R I P Jane Russell & Oscar’s Best Dressed Part 2

Jump to Comments

I spend a great deal of time defending today’s entertainment offerings to my 84-year old mother, who feels that today’s pop culture is this side of trash. With few exceptions. I was however, delighted to note that the only movie she saw this year was The King’s Speech. Which miraculously she found fabulous. Probably because the action takes place before most of her children were born. Essentially, she feels that movies and TV shows today are way too loud, too violent, too raunchy, and devoid of any charm or class. Because I am the youngest of seven children, and because I work in the entertainment industry, I feel a need to defend most everything – even though I myself can’t stand half of it.  My mother’s generation lost one of its more iconic members yesterday.

Screen siren Jane Russell passed away at age 89.  I knew who she was, and had certainly seen Gentlemen Prefer Blondes but knew little else besides the fact that she was uber-voluptuous and a massively popular pin-up girl. She was known for being very active on behalf of several causes, and the movie studios were extremely nervous about showing too much footage of her body – because it was considered super risqué. She made lots of movies and truly epitomized the term ‘sex symbol’. Would she be considered sexy today? Undoubtedly. Would she be considered risqué and racy? In today’s climate, she might give khakis and saddle shoes a run for their money, but that’s probably it.

As I continue to read various Oscar post-mortems I could not help but wonder whether we have “slipped culturally”. Our need to create drama just to accrue views and viewers is pretty insane (I read the headline “Was Oscar Host James Franco HIGH??” today) as is our need to scrutinize various neonatal romances (Justin & Selena, Chord & Taylor). Still, if they can keep making movies like the aforementioned Best Pic, plus Inception plus The Social Network and The Kids Are All Right, we may have something that will be recalled fondly generations later. It does seem, however, that with ladies like Jane Russell perhaps there was more mystique at play – which we have zero of nowadays. What you see is what you get and we see and get far more than anyone necessarily needs or wants, methinks. In fact, I’m not sure what to make of the passing of one beloved bathing suit bombshell in today’s Snookie-fied world, but it’s nice to know that were it not for some of these gals, Madonna and Lady Gaga wouldn’t have a (shapely, fishnet) leg to stand on. Not that I’d admit this to my mother.

Today’s featured poll:

Back to Oscar’s best dressed! Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and let us know which of these Academy Awards’ frocks is your favorite?

1)   Anne Hathaway (blue)

2)   Cate Blanchett

3)   Brooklyn Decker

4)   Oprah

For the latest pop culture news and voting, make sure to sign up for the People’s Choice newsletter!