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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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Jeff LoSasso ~ 5.10.2006

By Rick Racela

Where’re all the dames? Where are all those fiery, hot-blooded, ill-tempered, complex chicks of yesteryear?  The ones who could belt down three fingers of scotch and nary bat an eyelid; the ones who knew how to hold a cigarette; the ones who cursed with such frequency, panache and aplomb, they could make a longshoreman blush.
Where’re all those brassy dolls and molls Mickey Spillane wrote about and immortalized?  You know the type.  The ones who spoke their mind whenever they felt like it; the ones who radiated confidence, both intellectual and sexual, the ones who’d kiss ya, just as soon as belt yaâ right in the teeth.
Girls like Grable and Davis.  Ava Gardner. And Lauren Bacall.  Especially Lauren Bacall, a woman who I first took an interest in after seeing her on The Tom Snyder Show (another program I miss) many years ago.
Even though I was all of probably 15, I still remember listening to Bacall that night and thinking, “Wow.  Now there’s a woman.” And this was before I saw how beautiful and talented she was on film.
I don’t know, man. It was just something about the way she carried herself, the way she spoke, the stories she told, and the fact that she was Bogey’s squeeze.  Which is saying a lot.
But it wasn’t fake though, you know?  It wasn’t a put-on.  Like, oh, I’m just trying to act tough for the camera, or I’m just trying to portray this image of strength.  It was the real deal. And it was alluring, to say the least.
Maybe I’m bent on nostalgia, I know I am, but I just don’t see, or, perhaps I should say, I rarely see those qualities in women today; and I don’t get it either.
Nowadays, everything seems so one-dimensional, so phony.  Like, displaying a lack of depth and exuding shallowness is supposed to be cute, acceptable, or even worse, an ideal?
It’s not.  It’s beat.  It’s cheesy.  It’s boring.
Case in point: current “stars” like Jessica Simpson, Tara Reid, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, the list goes on.
Why are these clones touted as the “it” girls?  What is so special about any one of them?  Are they sexy?  I suppose.  But so what?  Sex appeal only goes so far.  What’s beneath the surface?  Nada, zilch, zip.  Period.
“Hey, what’s up ya’ll?  My name is Brittany Spears, I’m like a bag of  10-penny nails, and I don’t nearly have as much talent as I’m purported to have. As well, I don’t have any strong opinions on issues that matter. But, hey, so long as the tabloids splash my image across their covers; an increasingly celebrity-obsessed society doesn’t shout the emperor has no clothes; tools like Billy Bush on Access Hollywood fawn over me, and frat-geeks think I’m a ‘hottie,’ I’ll remain popular.”
Maybe it’s just a reflection of our society, maybe it’s all just ephemeral, but by putting chuckleheads – like the ones mentioned above – on a pedestal, not only does it send the wrong message, but it also does a huge disservice to the legions of great, proud women who came before them. There were women who were of a much stronger mettle, women of merit.
The media has a way of distorting things.  I know the reality is that there’s a multitude of really strong, intelligent, fiercely outspoken women out there.
I guess it’s just frustrating sometimes when you’re trying to find a Lauren Bacall in what often feels like a sea of Jessica Simpsons.

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