a little-known blog called The Hairpin is religiously dedicated to just that.  Chronicling the various sotto-voce whispers of mostly the Silver Screen generation, this blog recently posted how back in the 1940s, the US government sent out a picture to its valiant troops that set up quite a brouhaha and many an accusation of vulgarity.  The picture?  Sex icon Rita Hayworth in a negligee.


  Now compare that to this:


  And this:


 And for funzies:


 Note how none of these were even scandalous.

Now revert back in time.  Betty Grable was known for having “million-dollar legs”, but never was her nudity made public; Veronica Lake smoldered as the girl next door with well-tailored and well-covering sweaters; Grace Kelly had that Season One Betty Draper elegance.  Each a starlet, each plastering the bedroom walls of many a young man. 

  Flash forward again nearly a decade later and an increasingly famous actress named Audrey Hepburn stated this:

 “There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.” 


Now think about Audrey and Rita and all those other ladies and how timeless their beauty is, although Audrey is remembered more for wearing leggings and ballet slippers.  Even Marilyn Monroe’s closet was pretty modest by today’s standards, and she’s still THE American sex symbol.  I mean, ok, she did pose nude for a calendar and it was a well-known fact that she was sleeping with the President, but think of how that was dealt with exposure-wise.

 Maybe that’s what it comes down to, the beauty of yesterday and the beauty of today.  Back then women didn’t seem to constantly bombard the public with just how beautiful they were– they weren’t constantly making duck-faces at cameras or doing semi-nude shots for Cosmo. Theirs was a modest beauty, something the public was only aware of through hints of a well-tailored dress-suits and long lashes.    


Or leggings and ballet flats

Let me also say at this point that I don’t think that celebrities today are just plain ugly.  If they were, the media would be nonexistent.  But those celebrity women who I personally find truly beautiful are the ones who still hold true to the old standard of promoting their looks– they are subtly beautiful, allowing the world to find out for itself that they are beautiful instead of constantly trying to prove themselves through, as Audrey would say, their “measurements”.

So next time you think you lack sex appeal because that girl in the corner is wearing less than you, think again.  Go pick that apple or chill out in the rain: you may be surprised at just how sexy you feel.

– Claudia Dimuro, Contributing Writer 



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