She was never considered a great or classic beauty; she was a hell of a lot more…
Mae West was BEAUTIFUL.
Mae was arguably the first female sex symbol to embrace her sexuality and translate it as subjective, rather than objective.
She was a man-eater, unabashedly.
Yet even in her provocative manner, Miss West always seemed to take sex and sexuality, lightly.
She had fun with it.
Her double entendres became her signature and, I presume, made her masculine-like manner more acceptable to the general public.
This was no victim to her gender. Mae West was fully in control of her body and her desires.
As a child, my mother and I would watch “old movies” on the classics channel Sunday afternoons, and together we saw many of Miss West’s films (she was also a screenwriter and playwright).
She was, far and above, my favorite “black and white” film actress. I loved how she backed her manifest sex appeal with aggressively suggestive humor.
I spent many a Sunday evening donning my mother’s “fancy dresses” and high heels, mugging in front of the mirror, mimicking that slight sneer she always wore.
Reflecting now, I realize that I saw my mother as Mae West:
She was also sexy-strong. My mother was never pretty, she was handsome. My mother never vied for dates, she chose.
Funny when we discover the origins of who we really are, in the shadows of media…only to then realize the true influence was there from the beginning.
This post began as a moment for Mae West, and ended as a tribute to MY MOTHER who always was, and still is:
ONE HELL OF A WOMAN, to me.