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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

Beauty Bar, 1638 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood
Betty Boop, American Flag, Palm Tree - window at Hollywood and Vine
Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe, lock and chair - souvenir store, Hollywood Boulevard at Cahuenga
Vodka billboard, Hollywood Boulevard at Cahuenga
Hooker boots in store window, Hollywood Boulevard at Cahuenga
"Eye, Cash, Win" billboard, North Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood
Beauty Bar, 1638 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood
Scientology Building, Hollywood Boulevard

Oh yeah the day was in the middle of the record fires, in the mid-nineties, smoke everywhere, and no humidity.

"Fire" billboard, North Cahuenga Boulevard, Hollywood
Vodka billboard, Hollywood Boulevard at Cahuenga

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Normative Beauty]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik