When you think about glamour, who comes to mind?
Depending on your age, you may think of Grace Kelley or perhaps more recently, Princess Diana. What if you had to pick a contemporary person, someone from today who you consider glamorous? Does anyone readily come to mind? It seems as if some residents from the land of celebrity have tried to channel old Hollywood and bring back glamour.
Perhaps we must first go to the roots of Glamour and see the evolution to understand how it has changed. It’s no secret that there was a time in Hollywood after the 20’s til the late 40’s, known as the golden age of Hollywood, when glamour was everywhere. There were studio bosses and moguls who at the time created stars and personas – not just simple people. These stars, whether male or female, personified glamour and as a result fascinated audiences with their striking looks and interesting characters. Therefore, with such personalities as Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart, how could a girl look away from the screen? Also with unique faces such as Bette Davis and Norma Shearer there was hope for everyday women that they too could capture the spirit.
After the 50’s, Glamour stepped aside to let television and the suburban housewife take center stage. Couples were no longer calling each other darling. Instead they were changing their little darling’s diaper. Next, the 60’s came along with free love and drug experimentation. Onto the 70’s disco era, the 80’s and bad hair, the 90’s with grunge, until today, a new century. Here we are in a new time to express ourselves. So where is glamour today? Is it possible to possess glamour in a contemporary, technologically advanced society? I think so.
Currently, with stars like Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson we are almost instantaneously transported to the graveyard of glamour. Platinum hair combined with red lips equals’ glamour right? Wrong! What is missing from this equation is the essence of glamour. When looking up the word glamour in a thesaurus words like allure, bewitchment, charisma, and magnetism abound. These words are the nucleus of glamour. They convey the certain attitude amongst the glamorous not necessarily snobbery, but a complete confidence of spirit. While Christina Aguilera has definitely got the look down, the essence seems to be missing. This woman has transformed herself from a childhood mouseketeer, to a dirty girl, and now a glamour model. She obviously likes to change her public persona and will, more than likely, move onto another look later in life.
Today, the essence of glamour is not obvious in Hollywood. While we see actors dressed for the red carpet, it has only become a floor for criticism. We look at a star in dress and quickly decide our judgment. Celebrity has been drummed down to the point that you don’t actually have to be talented or smart to become famous. How can this current crop of celebrities possess an air of glamour?
Perhaps there still is a spark. One spark who comes to mind was Princess Diana. While she struggled privately, she always held a proper demeanor. Dressed for every occasion, Diana championed causes for the less fortunate and always worked for the benefit of others. This woman possessed the caliber of glamour. She held the spark that made her different, interesting, and unique.
As I stated before, glamour, while it is a look, is also an essence. While some stars can copy the looks of Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelley, they can never embody their spirit. So when looking in contemporary time I see people like Angelina Jolie, Bono, and Oprah as possessing glamour. They all enjoy physical beauty while transcending into a level that only few can hope to obtain, through glamour.