I am not alone! I thought that I was the only one who whipped my eyeglasses on and off and hid them in my hands or in a handbag, discreetly 'out of the picture.' Or who cornered the market on dark prescription glasses, (hoping that I'd be perceived as chic rather than myopic)!
One of the biggest smiles I get when seeing old clips of Susan in "real life," is catching all the times she is sitting at an event or walking into a premiere clutching a barely-seen pair of glasses. (Lol) I'm sure that in those days when stars could simply 'not' be seen in specs (other than glamorous sunglasses), it must have been truly exhausting being short-sighted! (Or at the very least, it made one 'inventive' in disguising the pesky problem.)
I read a couple of those stories where Susan was mistakenly assumed to have 'snubbed' someone, when, in reality, she simply hadn't SEEN them. I know that when I don't have my glasses on, I kinda move in a determined fashion, trying not to look left or right. Still, I occasionally get 'caught out' when a neighbor says to me some days later, "How come you ignored me when I waved at you the other day?")
I hope that Susan was able to take advantage of contact lenses when they became available. That must have been a lifesaver for many performers. I tried and tried and tried to wear them, but finally gave up. My eye Dr. said that for some reason, my eyes were literally "pushing" the lenses off center! Weird.
I just am thankful that glasses are "in" these day and that there is a most wonderful selection available for prescription sunglasses! Susan probably would be amazed at how many performers show off their specs today. And, honestly, she looked lovely 'with or without 'em!'
Susan, we, of the short-sighted, salute you.
Yes a star being seen out and about in prescription glasses back then was considered decidedly unglamorous.
Curiously enough, it was Hollywood itself that dictated whether the look was 'in fashion' or not.
Apart from Dorothy Parker's 'Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses'- if we had the proverbial dollar for every movie where they are associated with being non sexy, we would be profoundly wealthy.
How many times has the secretary or librarian or schoolteacher fallen in love and whipped her hair from out of the unforgiving bun and thrown the glasses away and presented as a new and sexy person.
Even when the glasses are semi flattering and not frumpy - the message given out was that the girl wearing them was ' bookish', ' academic',' an intellectual' etc, all of which were not considered sexy since men (according to the plots anyway)were threatened by clever and over-educated women.
As you say it is no longer as much a no-no as back then. Nowadays we get quite young stars seen out wearing glasses. And many of the surviving Rock Gods and Goddesses of the sixties, the archetypes of street cool and anti-establishment chic and the darlings and role models for the youth of the era are now giving interviews on tv in their glasses.
But back when Susan was top shelf, you could have Eve Arden as the wisecracking best friend wearing glasses. You could have Thelma Ritter looking knowingly over them at you. But you could NOT have Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Grace Kelly, Hedy Lamarr, Elizabeth Taylor and similar leading ladies including Susan Hayward - wearing prescription glasses in their romantic movie roles, nor out and about at premieres and Oscar events etc.
(It must have made simple things so unnecessarily difficult. Imagine squinting at the menu at the Brown Derby or Chasen's.........)
"how ironic (and sad) that Dorothy Parker's "passes/glasses" quote is perhaps the one that remains to this day the epitome of her wit. "
I agree completely. Ironic in that as you say, Dot would have popped on the specs no doubt herself, but more so it IS sad as she was one of America's most sparkling and witty writers of her generation and if the only thing people knew of her was that particular quote, they would be oblivious to her talents.
No idea whether Susan ever made it to Keen's in NYC, but from your description, she would have relished it considerably.
She certainly never once seemed to ever have any weight problems during her adult life. I was always amazed that she gave birth to the twins in February 1945 and in May, three months later, she makes the noirish 'Deadline at Dawn' where her waist was its usual tiny span and her profile was as slim as always.
Hi, Kerry, :-)
It's Lynn, Alice's 'older' twin sister by 8 minutes, who checked out the territory first.......then called back "Hey, Alice, c'mon out---the atmosphere's fine. Just looks a little blurry to me...."
Your conversation about Susan, Dorothy Parker, glasses, etc. suddenly brought back a 'cringe' moment, of just how little things had changed re glasses in the mid-1960's. When taking a summer course up at Cornell U, called "Abnormal Psychology" (wanted to see just HOW abnormal I REALLY was! LOL!), I was invitde to dinner by this guy I'd met on the campus.
As we sat down at the table, and the menus came, I took off my glasses, as I did not need them for close up--only for distant objects. And--would you believe--this guy actually had the nerve to stare at me and say "You know, you look much better without your glasses You shouldn't wear them out!!" Well, if only I'd said what I was seething over with. I just wanted to shove my chair WAY back from the table and say "Oh, yeah?! Well--some things are best left well out of focus!!" LOL!
You know, the first time I heard that Susan H had made that noirish film (also read somewhere that it was after 'Rawhide'?) only three months after the twins were born, I thought it was some inaccurate rumor! Wow, those must have been SOME 'Kryptonite' foundation undergarments she wore underneath her dress to pull THAT off! No wonder there were no wardrobe changes during the film!!
By the way, my favorite quote, that I THINK was another Dorothy Parker classic......Didn't she say, when the telephone rang in the peace of her home...."What fresh Hell is THIS!?!" (How true.....obtrusive....and way too relevant in today's computer spam--AND 'Invasion of the Telephone People'!!)