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Body Images on Film


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You may call me an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy who is not 'woke' but nearly the only body image in movies which is of interest to me is a tall man in a small swimsuit. 

Sean Connery in a mankini in: Zardoz (1974) qualifies also.

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1 hour ago, SansFin said:

You may call me an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy who is not 'woke' but nearly the only body image in movies which is of interest to me is a tall man in a small swimsuit. 

Sean Connery in a mankini in: Zardoz (1974) qualifies also.

So, I take it you're a big Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz fan?  😀🩲

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5 hours ago, LsDoorMat said:

Well, if you are eating right and more importantly exercising regularly, then you are doing all you can do. Sometimes I think those numbers as to what is healthy are made strict to increase medical and pharmaceutical profits, not to indicate what is healthy. 

I feel great too, all things considered.  Yeah, my joints and a mischievous right knee might complain a little about what I'm putting them through, but my cardiologist and GP doctor think I'm doing fine.  My doctor did tell me to watch it on my lifting, because he thought I might be going heavier than was necessary.  I assured him the weights I'm working with are quite modest compared to what other guys my age can handle, based on YouTube videos I've watched to improve my form and technique.   One strange by-product from all this has been that I find myself using my back-scratcher more frequently, because my arms and shoulders have gotten so big over the past 18 months that I can't reach the 'itch' on my back as easily as I used to be able to!  I know bigger doesn't always mean better, but in my case, it suits me.  I just wish I'd started doing it years ago, but it wasn't a priority for me in my younger days (sigh).

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I found it slightly ironic that an attractive woman was presenting this topic. I'm sure she can intellectually

understand the issue of body image and can also sympathize for those who are plagued by it, but I doubt

she can personally experience it herself and that is a pretty significant difference. Of course these things

started long before moving pictures were invented, but the ability to see and be seen and the personal

problems that go with that has increased over the last 100 years. 

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Olivia went after the role in THE HEIRESS. She had gone to see it performed on stage in New York. This was the next project she wanted to do at Paramount, after her previous Oscar win. I sincerely doubt they were going to say no to her. The film got made when it did because of her. 

Incidentally, the role of Catherine Sloper was played on stage by Wendy Hiller. The Broadway production ran for over 400 performances.

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I think the best film about body image, mental image and overall self-image is THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE (1945). The two main characters are played by Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire. He has gone off to war and become scarred, and she is presented as a plain and somewhat unattractive woman who cares for him. There is a really glorious scene at the end of the picture where we see them both looking exquisitely romantic and lovely. It's sort of a dramatic shift in point of view. We are no longer looking at them from the third-person viewpoint of the camera. We are looking at them as they see each other. They don't see the scars and the plainness. They see something magnificent in each other.

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that Olivia went after the role in THE HEIRESS. She had gone to see it performed on stage in New York. This was the next project she wanted to do at Paramount, after her previous Oscar win. I sincerely doubt they were going to say no to her. The film got made when it did because of her. 

Incidentally, the role of Catherine Sloper was played on stage by Wendy Hiller. The Broadway production ran for over 400 performances.

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I'd say Hiller was perfectly cast then.

Funny thing about her is that in some of her films I find her quite attractive and then in others I think she's rather plain and even a bit unattractive.

(...and I'll bet when she played Catherine Sloper on stage, she attempted to look and project her appearence toward the latter, of course)

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11 hours ago, Dargo said:

I'd say Hiller was perfectly cast then.

Funny thing about her is that in some of her films I find her quite attractive and then in others I think she's rather plain and even a bit unattractive.

That's one of the reasons I find her a more convincing Eliza Dolittle than Audrey Hepburn--she was able to suggest both the unglamorous and the glamorous, whereas Hepburn's natural elegance was rather difficult to disguise. 

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10 hours ago, Dargo said:

I'd say Hiller was perfectly cast then.

Funny thing about her is that in some of her films I find her quite attractive and then in others I think she's rather plain and even a bit unattractive.

(...and I'll bet when she played Catherine Sloper on stage, she attempted to look and project her appearence toward the latter, of course)

I mentioned in an earlier thread that in some films, and at certain angles, I saw a resemblance of Ms. Hiller  to comedy actress JENNA ELFMAN.  Who I certainly don't consider unattractive.

Sepiatone

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12 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I mentioned in an earlier thread that in some films, and at certain angles, I saw a resemblance of Ms. Hiller  to comedy actress JENNA ELFMAN.  Who I certainly don't consider unattractive.

Sepiatone

Yeah, I can kind'a see this, Sepia.

(...fodder for the "Lookalike" thread, perhaps?...or was that what you meant by "an earlier thread" here?)

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22 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I think the best film about body image, mental image and overall self-image is THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE (1945).

As much as I like the movie, it's a love story. What happens if the partner moves on.  These two will end up hiding out in separate cottages of enchantment. It's more of a 'love conquers all story', rather than a tale of self empowerment. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

As much as I like the movie, it's a love story. What happens if the partner moves on.  These two will end up hiding out in separate cottages of enchantment. It's more of a 'love conquers all story', rather than a tale of self empowerment. 

