Friday, March 25, 2011

Everything I Learned About Being A Sassy Bitch I Learned From Elizabeth Taylor

So, in case you've been living under a rock or you don't have enough 20 year old girls on your Facebook newsfeed, Elizabeth Taylor died this week.

There's always a dizzying amount of fanfare surrounding stars who die suddenly, and the din is generally heightened if enough black-and-white movies were made featuring them. What people seem to forget though is that Elizabeth Taylor's death wasn't very sudden; the actress was 79, and had recurring health issues. She had also been an easy target for show business journalists since her fifties, finding herself the butt of any joke regarding child stardom, divorce, monogamy, jewelery, Michael Jackson, or general craziness. It's funny watching article after article being printed frantically about her. There are heavy uses of very vague terminology; "class", "elegance" and "grace" appearing chiefly among them. There seems to be this general idea that her death signifies an unnatural end to this.

I obviously didn't know Elizabeth Taylor; I don't even know a massive amount about her, or have seen very many of her movies. But I feel like I've read enough about her to know that Elizabeth Taylor was, in many ways, kind of a bitch. She made terrible romantic decisions. She married her dead husband's best friend, for God's sake. Who she stole off Debbie freakin' Reynolds. She aligned herself with friends and lovers who did very little for her career or her reputation. Obviously, there was Michael Jackson, but people tend to forget that she was steadfast friend to Rock Hudson in a time where AIDs was seen as a bi-product of a larger disease, known as homosexuality.

I mean, hello.
 My favorite book about old Hollywood is called Scarlett O'Hara's Younger Sister, and it's written by Evelyn Keyes. An actress who, because she was never all that popular, was able to write a tell-all autobiography about her time spent in Hollywood that actually managed to be tell-all. Keyes lost two husbands to the whims of Elizabeth Taylor, yet still manages to hold a begrudging respect for her. If I may quote:

"I liked Elizabeth Taylor the first time I met her; I liked her at this, the second. What she is, she is without pretense. Spoiled? Of course. As the Queen of England is spoiled. But the same ingredients give Elizabeth Taylor a sense of self that makes her comfortable to be around. It also gives her the courage to fight for what she wants, and against things she doesn't like."

Evelyn Keyes: Quite sporting, considering.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I think Elizabeth Taylor should be remembered. Appropriately. To put her up on a saintly pedestal with Audrey Hepburn would be to limit what she truly was; a truly magnificently sassy bitch. Elizabeth Taylor did what she wanted when she wanted, and people were just going to have to get in line with that or get the fuck outta there. The woman had eight marriages to seven husbands, and I don't think I've ever heard about her apologizing to anyone about a damn one of them. (Talking about old Hollywood actors always makes me want to swear more. Not sure why. It's quite concerning) As someone who can't tell there ass from their elbow when it comes to relationships, I have an enormous respect for that. 

So here's to Elizabeth Taylor. A woman who firmly believed that everyone should love her as much as she loved herself.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone in the entire Western world is currently watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    She was does a pure and utter psycho in it, and it's amazing. I think I'll always admire Richard Burton for being the only guy who was seemingly the only one who could deal with her for longer than ten minutes at a time. Then again, he was probably drunk for most of their marriage.