Tuesday, October 23, 2007 – Normative Beauty
That thing about Hollywood being the "dream factory" is odd. For ninety years now, since the first short silent pictures though today's half-billion dollar things, by some sort of default, what is churned out on film and for television out here becomes the cultural norm – defining how cool guys act and beautiful women look. This seems to be the place where such cultural norms were, and are established. And this is worldwide – young men in Prague smoking Marlboros and wearing jeans long after James Dean was dead and gone and young women in Osaka doing passing imitations of Audrey Hepburn, still. The current locals, Paris Hilton and the present crop of hapless waifs, determine what fifteen-year-old girls in Cleveland wear, and how they do their hair. Young men still do their meticulous Steve McQueen poses and stares. Hollywood still defines the cool and the beautiful.
You get over that whole idea if you actually live out here. Some shots from Hollywood Boulevard at Cahuenga, Raymond Chandler Square –