Our mid-century mentors are adamant about the fact that outward beauty is created from the inside out. What we eat is just as important for loveliness as embracing our feminity in our quest to live gracious, elegant, and glamorous lives.
The modern media would have us believe that there are some women who are just born with “it.” They were probably glamorous in the womb if we are to believe their mythology. But the truth of the matter is that even the most glamorous people had to cultivate that Aura of Magnificence™. Many of the stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age were “rough around the edges” when they arrived at the studio gates. The star machine would then literally transform them into the people they became. There is a famous quote by Cary Grant, who escaped a devastating childhood as Archie Leach to become quite debonaire,
Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.
What this means for us is that beauty is created. The mindset that enables us to live a gracious, elegant, and glamorous lifestyle is created. It doesn’t matter what our past was because we can create our future.
Max Factor’s Beauty Machine
Max Faktorowicz, a Polish Jew, was a darling of the Russian court for his ability to make them beautiful before he fled with his family to the United States in 1904 (where his name was incorrectly entered as “Factor” by an immigration agent). Eventually, he made his way to Los Angeles where he was instrumental in creating natural-looking make-up (a term he coined) for the movie industry that would survive under the hot lights and would “color correct” the idiosyncrasies of film processing.
Max Factor believed that every woman could be glamorous, given the right tools. But, somehow I don’t think the average woman had access to his “Beauty Micrometer.” Looking like something out of a fantasy film, the micrometer would measure a woman’s features to determine which ones should be highlighted and which ones should be minimized. And thus the contouring craze of the 21st has its roots in early Hollywood’s belief that beauty is created.
It should be noted that the micrometer proved that there is no such thing as a “perfect face.”
Historical Images of the Beauty Micrometer in Action
The September 1, 2008, issue of the New Yorker has a thorough review of Max Factor: The Man Who Changed the Faces of the World that gives a nice history (and slide show) of the Max Factor legacy that I encourage you to read.
You Are Not Born Glamorous, Beauty is Created
We don’t need a beauty micrometer to be glamorous. All we need is the belief that beauty is created. And the mindset that no matter our background, we can transform ourselves into the gracious, elegant, and glamorous woman we want to be. It takes work, but it can be done.
To Your Fabulous Technicolor Life!