Monday, 25 April 2011

The ideal movie star

In one of my books there is a little list on various movie stars and their height, measurements and, sometimes, weight. It’s always interesting to see how a beautiful body was perceived during different time periods. The ideal was a slim body, but the almost skeletal figure that you can sometimes see on our modern movie stars are nowhere to be seen. No overly athletic bodies either, or the emphasis on the bust that you can see in the fifties. Though the book is from 1946, many of the movie stars had they heyday in the 30’s, but I don’t think the ideals changed very dramatically. As it is a Swedish list, measurements are in centimeters and weight in kilograms.

Rita Hayworth

Height: 1.68
Bust: 92
Waist: 60,5
Hips: 91

Myrna Loy

Height: 1.70
Weight: 62.5
Bust: 86
Waist: 67

Maureen O'Sullivan

Height: 1.72
Weight: 64
Bust: 91
Waist: 72

Norma Shearer

Height: 1.51
Weight: 55
Bust: 87
Waist: 66

Mae West

Height: 1.55
Bust: 85
Waist: 60
Hips: 85

Joan Crawford

Height: 1.61
Weight: 55
Bust: 95
Waist: 64

Jean Harlow

Height: 1.60
Weight: 49.5
Bust: 88
Waist: 64
Hips: 84.5

Greta Garbo

Height: 1.66
Weight: 60
Bust: 92
Waist: 66

Betty Grable

Height: 1.63
Bust: 91
Waist: 61
Hips: 89


Danièle said...

I would love to be like Norma Shearer :-) One thing is clear though they all have tiny waists. Fascinating to see as well that none of them were really really tall. Great article. What is the title of your book, and is it published in English?

Cinquefoil said...

Wow, I though exactly the same, that none of them is very tall. I always thought Joan Crawford for example was much taller! And the waists! Goodness! Very interesting, and yes, they were slim, but not overtly emaciated, and with curves. Lovely. :)


The Zany Housewife said...

I love all these ladies and their teeny tiny waists. Great pictures and I love seeing their measurements!

The Zany Housewife said...

I always look to the classic film stars of the past and wish that women now would see that you could be sexy and elegant without looking like a skeleton.

garofit said...

Ok, so then Greta Garbo wasn't really that tall?!

To me, Jean Harlow always looked rather rounder than her 49.5 kg suggest.
What a bizarre thing one's perception is!

Rene Michele said...

So cool. Great pictures! Lots of curves and such tiny waists. It was interesting to see the heights, but I don't know that there a lot of tall actresses these days either. Mostly just super skinny.

Isis said...

Danièle: The book is called Skönhet by Vivan Huber, but it's not translated to English, I'm sorry to say.

Piia: And some were really tiny, like Mae West!

Zany: I couldn't agrre wit you more!

Garofit: No, but I think she had rather bog feet. :) I don't know the exact date on the weight and measurements, so she may very well have gained weight. :)

Rene: Yeah, mostly just skinny, I think. :/

Lillgull said...

Hey I didn´t know those ladies where my hight! The tiny waists could be a result of measurement taken when laced in a waistnipper. Or that the person was wearing a corsett or girdle for 10 or 15 or 20 years. That everyday use helps shape the waist. Also the measurements could be a result of not bearing any children...

Isis said...

Lillgull: Yes, girdles may be the result and I bet most were childless as well at the point. Fun facts anyway. :)

Jenn said...

I apologize for replying to such an old post, but I just found it! I found it quite amusing that everyone commented that none of the actresses were that tall. Being quite short myself, I found them to be tall! :)

Lovely post. Oh to have those figures!

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