Friday, February 26, 2010

The American Love Goddess

Rita Hayworth, born Margarita Carmen Cansino, is one of the silver screen's most fascinating and enduring legends. Her beauty has always drawn people in; as well as her sultry portrayal of that famous femme fatale Gilda. She was christened the Love Goddess, though she was unlucky in love. (Ah, the irony). World War Two Soldiers fell in love with her and she became the definitive pin up during that time, much to her delight. Rita was always happy to contribute to the war effort and making the service men happy in turn gave her joy.
All of these things make her so fascinating; her beauty, talent, films, and her troubled private life. She had a sadness to her; a lovely kind of sadness which may account for all of the people who continue to adore her.

Hollywood  wanted to mold her into the All American girl. They replaced her name and her hair, but never the girl. Rita was always shy and sweet; completely without vanity or ego. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems much rarer today than it was back then in Tinsel Town). When Rita went in for makeup and hair, she would glance quickly at the mirror and say thank you, frustrating her hairdressers and makeup artists. When you're truly beautiful, you either don't care, or you're humble enough to not make such a fuss about it. Rita was one of those people who had a lovely soul. I find it amazing that Hedda Hopper once said that she didn't see what was so special about Rita; and for one, that her forehead was too small! (Enter the painful electrolysis which raised her hairline by a couple of inches). Of course, Hedda was only seeing the unsophisticated Margarita Cansino. Surely not a goddess, and not with a name like that.

Margarita. I'm still in complete disagreement with Hedda.  She was already such a natural beauty even before Hollywood discovered her & did away with her raven locks.

Even without the large flower in her hair, you can tell Rita had some Latin roots. She looks like a Hispanic goddess here.

One of my very favorite photos of her. I don't believe her hair is auburn here, but this was taken while she was in the process of becoming Rita Hayworth. She often wore her hair in a bun, but it was replaced in favor of this softer hairdo. Still, there are traces of her Spanish heritage.

"Fully American" with all that red hair.

Stunning even as she moved to blonde.

What exactly was my point in posting this? To show how annoying gorgeous people like Rita are. You've seen all three of her hair colors; I've never known anyone who can pull off all three. Maybe the "real" point was to show that she was still a goddess even before Hollywood Americanized her. Not just because of her beauty but because of her kind spirit; she was such a wonderfully humble and internally beautiful human being. I don't think she was submissive to Hollywood's demands; she was just willing to be molded into a star. And she had a lot of people around her making the decisions, and telling her what was going to work. I think Rita was under a lot of pressure and I don't think she was very fond of Hollywood. But she gave us fantastic movies and memories, and she'll always be loved for them.

PS: Apologies, I wrote this rather hurriedly. Being lazy with the movie reviews. =P

No copyright infringement intended. Maybe I'll cite the book two of the pictures came from.

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