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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