“She just walked out and assumed everyone would be interested in her, and therefore, we all were.”

jayne mansfieldThis was said of Jayne Mansfield by a co-star. And yes  hell  if you look the way Jayne Mansfield did, of course everyone was going to gawk. And gawk they did in their droves until the big buxom blonde  was sidelined when the stick silhouette became popular. But my point is not about the merit of  figure 8 and 1, what I liked about this observation was that Mansfield was in control, that her belief in herself was so total and complete that when she was present all eyes would be on her. And that because she walked about with the strength of her own conviction she made those beliefs come true. People were interested because she presumed that would be. Almost a ‘if you build it they will come’ sort of situation. And it is this presumption of interest, this confidence, that  we can learn from Mansfield. After all there were so many bombshells in Hollywood in the 50s  it was like wandering around a munitions factory. Mansfield was no dummy, she is said to have had a very high  IQ, could speak 5 languages,  but no matter, the  digits she is remembered for are 40-21-35.   These very digits could  easily have had her dismissed as yet another ‘dumb blonde’; perhaps because she knew she wasn’t,  like so many of them  she was a natural brunette, she refused such ridicule and instead commanded attention from others. And it this control, this imperiousness that drew people to her, and I admire her for that. There is a fine line between cockiness and chutzpah but given the admiration in her co-star’s tone, Mansfield walked this line with aplomb and if some one , ahem, disproportionately balanced  can do it, we all can.

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