Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nude for Thought

Dear Helen Hartman,
I see you watch the television program Pan Am. I was excited - not overly so but in a way appropriate to the circumstances, of course – to see something on TV that would portray the good taste and high standards that were the norm in 1963. Imagine my dismay when the story lines went from the proper chastising of young stewardesses for not wearing girdles to tales of espionage, illicit romance and now… nudity!
I do not believe a beautiful young woman in 1963 with opportunities ranging from marriage to becoming a Pan Am stewardess open to her would never pose ’au naturel’ and risk losing one of both of those options.  I wanted to love the show but how can I love something so historically dishonest?

Dear Loves the Naked Truth One,
You make a very good point. Anyone alive today knows that no one prior to 1967 was ever in a state of undress. Ever. Not even knick knacks!

Cover thyself, woman. Thou art a temptress with thy smokin' hot bare forearms!

Why 1967? The Summer of Love? When we went from this:

Deets on my new hat at the end of the post

To this:

Once upon a time Hippie chic was just a Hippie Chick with her own sense of style

Make Love Not War.  Tune in. Turn On. Drop Out. Or for many, fall out… out of your clothes!

"You should see looks on the kids faces when Oscar and I hop out of our 'stang and go streaking!" Oscar and Eleanor were responsible for more than their fair share of young people turning to mind altering drugs. How bad can acid be once you've seen THAT?

This was certainly NOT the case in 1963, when the show PAN AM is set. They kept their clothes on in that time period. And why wouldn’t they? In 1963 fashion was not just an art, it was a science.

Dr. Frock was still not satisfied. He could tell by the look of pained disdain on her face that his new coat design still allowed for slight movement from the elbows down. "Not uncomfortable enough," he muttered. "Not nearly uncomfortable enough."

Even the undergarments were technological marvels.

Ahh, yes, so relaxing that even when she slipped out of her slacks, Vulcanized Rubber Girdle Girl wore this as as lounge-wear. Her super power? Being slim and never taking a full breath!

But that didn’t mean they didn’t have an aura of magic. Oh, what they could do for a body (that would never be seen by the… ahem (shifting to whisper mode) naked eye.)

Hurray for 'natural'  bosoms. Lets have a parade in our tiaras, evening gloves and cone bras! What could BE more natural?

What is more youthful than a Paris breeze for the very average figured woman?  I mean, Paris  people! That’s what those cone bras were all about, to make one think of the Eiffel Tower. The Pyramids? The Alps? All places nice young women would never dare go without a chaperone and reinforced foundation garments!   
How could the natural human form hope to compete with that?

Natural Norma leaves the parade of youthful average pointy bosoms in disgrace. Though she traveled the world unfettered, she is to be pitied.
So I can understand why you’d feel so strongly that a storyline involving nude photos would seem so, well, unseemly to the times. But then again… it IS fiction, isn’t it? The program AND the idea that people lived the way they seemed to in the images seen in glorious retrovision – black and white Tv, ads in women’s magazines.

A grown woman using puppets to make her look smart and pay the bills! Hasn't anyone told her? That's what MEN are for.

I wouldn’t want to be judged by the media images of American life as seen on our current crop of Reality TV! Would YOU? I'll wait while you think about The Bachelor, Fear Factor, Jersey Shore and all things Kardashian. Not so funny now, huh?

People have always gotten up to things, and into things and onto things and it’s about time we all got OVER things that aren’t tailor made to suit our particular tastes or echo our personal experiences. Yes, I said it before and it bears repeating, or at least re-showing…

In other words, if you'd just put on your big girl panties and deal with the fact that the world isn't always to your liking that'd be super. OKAY?
 
The real storyline is about women in a time of change which - don’t buy the history written from the HIS pov – are ALL times. Discovering themselves. Deciding if they like what they find in themselves and reinventing themselves. We do it all the time. And every time the process always leaves us just a little bit exposed.

Yes, Gloria HAD taken her gloves off in public and she LIKED it!

I say let's celebrate the process. 

I'll start by showing off - so unlike me, isn't it? - my lone weekend find.  It was from a charming cottage home among belongings that told of someone who loved nice things, kept a cocktail shaker in her kitchen and Fredric's of Hollywood lingerie in a trunk with labels from not so exotic places on it in the closet. The prices were crazy high but when I saw this I had to have it.

Even the label is irresistible!

 




It's so delish I am keeping it on a serving plate! 
Have a great week, find good stuff, do fun stuff, unstuff a stuffed shirt. That's the Helen way!
Do something revolutionary... or at least a little revealing today! 



