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Added by Beech on 29 Dec 2009 08:21
64380 Views 19 Comments

Sex Symbol of Her Time

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Average listal rating (128 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
1930s - Mae West: Mae did a good deal of acting on stage before starting on motion pictures in 1932. She wasn't hesitant to challenge the norms of the time, staging a play called Sex in 1927 and serving ten days in jail for "corrupting the morals of youth". A great quote from her: "It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men."

Best known for: Her blond looks and outspoken manner.

Contenders in the 1930s:
Marlene Dietrich

Greta Garbo

Jean Harlow

Joan Crawford

Personal 1930s Fav: Mae West for her spunk
Beech's rating:
1940s - Rita Hayworth: Rita started acting in the 1930s but by 1940, she started taking lead actress roles. During the early 1940s, Rita also became one of the two famous pin-up girls (Betty Grabel being the other) for Americans serving in WWII.

Best known for: Her lips and her curves.

Contenders in 1940s:
Betty Grable

Jane Russell

Ava Gardner

Ingrid Bergman

Personal 1940s Fav: Ava Gardner is as shapely as Rita but I think she's prettier.
Beech's rating:
1950s - Marilyn Monroe: Marilyn started modelling in 1946. In 1950, she moved from minor actress roles to more prominent roles. She starred in a series of prominent movies in the 1950s. Sadly, she died of a drug overdose in 1962 in which neither suicide nor homicide could be ruled out.

Best known for: Her iconic blond hair and her generous curves.

Contenders in 1950s:
Bettie Page

Grace Kelly

Jayne Mansfield

Elizabeth Taylor

Personal 1950s Fav: Bettie Page with her beautiful face and outstanding figure
Late 1950s to early 1960s - Brigette Bardot: Brigette started acting in 1952 with her first world-famous role being in the 1956 film And God Created Woman. She continued to act until 1973 when she retired and started to focus on animal rights.

Best known for: Her looks, her French charm and her role in popularizing the bikini in the 1950s.

Contenders in the late 1950s to early 1960s:
Sophia Loren

Natalie Wood

Personal late 1950s to early 1960s Fav: Sophia Loren with her esotic looks and breathtaking figure.
Beech's rating:
Late 1960s to early 1970s - Raquel Welch: As a young adult, Raquel acted in plays, was a weather forecaster and modelled. After doing some bit roles, she started to get substantial movie roles by 1966 in movies Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C. Through the late 1960s and early 1970s, she was considered the leading sex symbol of her time.

Best known for: Her surprisingly narrow waist alongside her generous hips.

Contenders in the late 1960s to early 1970s:
Catherine Deneuve

Jacqueline Bisset

Elke Sommer

Personal late 1960s to early 1970s Fav: I agree with history on this one. Raquel is beautiful and has lovely curves.
Beech's rating:
Late 1970s - Farrah Fawcett: Farrah's time in the limelight was short-lived. She burst onto the scene in the TV series Charlie's Angels in 1976 and this well-known poster was everywhere for a few years.

Best known for: Her smile and wavy hair style.

Contenders in the late 1970s:
Christie Brinkley

Donyale Luna

Cheryl Tiegs

Cheryl Ladd

Personal late 1970s Fav: Cheryl Ladd is not that curvy but I always liked her smile.
1980s - Sharon Stone: Sharon acted in a series of roles in the 1980s and also appeared in Magnam P.I.

Best known for: Her iconic face and nudity in certain mainstream films.

Contenders in the 1980s:
Bo Derek

Princess Diana

Kim Basinger

Meg Ryan

Paulina Porizkova

Personal 1980s Fav: Paulina Porizkova for her lovely face and figure.
Early to mid-1990s - Claudia Schiffer: Claudia is primarily a fashion model and she has appeared on over 500 magazine covers.

Best known for: Her resemblance to the young Brigette Bardot.

Contenders in the early to mid-1990s:
Julia Roberts

Demi Moore

Cindy Crawford

Personal 1990s Fav: Claudia Schiffer is my favourite. She has the looks and the curves.
Beech's rating:
Late 1990s to early 2000s - Jennifer Lopez: Jennifer is a singer/actress who came into the spotlight in 1997 taking the lead role in the film Selena. She then went on to receive saturation coverage as "JLo" in the media for several years.

Best known for: Her substantial behind. In a world of increasingly thin models and actresses, Jennifer's large, round and frequently shown-off behind helped create a cultural shift. After JLo, prominent behinds were no longer widely seen as unattractive. For that shift, I can almost forgive the saturation JLo coverage we endured back in those days.

Contenders in the late 1990s to early 2000s:
Cameron Diaz

Charlize Theron

Kate Beckinsale

Pamela Anderson

Personal late 1990s to early 2000s Fav: Kate Beckinsale looks great and her particular English accent is music to me.
Beech's rating:
Average listal rating (2590 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Late first decade of 2000 - Megan Fox: Megan is an actress and model. She frequently appears in men's magazine "Hot" lists, being voted by FHM readers as the "Sexiest Woman in the World" in 2008 as well as being number one for Moviefone's "The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25" in 2008.

Best known for: OK, I'm stuck on this one because I don't find Megan especially attractive and I don't understand her current level of fame.

Contenders in the late '00s:
Scarlett Johansson

Eva Longoria


Jessica Alba

Kelly Brook

Personal late '00s Fav: Kelly Brook with her amazing curves.

From the 1930s to present, this is the list of the pre-eminent sex symbol of the day.

I am not arguing that these were the most beautiful women of each era. Only that during the period, the media gave more focus to her and her beauty than to her peers of the day. I also list the "contenders" for sex symbol in each period.

At the very bottom of each item, I list my own personal favourite from that time period.

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