Women Then and Women Now: How Much Have We Changed? Or Have We At All?

Jerry Schatzberg’s “Women Then: 1954-1969” a compilation of photos taken in the 1950’s and 60’s – you know the suspects: Deneuve, Nico, Dunaway, Sedgewick, and Tate. Those same images are with us today – Mad Men’s leading ladies hold the gauntet for making sure it stays that way for now. The book is a mix of rarely seen black & white portrait and fashion themed photos taken in New York City. “A New York City native, Schatzberg […] with a keen eye for the magic of the in-between moment, […] stealthily captured the elegance and beauty of a woman as her role was redefined in the sixties, while at the same time retaining an element of humor and surprise.”[1]

Have women changed? I think our emotions have. Our emotions – humour, sadness.. have turned into smiley faces on instant message, and abbreviated SMS text. Now to feel emotion film has to up its game to 3D no matter what the content is – superficially, it resonates for that 2hrs.
The ability to understand emotion both vocal and non-vocal is half of what made these women such iconic forces. The other 1/4 was their amazing fashion sense, and rest is up to the eye of the beholder. Simplicity then meant something different then; whereas today it coincides with how small can my electronics go.

Grace Kelly circa 1960

Even Grace let her hair down on occasion
(usually in a Hitchcock where albeit there’s never much wiggle room not to)

Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn letting loose on the ‘African Queen’

Ingrid Bergman

Everyone has their dramatic moments – but have are we too numb now as a society?

Mad Men’s Betty Draper (January Jones)

having a Scarlett O’Hara moment ala Vivan Leigh

[1] Amazon Review


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