34 comments:

  1. I lost interest in the first show & never went back. Not even close to that era of time.

    Have a beautiful day ~
    TTFN ~
    Marydon

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    1. I came back again once I gave up on it being true to the period. It's just fun now.

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  2. Now I shall have to go watch an episode to see for myself. That hat is uber lovely!! I have a small collection, but nothing so natty as that in it! Deb

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    1. The close up doesn't do it justice. But then neither does the far away shot. It's one of those that looks best on someone. But the colors are so bright and cherries... how could you not want it?

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  3. The main difference between the 50s and early 60s and today is that back then our rugs were bigger...to accommodate all the stuff we swept under them. It's easier to keep up a June Cleaver facade if you pretend sex and alcohol and "mother's little helpers" don't exist. In the end, however, people are people, like you said...and I love your advice to the ones who judge the world by their sometimes limited personal experience.

    Oh...and another big difference between that time and this. Back then we still trusted women named Edith to give us fashion advice. :)

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  4. Bwahahaha - love the insight about those rugs! My mom knew 2 women who killed their husbands back then! I don't know any! Speaking of Edith - this will make you laugh, Dana, my mother owned a dress store called Mode O Day and sometimes we saw their dresses on Edith Bunker of All in the Family. Now that was style!

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  5. Awesome find! :) Next time I see you, then, you'll most likely be sporting that look? Could be required headwear for all female CCW members?

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  6. I'm gonna go flash my neighbors! Welcome to the 21st century, people! I love that hat. LOVE.

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  7. I had great plans to watch that show, not so much for the storyline, but to see all of the furniture and knick knacks and such in the background! That's why I love watching the old shows from the 50s and 60s. Love the house on "Hazel", and Mr. Wilson's garden on "Dennis The Menace"!
    Happy REDnesday,
    Carol

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    1. Isn't it the BEST when you see something you now own on an old show? Too fun. Happy Rednesday to you too!

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  8. Very sweet hat!
    I am totally behind on my Pan Am watching.... EAAAK!
    I have been meaning to catch up but there is so many other shows I PVR and am obsessed with I just haven't got around to it yet. BUT NUDITY NUDITY!!! what the heck is this world coming too?? *BAH*

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    1. When it's me it's not bah, it's Boooooo. Put your clothes ON.

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  9. Nudity on TV, imagine that. Next thing you know they'll be putting curse words and rap lyrics into country songs...:@)

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    1. LOL - she's not even really nude. It's photos of her that don't show anything. It has been funny to read the reactions of fans who honestly have been shocked at it all!

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  10. Time has a way away of making a big difference in everything. This is proof.

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    1. And then everything old is new again! Everywhere I go hats are in again, it seems. Just wait long enough and styles comes back.

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  11. Oh, my! I smiled though your post. ;-)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Sarah. Your blog is lovely and makes me smile.

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  12. Darlin', I'd give anything for a pointy bra and a good girdle. Comfortable or not. I want to wear those clothes!!!!

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    1. Not sure about those but I'd like shirts with darts in them again. It only makes sense. I love how so many young women think Spanx are a new idea. Silly things. I remember my mom's girdles were these marvels of construction with lace coverings.

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  13. Hello Helen:
    We have no television and so the delights [or otherwise] of Pan Am have passed us by. How grateful we are that you keep us up to date with everything happening in 2012 otherwise we should still be living in the C18!!

    As we age, disgracefully of course, we rather wish that the engineering of under garments would return to the glory days of the 1950s when reinforced rubber made sure that everything stayed in its place and pointed in the right direction!!

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    1. LOL - I guess one has to chose between have one's retreating form look like two pigs wrestling in sack or 10 pounds of sausage in a 5 pound casing!

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  14. Oh my...when I saw your hat I immediately thought of the book, Go Dogs Go, by Dr. Seuss! Remember, she keeps asking, "Do you like my Hat? lol...

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  15. I haven't seen that program...now I'll want to see it! heehee! Very cute, dear one! ♥ And I like your Hippie chic...it suits you! ♥

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    1. I was more a Disco Queen but love that hippie thing!

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  16. Okay, I need to see you modeling your hat-nip! Please, oh please, oh please?

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    1. That's me in the 50s photo BUT I look too much like my Aunts in it - it freaks me out. HOw'd I get to be the grown up????

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  17. Aha, we always knew you were a woman in red!

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    1. You make it sound mysterious when in fact I look like an overripe tomato.

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  18. Oh ive been meaning to check out Pan AM - this post has given me a kick bum to check it. Love your hippy chic too :o) Peace and love man, Scarlett xx

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    1. I love it but sadly may not be in the majority.

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