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The Friday Fierceness: Bette Davis Will Cut You Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Friday Fierceness: Bette Davis Will Cut You Edition

If I cold have any feature of any actress it wouldn’t be Angelina Jolie’s lips or Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes. It wouldn’t be Catherine Deneuve’s impossibly perfect nose or Audrey Hepburn’s neck. It wouldn’t even be Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark. It would be Bette Davis’ imperial glare.

Fasten your seatbelts

right?

I’m constantly surprised by how many big girls skip over her name when mentioning their screen icons. It’s always Audrey Hepburn.  Y’all are clearly drunk. There’s nothing wrong with Audrey Hepburn although I DO eye with suspicion anyone who is too devoted to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The helpless “hooker with a heart of gold (and matching shovel)” riles every wild feminist instinct in me.  I really and truly got BOOED when, during the final stupid rain scene I accidentally shouted out “HE’S GAAAY”.

Some people have no respect for the finer points of art criticism.

Anyhoodle Bette Davis shouldn’t have been as beautiful as she was. Her lips managed to be thin and a smear at the same time, her nose drooped, her eyes were heavy lidded and sagging when Hollywood yearned only for doe-eyed damsels.

She wasn’t an ugly duckling who became a swan. She was an ugly duckling who made people realize that swans were kind of bastards.  That’s my kind of duckling.

Also I’ve got a soft spot for what Shakespeare called “a plain-dealing villain” because Bette? Kind of a bitch.

Retrospective

and yet she famously said:

“I’m the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived!”

I kind of believe her.  In my experience, people who have no problems expressing their wants and desires tend to be pretty darn generous of spirit. I think it comes from not being resentful. If you demand to be treated a certain way, most likely you will be. Contrast that with the long-suffering martyrdom of the Good Girl Who Never Gets Anything. Maybe I’m just a cold-hearted shrew (ha ha ha, see how I used the word “maybe” in there? Like it meant something? Damn I’m good.) but when I get what I want, I’m a lot more likely to give people what they want.

Well, you know, unless I forgot to wax.

Exhausted

“Hollywood always wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism.

Psychoanalysis. Almost went three times – almost. Then I decided what was peculiar about me was probably what made me successful. I’ve seen some very talented actors go into analysis and really lose it.

I do not regret one professional enemy I have made. Any actor who doesn’t dare to make an enemy should get out of the business.

She’s also had a subtle but enduring influence on fashion.  Witness the hand-tinted publicity shot from early in her career and the deeply misunderstood Lanvin gown as worn by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Bette Davis LeopardMaggie Gyllenhaal in Lanvin

Galliano referenced her early Warner Brothers Jezebel days, although in dolly way in his collection in his Sprin2008 RTW

Galliano does JezebelWarner Brothers illustration

and hardly a season goes by without some variation of her iconic look from “Of Human Bondage”.

Of Human Bondage

It’s actually a great look and if you’ve got naturally curly hair, dead easy to do at home.

So I’m off for the weekend, I leave you in the inimitable arms of Twistie (who will probably try to convince to you buy crushed velvet and bell sleeves. Don’t do it! Stay strong!) and will see you all next week with a fresh Monday Hotness, answers about “my eyelash gal, hijinks from the week and the long-awaited “topless Plumcake” (don’t panic Manolo) edition of You Asked for It.  Now let’s have some more quotes:

 “I survived because I was tougher than anybody else”

“I will NEVER be below the title”

and finally, from me to you the best blow off line in the history of ever:

“I’d love to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair”



12 Responses to “The Friday Fierceness: Bette Davis Will Cut You Edition”

  1. La BellaDonna June 26, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    But … but … but, Plummy …..

    Don’t you mean MORE crushed velvet and bell sleeves?

    Bwahahahahaha!

  2. Plumcake June 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm #

    hateful!

  3. Evie June 26, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Speaking of ducklings and swans Plummy, can I just tell you how much I love that you have yet to feature a conventionally pretty woman on the friday fierceness? Stunning and captivating, yes, but pretty? Not so much.

    Love. It.

  4. Elsa June 26, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    What a great tribute and a relief to read in this un-golden age of political correctness!

  5. madame suggia June 26, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    Ahhhh, La Belle Bette! The once & future queen of the screen, she who will not be denied, fierce & fabulous and totally femme (in the best possible way). Love love love her, and much as I think I’m pretty damn gorgeous just as I am, if I had to choose another face, hers would be *it*. BTW, Ms Plumcake, you seemed to be channelling a little Bette-magic in your pic this week. You looked fabulous!

  6. klee June 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    My personal favorite Bette film line: “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”.
    (I also saw a little bette-saucy-sneering in Miss Plumcake’s fab photo)

  7. Twistie June 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    Oh Plummy, while I love me some Audrey Hepburn, the Hepburn I always prefer is Kate. Also, the Audrey I love is the one in My Fair Lady and Roman Holiday who has a touch of mischief and a spine of pure titanium about her. I have never in my life understood the attraction of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

    As for Bette, there’s a reason we will never forget her. She had a way of rising above material that was merely mediocre, and bringing reality to good stuff. Hell, even though she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, her rendition of They’re Either Too Young or Too Old in Thank Your Lucky Stars is a serious highlight of the film.

    Now, as to those crushed velvet bell sleeves I want all of you to be wearing by the time Plummy comes back….

  8. gemdiva June 27, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    My favorite Bette Davis quote “There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that will do is a glass of champagne.” Now there’s a girl after my own heart.

  9. Jessie June 27, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    Betty Davis is so pretty.
    Because she’s different.
    I agree plummy,you always have such cool women on friday fierceness.
    and I was about to say,one of our blogging ladies favoris miss davis just a little.

  10. Mrs. Hendricks June 27, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    I thought the “Monday Hotness” was great, but this . . . These fierce females are just that, and downright inspirational. Thanks!

  11. Sarah June 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    Plumcake, you are my Bette Davis.

    But seriously, I so enjoy your wit.

  12. Harri P. July 2, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    I’ve never understood anyone’s liking for Audrey Hepburn, much less Big Girls. Flat chested stick and not really pretty. Give me Jane Russell cracking jokes in Gentlement Prefer Blondes any day.