How to be Zelda in under 30 minutes
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were the quintessential examples
of the jazz age. Scott was a literary superstar, Zelda was his wife and
muse. Now let her be yours...
Nurse till you're four years old and grow up on Pleasant Ave. Wear flesh colored swimsuits so people think you swim in the nude. Make everyone love you, desire you, remember you, especially men. Even those who resent you at first are later charmed, won over, at least for a moment, a night, and you remain imprinted in their memoirs, diaries, and gossip. Spin, spin, until the world is fast and heady, keep spinning in the revolving door of your hotel for half an hour, maybe more... don't stop before it's made an impression on you, on everyone. Don't ride in taxi's, ride on top of them. Pull fire alarms for the hell of it and when they answer your call, point to your breasts, that's where the fire is after all! Dancing on tables, and diving into fountains, it all began not in the movies, but with Zelda.
"And I don't want to be famous and fÆted - all I want is to be very young always and very irresponsible and to feel that my life is my own - to live and be happy and die in my own way to please myself - "
Clara Bow - How to Have It, and what to do with it once you've got It. Hottest jazz baby of the silent screen.
She was born into poverty, and grew up in the Brooklyn slums. She was generous, and reckless, and able to shed a flood of tears on cue. Smoking, drinking, and petting parties were all part of her repertoire. She was one of the hottest box office stars of the silent film era. She was notorious from the beginning. Due to Clara's generous amount of spunk, she was whispered about by many who called her a nympho. She was rumored to have been with the entire U.S.C. football team when in reality she had played a game of touch football with them. She was expected to represent all of the excesses of the jazz age. She defined sexuality for an era that screamed for more of it. "It" was a catch all for sex, developed by the author Elinor Glyn, and Clara Bow became synonymous with the word. Clara brought it to you and served it on a platter, with no apologies and no excuses. Talkies did in the girl with the Brooklyn accent and high nervous voice, but her charm was not forgotten.
Isadora Duncan's mythical life (Why not to wear red silk scarfs)
She called herself the child of the goddess Isis. She believed that the goddess protected her because she carried her name, yet Isadora's life was one of vast extremes of pleasure and pain. She is one of the greatest dancers of all time. When she danced no one could forget the lasting impression she made. People used words like eternal, divine, celestial, and she herself said, "Men seemed so hungry for Beauty, hungry for that love which refreshes and inspires without fear or responsibility. After a performance, in my tunic, with my hair crowned with roses, I was so lovely. Why should not this loveliness by enjoyed?" Sensuality runs rampant through every aspect of Isadora's life, unfortunately tragedy does too. Her children are killed in a freak accident, and when she tries to have another child it dies the same day it is born. Isadora Duncan had many lovers, one she seduced on a beach in Italy, others she seduced without ever speaking a word. Actions were never deliberated, and the impulsive thought or act was the preferred one. One day Isadora asked a handsome young man to take her for a ride in his sports car. It was cold out, but she chose to wear a shawl made out of red silk with a fringe of tassels 18 inches long. The car started, the tassels caught in the spokes of the wheel and her neck snapped. Her death was as operatic as her entire life. It is probably what she would have wished for, memorable and heart-breaking.
Josephine Baker Beguiles
"I'm not immoral, I'm only natural." Josephine Baker was one of the most free spirits of the jazz age, a performer who refused to bow to conventional standards of behavior. BLack, beautiful and sensual, Josephine knew herself well and she knew the effect her body had on people. At La Revue N`egre in Paris she performed the "Danse du Sauvage" in which she wore feathers as a pert flirtatious tail, and wiggled with glee. She traipsed through the Parisian boulevards with her pet cheetah, Chiquita, and often they would go to movies together, especially jungle movies. She loved to surround herself with animals, they were always in her homes, astonishing menageries of the domestic and exotic. Only once did she make the mistake of putting her goldfish in her bidet.
Her own country did not accept her short return with open arms. She went to New York to star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but was rejected by all the first class hotels. She snubbed old friends, spoke to them in French, and was told that people did not want to see her touch white people. Nearly all of the American critics slammed her performances. In France she was given all the adulation that her own country denied her. France even spoke of sending home the Americans that complained about having to see black men dance with white women in the jazz bars.
She said she had thousands of lovers and seemed to delight in greeting people in the nude perched on her bath or ensconced seductively in her bed. She had a marble swimming pool in the middle of one of her apartments, and she always had mirrored ceilings put in. She fraternized with Colette and Jean Cocteau, and partied with the Prince of Wales at a bar owned by the mafia. She was capricious and infuriating, and she would nod her head and agree, "I was a coquette."