Dear Mid-1940s-and-After Joan Crawford

19 Jan

Dear Mid-1940s-and-After Joan Crawford,

I continue to reside under your spell, darling Joan.  Your considerable charm, grace, and beauty perenially dazzle me. 

I especially relish the way you hold your sneering mouth–with all its generously applied lipstick–and the way clothing drapes languidly on the hard curves of your frame–whether fitted satin gown or severe, huge-shouldered suit, it all looks about the same–totally feminine toughness. 

I absolutely revel in every slap you deliver to inferior little idiots who can’t keep their traps shut and in every taunting smile dancing in your adamantine eyes as you utter something deliciously acrimonious.

But we’ve gotta talk.

We’ve gotta talk about those eyebrows.

When I was young and naive and open-minded, I wrote it off as one of those strange vagaries of fashion.  Level of eyebrow intensity goes in and out of style all the time, after all.

However, a quick perusal of contemporary eyebrows tells me yours are just slightly beyond the pale.  Yes, the ’50s afforded some volume, but my goodness, Joan.

And then, against all ladylikeness, I thought maybe it had to do with your age. No dice on that front, etiher.  Only a handful of other women-of-a-certain-age have eyebrows that even come close to the formidable fortitude of yours.

As you can see from the above illustration, yours stand firmly, proudly above the rest.  Only Kim Novak can even think about coming close to you (especially in Vertigo.  Yowza, girl!).

But what reason, pray tell, could you have for these monolithic mechanisms of maniacality?  these prodigious protrusions of pugnacity? these robust and roguish raiments of regal ridiculousness?

Be they the fount whence thy power doth spring?!?!?!?!

Behold! the more you bucked the studio system, the more you reigned as Queen of Pepsi, the broader your acting became, the larger these forehead warmers grew!

I must, therefore, come to that very conclusion or this: you’re making a bold statement.  A statement so bold as to be rather nonsensical. 

Alas, either way, I still adore you, Joan.  Perhaps more than I would if you had non-terrifying eyebrows.  Because, I think I must admit, I could not love you if you didn’t have just a hint of awfulness about you.  And these eyebrows are your crowning acheivement in awfulness.  And you devotedly donned them for years and years.

Thank you so much for your commitment and ardor, Joan.  Your fierce passion and crazy eyes, offset by truly horrendous eyebrows, are probably what I love most about you.

Yours ever truly,

5 Responses to “Dear Mid-1940s-and-After Joan Crawford”

  1. Grand Old Movies 1 February 2012 at 8:19 PM #

    Joan’s eyebrows do look as if she could hook them onto a chandelier and then swing by them – but perhaps they’re meant as a reaction to earlier brow fashions. I know that actresses in the 30s often shaved off their brows (eg, Harlow, Dietrich) and then penciled in thin, giant arcs on their foreheads, like the lines of a switchback railway.. (Dietrich’s brows became so extreme, they gave her a look of perpetual surprise.) So many Joan’s brows are a statement of rebellion, a way of saying, “I’ve got ’em and I’ll flaunt ’em!” Go to it, Joan!

    • TheBestofAlexandra 1 February 2012 at 8:29 PM #

      Definitely some sort of rebellion–good point.


  1. LAMB Acting School 101: Joan Crawford | | Beth Stollman BlogBeth Stollman Blog - 30 January 2012

    […] Alexandra, from I started Late and Forgot the Dog, looks at Crawford’s memorable eyebrows. […]

  2. The Large Association of Movie Blogs: LAMB Acting School 101 … | Acting Blog Guide - 31 January 2012

    […] Alexandra, from I started Late and Forgot the Dog, looks at Crawford’s memorable eyebrows. […]

  3. 1955: The ’50s-est Year for Oscar Songs | I Started Late and Forgot the Dog. - 28 February 2013

    […] always picking on 1955, it seems, but I wanted to do an Oscar post, and I wanted it to be about Academy Award-winning […]

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