WOMEN MEN LIKE
Written by Judy Holliday
From the 5th annual "Hollywood Album", published in 1951
Ever since it was discovered that the camera has a way of exaggerating everything, particularly people, the boys and girls who hope to make a name for themselves on the screen began counting calories and haunting gymnasiums. Everyone in Hollywood is so weight conscious that I imagined people looked at me and mentally concluded that Judy would have to slim down a bit. In a rather rebellious mood I thought why should I pare down my curves to a pencil-slim silhouette? I had survived on Broadway for several years in the part of Billie Dawn, the gold-digging chorus girl of Born Yesterday. If there were any complaints about my figure I never heard them. When I reported to Columbia to start playing Billie Dawn in the screen version I was relieved that no one seemed to object to my curves.
The business of making films is not as new to me as many thought. It's little more than two years since M.G.M. brought me from New York for a role in Adam's Rib. But few knew that I had tried my luck at films several years before -- resulting in small parts in Something for the Boys and Winged Victory. It was only after three years on Broadway in Born Yesterday that Hollywood became aware of me -- curves and all.
I'm not the only woman in the business who believes that men are tired of the flat-chested, straight-hipped type of gal. Paulette Goddard has given the straight-lined look the go by, and Paulette is a woman most men admire -- so is Betty Grable who has been at the top of the box office star list for years, and I mean years. Shelley Winters is no stringbean, and Lana Turner's curves continue to speed up the rate of masculine pulses. If you want to do a little reminiscing, Jean Harlow had an ample figure and she was the top glamour girl of her day.
So, girls, don't get too discouraged if you are the curvy type -- men seem to like us that way.
It took a war to re-discover the feminine figure. Men were tired-- and said so -- of the boyish contours that greeted them from every billboard, stage, and screen.The world's great dress designers began to realize the importance of bustles and bows, and a gentleman named Howard Hughes certainly foresaw the trend in masculine tastes when he launched The Outlaw and a tremendous campaign to introduce Jane Russell who inspired the still-surviving sweater craze.
Speaking of what men like in women, playing the part of Billie Dawn made me realize that women don't have to be blue-stockings or know-it-alls to win a man. The really clever woman never lets a man know how smart she is for, after all, men do love to be the cock of the walk. I've found, too, that they like a woman who will share their fun -- especially on a holiday. A girl who can bait her own hook, take a hand at the oars, keep her stride in a cross country walk -- yet appear in the evening completely feminine in frills and furbelows -- is the girl who will hold her own.
Of all directors, George Cukor seems to be the master at putting women through their paces. I was lucky enough to have him direct me in my first two important pictures. He's the man who is still talked of for his masterly handling of Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine in The Women. The picture was finished without either hair-pulling or face-scratching in an aura of sweetness and light.
Any girl who's interested in what it takes to win a man wouldn't go far wrong in watching the wiles of screen heroines whose course of action is planned for them by the writer, director, and dress designer -- with one purpose in mind: To capture the masculine fancy.
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