Interesting take on it. The empowerment stuff didn't cross my mind. I see it as a story about image and how the couple's image of itself differs from others on the outside looking in. I don't think they have to feel empowered to be caught up in the magic of their relationship, however long it may last...which in this case seems like it may be forever.

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58 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

....how the couple's image of itself....

Now that is  an interesting concept. I don't see the relationship becoming a third entity with its own image. Yes, mutual friends, 'I don't -or do- like them together'  or 'they make a cute couple' but in The Enchanted Cottage each partner  overcomes their self esteem issues because another person is willing to look past the other's "body image" shortcomings. Do they need to be comfortable in their own skin for this to work?  No.  But it sure would help long term. The Enchanted Cottage a fairy tale love story so you may be right, it might last forever. 

The notion I take issue with is 'society and/or entertainment media's unrealistic definition of beauty' being a major contributing factor to the afflicted. We have lived in a world which has celebrated plus size , older women, LGTBQ, and plain old odd looking models for decades. If you are unhappy with your appearance, it's probably not because of Hollywood or a fashion magazine.  

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10 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

Now that is  an interesting concept. I don't see the relationship becoming a third entity with its own image. Yes, mutual friends, 'I don't -or do- like them together'  or 'they make a cute couple' but in The Enchanted Cottage each partner  overcomes their self esteem issues because another person is willing to look past the other's "body image" shortcomings. Do they need to be comfortable in their own skin for this to work?  No.  But it sure would help long term. The Enchanted Cottage a fairy tale love story so you may be right, it might last forever. 

Though the film is about a war veteran and an average girl, when I watch THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE I think to myself, this story could work with a Downs Syndrome couple. I sincerely doubt that a couple, where both are afflicted with Downs, would see themselves the way society might...instead they see themselves purely, without flaw or defect.

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15 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yeah, I can kind'a see this, Sepia.

(...fodder for the "Lookalike" thread, perhaps?...or was that what you meant by "an earlier thread" here?)

I think it probably might have been.  But then it too might have been a thread about Ms. Hiller.

Sepiatone

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11 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

The notion I take issue with is 'society and/or entertainment media's unrealistic definition of beauty' being a major contributing factor to the afflicted. We have lived in a world which has celebrated plus size , older women, LGTBQ, and plain old odd looking models for decades. If you are unhappy with your appearance, it's probably not because of Hollywood or a fashion magazine.  

Too many blame their self esteem issues on everything but themselves:  that is why its a self esteem issue and a hard nut to crack.   

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Y'know JAMES, I have a similar issue with the "role model" thing.  You know...

People pointing out some actor's or actress' (and sports figures') personal behavior not being a good "role model" for their children.  If I were such a celebrity I'd feel much put upon by this.  I mean.....

I've already raised MY children, Please don't expect me to raise YOURS as well.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Though the film is about a war veteran and an average girl, when I watch THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE I think to myself, this story could work with a Downs Syndrome couple. I sincerely doubt that a couple, where both are afflicted with Downs, would see themselves the way society might...instead they see themselves purely, without flaw or defect.

Of course, the story could work with all sorts of handicapped couples. Given the right handicap they might be able to save some money and rent The Happily Oblivious Cottage since Enchantment wouldn't be required.

Seriously, if you moved the setting to any major urban neighborhood I doubt anyone would look twice at the average girl-war vet couple as they went about their business.  

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Too many blame their self esteem issues on everything but themselves:  that is why its a self esteem issue and a hard nut to crack.   

Essentially agree. I think too many blame the straw-men put forth by activists portraying themselves as experts. 

Real self-esteem issues are indeed a hard nut to crack because they're rooted in something you have little control over. Some past abuse, or a mental or physical illness. 

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54 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

Of course, the story could work with all sorts of handicapped couples. Given the right handicap they might be able to save some money and rent The Happily Oblivious Cottage since Enchantment wouldn't be required.

Seriously, if you moved the setting to any major urban neighborhood I doubt anyone would look twice at the average girl-war vet couple as they went about their business.  

I believe the The Enchanted Cottage story would have worked better if both of them were either born with some type of handicap \ disfigurement or both inflected with one due to some type of injury.

Related to the topic of this thread;  to have only the woman having born-this-way body image self-esteem issues makes the film a good example for this thread.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I believe the The Enchanted Cottage story would have worked better if both of them were either born with some type of handicap \ disfigurement or both inflected with one due to some type of injury.

Related to the topic of this thread;  to have only the woman having born-this-way body image self-esteem issues makes the film a good example for this thread.

But unless I'm mistaken she isn't the one suffering. She's accepted or is content with her station if life. It's him that is suffering self pity and in seclusion from family. If the power of love can outshine his disfigurement in her eyes, does she have to be homely? Cant a pretty girl see him for what he really is just as easily?

 

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6 minutes ago, Moe Howard said:

But unless I'm mistaken she isn't the one suffering. She's accepted or is content with her station if life. It's him that is suffering self pity and in seclusion from family. If the power of love can outshine his disfigurement in her eyes, does she have to be homely? Cant a pretty girl see him for what he really is just as easily?

 

Good point.    There really wasn't much of a reason to have the woman in this love story be homely (as viewed by society).

 

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