hidden figures & the dangers of rose-colored glasses

hidden figures & the dangers of rose-colored glasses

Hidden Figures Day 41

From the very first preview, I knew that Hidden Figures had the potential to be both gorgeous and important.

First off: Hidden Figures is a really great movie. There were so many moments in the theater that I found myself smiling or tearing up; the characters are vibrant and lovable, the story is inspirational without being cloying. And, of course, for a vintage-loving gal the eye candy is amazing. From the amazing aqua car the main characters commute to and from NASA in to miles and miles of seriously covetable 60s office looks, I definitely had some stars in my eyes.

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But Hidden Figures should be required viewing for all pinup girls and vintage enthusiasts for much more important reasons than style. It’s easy to look back at the past and admire pretty dresses and try to recreate perfectly sculpted hairdo’s. It’s harder to take in the severe social injustice that permeated the time period, but it’s necessary.

One of the things I really appreciated about Hidden Figures is how it presented the mundane, everyday reality of racism. A lot of the time, even today, we focus on the “big stuff.” And rightfully so. But it’s the silent rejection, the patronizing, the simple lack of thought that eventually brings Katherine to a breaking point.

As the admirers & modern-day custodians of the “vintage lifestyle,” I do think it’s incumbent on us (speaking especially as a white woman) not to attempt to smooth away the dark parts of the past and to actively appreciate the work of often unsung heroes like the “human computers” in this movie. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson made huge contributions in their fields, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to know their names and learn more about their stories.

…but yeah, Janelle Monae as Mary Jackson is serious #StyleGoals. And just general goals, for that matter.

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If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a really good-hearted movie with an important message and, yes, some really killer outfits.

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watch/read/listen: spooky edition! | glam ghoul’s guide

watch/read/listen: spooky edition! | glam ghoul’s guide

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Last month I shared some of the things I’d been reading, watching, and listening to lately that I thought other retro-loving ladies would enjoy. For this extra special SPOOKY edition for my Glam Ghoul’s Guide, I have some recommendations that are helping me get into a Halloween mood! (Not that I need much help…)

Listen:

Okay, it’s not the MOST vintage thing in the world, but this song definitely has some old-timey flair…with sick dance remix beats! Every time I listen to it, I turn into a one-woman Halloween rave.

Watch:

I have, of course, started my annual repeated viewings of spooky classics like The Addams Family, Sleepy Hollow, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, etc. But when I’m craving some old school scares, you can’t beat the original House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price. It has all the twists, turns, and campy black-and-white scares that your heart desires. Best of all, it’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime! I know what I’m watching tonight!

Read:

The Jazz Age is a little bit farther back than I personally go for style inspiration, but it’s a great time for MURDER! The Poisoner’s Handbook is a fascinating non-fiction book about the beginnings of forensic chemistry. As I’ve said many times before, I’m a sucker for true crime, and this book provides plenty of fascinating stories plus the science behind discovering how to detect different poisons. It’s a super fun read, and perfect to get you good and creeped out (and thinking about how to go about poisoning people…I mean…)

Throughout Spooktember and October, I’m sharing everything a vintage gal needs to have the perfect Halloween with costume inspiration, decor, recipes and more! Click here to find all the Glam Ghoul’s Guide posts.

listen/watch/read: entertainment for retro gals

listen/watch/read: entertainment for retro gals

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Though I certainly enjoy plenty of modern entertainment, there’s always a soft spot in my heart for books, movies, TV shows, etc. that reflect and explore the days gone by that I like to emulate in my style. So here are a few recommendations from one retro chick to another – check this stuff out next time you’re looking for some entertainment!

Listen: You Must Remember This

What vintage-loving girl doesn’t have stars in her eyes for Old Hollywood? This podcast explores “the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century.” Being the true crime junkie that I am, I first got into the podcast by listening to the fantastic multi-part series “Charles Manson’s Hollywood” which follows in fascinating detail how intimately Charles Manson was connected with the 60s Hollywood scene and how the Manson family murders reverberated through that community. It quickly became one of my favorite podcasts, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves Old Hollywood and relishes a look at the often-times dark underbelly of all the glitz and glamour.

Watch: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

I re-watched this film on my birthday and was reminded by how much I adore it. I’m constantly surprised by how widely unheard of it seems to be, because it’s such a beautiful, sweet movie! It follows a whirlwind day in the life of a straight-laced governess who loses her job and finds herself swept up in the life of a free-wheeling lounge singer and aspiring actress torn between her dreams and her heart (and, of course, several handsome men). But in the background of the personal drama, World War II looms large on the horizon. In addition to being a sweet story, there’s plenty of eye candy with great outfits and style, including plenty of vintage lingerie! Best of all, it’s streaming on US Netflix right now, so if you have Netflix, there’s no excuse not to watch.

Read: Singin’ in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece

Another dose of Old Hollywood to round this reclist out! Singin’ in the Rain has been one of my favorite movies since I was a little kid, and this behind the scenes book is absolutely fascinating. I loved getting a chance to know the team involved a little more, especially Debbie Reynolds who worked her poor little feet off on this movie! Definitely a must-read for fans of this American classic.