A ’60s love icon


@postaday 83, #postaday2011

RIP, Elizabeth Taylor, a movie icon that I felt was my parents’ fare, she of violet eyes, multiple marriages, two Oscars, diamonds, perfume, and a goal to bring down AIDS.

No real attraction, not even an interest, but she did the world some good with her efforts against AIDS. Haven’t we all lost loved ones to AIDS? If anything, we can credit Liz Taylor for showing us where to begin when it came to loving those who suffered so. A few of my military comrades died of AIDS. I remember secret conversations with young men in uniform who wanted to shift a little bit of their burdens upon me. I loved them like brothers. Talk about a parallel universe! Talk about BRAVE.  I could never judge. Love belongs to everyone.

When we first started dating, John and I would rent videos from BlockBuster. I remember watching “Butterfield 8.” This is the movie where Liz plays fashion model Gloria Wandrous, who gets tangled in an affair with a married man. She drove a red Series 1  Sunbeam Alpine. Eventually, she drives it over a… well, that’s the end.  She also wore a slip through a lot of the movie. Scandalous! It was 1960!

I guess Liz pushed the envelope with her movie wardrobes. The lingerie of BU8 and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” the sheer and seductive cleavage-heaving outfits of “Cleopatra,” the shoulder-baring dresses of  “A Place in the Sun.” Honestly, how else did women learn to be sexy in the 50s and 60s if it weren’t for movie stars like Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren,  or Tipi Hedren?

Liz represents the legacy that is the 60s to me. A time when love, marriage and divorce became less scandalous, a time when affairs in movie stars’ lives and as told in movies on the big screen, became more acceptable on the social landscape. The fact that Liz married eight times to seven men is still quite amazing. But didn’t that also indicate what a hopeful romantic she had always been? Why live without romance? And why not hang out in your slip once in a while?

Pop in an old movie this weekend. Enjoy an old production. Dig through the Netflix catalog for an old Liz Taylor, Doris Day or Marlon Brando flick. Watch a young Burt Lancaster roll around  with Deborah Kerr at the water’s edge in “From Here to Eternity.” That was a time when movies showed just enough to trigger steam on the windows at the drive-in theatre. Remember drive-ins?

It wasn’t so much a loss of innocence as it was an acceptance of the sensuality that percolated so close to the surface.

“…She”s like catnip to every cat in town.”

Author: lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer is my new opponent. Writer, super sub teacher, triathlete, awesome cook, ocean girl with head-to-toe sun protection.

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