Incoherent Grace Kelly post
Two weeks ago my friend Matt and I were in the greatest monthly movie event when I geared the conversation towards the new Vanity Fair cover with Grace Kelly. Didn’t know she was a Kennedy. He talked about about his absolute disgust at Laura Jacobs‘ article and its insistence of her purity. He said that if she stayed in Hollywood she would have been a sex symbol and not the upstanding demure lady that she groomed herself as. Then we talked about princesses, in which he decided to take a breather and talk about the real world for a while.
My childhood understanding of Grace Kelly was Princess Grace. My young adult understanding of her is the insulting “quitters don’t win” out of frustration. Most importantly are the more recent revelation of her romantic proclivities. But there’s nothing wrong about that because there’s a place in our hearts for girls like that. She was just the beauty that could get away with anything.
I always marveled at the domesticated image of woman of the 1950’s, because the stars of that time, Grace Kelly and half of her competition – Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor sans “Giant” – didn’t look like women who made your eggs and toast. That’s also ironic knowing how Grace Kelly ends up.
And again, the insistence that she was a 50’s girl, which I’m staring to question as a fallacy given her many incarnations in other actresses – Vivien Leigh, Catherine Deneuve, Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow. True, most of those women have odder roles and didn’t take on the same airs as she did. But if you pay attention to her lines in her movies, written to deconstruct her ladylike image. We should also remember that societal constraints also prevented her from playing the titular character in “Marnie.” Who knows what risks she world have taken?
I look at the picture above and the Vanity Fair cover and the picture where she comes out of a pool and I see Helmut Newton moreso than the New Look.
My mind goes all over the place too while I’m thinking about Grace Kelly. It’s true that for every statuesque blonde there are five actresses who are more petite looking and more aloof than her. But I keep trying to place her at any time in film history and insisting that she could have happened anytime.
- Grace Kelly brings classic Hollywood to Australia (travelnews.britishairways.com)