Mae West: A Body Image Icon

Mae West: A Body Image Icon

"I don't like myself, I'm crazy about myself." ~ Mae West

I recently came to the point in my life when I really needed to adopt a spiritual badass. I needed to be inspired by a larger-than-life persona. Maybe other people prefer more serene spiritual guides but Mae West works for me. Why? She is the exact opposite of me. She was extremely extroverted, curvy, spicy and always confident womanly woman. I did a little research and my admiration grew. Not only was she a sex symbol but she was a successful playwright and producer. The character of Samantha Jones from Sex and the City is a modern day Mae West in many ways. She is a take charge woman in the boardroom and bedroom.

This admiration does not mean I am walking around my apartment saying her quotes out loud wearing a feather boa. Adopting her as my spiritual badass means I'm still me but I get to have more fun when life doesn't appear to be so fun. When I hit a rough spot I ask myself: WWMW do? (What Would Mae West do?)

For those of my readers who are not spiritually inclined just think of Ms. West as an amazing body image role model who adored her own curves. As she said, "Cultivate your curves - they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided." Here are some of my favorite quotes from Ms. West:

A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.

I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

If I asked for a cup of coffee, someone would search for the double meaning

Love isn't an emotion or an instinct - it's an art.

Sex is emotion in motion.

Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

To err is human, but it feels divine.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Unlike most celebrities or dignitaries she never lamented about heartbreak. Mae West was not a woman who sat by the phone. In her vast catalog of awesome audio bites she never spoke of heart break. Apparently, she was having too much fun or it simply didn't interest her. "Ten men at the door, I'm tired send one home."



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  • She had quite a personaughty. How about this Maeism: "I used to be Snow White but I drifted"?

  • I LOOOOOVE Mae West. great article!!!!

  • Aquinas, I love that Maeism! She was hilarious.

    Thank you goofyjj, glad you like the article.

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    She was a babe in all aspects. I've been a fan of hers since I was probably 15-ish.
    Thanks for the article!!

  • In reply to Amanda Muller:

    Well thank you Amanda for reading the article! I'm glad you liked it.

  • Mae West was the first to say," Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me.

  • Thanks Ralph. That's a good one.

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    Nice article Patricia, thanks.
    I particularly like the sentence, "I've come to that point in my life when I am looking for a spiritual badass." I think I may be near a similar point.

  • Thanks so much Judy P. When you figure out who your spiritual badass is please report back!

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    Mae West understood what it meant to be a Lady and to be Female. I'm sure she experienced her share of heartache but she probably knew it comes with the territory of great desire. To me, she's not so much a body image icon as much as a Self-Image icon. She oozed supreme Female confidence, the way only she could but American women in general, then and now, would love themselves and life much more if they shared her essence and the style that comes from it.

  • In reply to Johnathan Rogers:

    Well said (or em . . . written) Johnathan.

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