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THESE STATISTICS RUN TO PRETTY FIGURES
Blighty Parade, October 31st, 1959
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A LOT of people are bored by statistics. But not the kind that, in recent years, have come to be known as 'vital'. Nowadays, no young lady can afford to be without them. They not only arrest attention; they often determine a girl's prospects. In the old days an impresario had to look at a girl's legs to tell if she could sing. The same stringent test was often applied to ascertain acting ability. Now, he asks for what — to use a horse-racing term — might be described as a form card.
This details measurements of the applicant which, from north to south, are for bust, waist and hips. Every day we encounter these 'vital statistics' in our reading matter. Indeed, we are so B-W-H conscious that there is now no need for these tokens to be used.
The battle of the bulges has been raging for a long time. Clara Bow, the original 'It' girl, and Mae West, of the famous invitation, stand out as two early heroines in the 20th century struggle to "solicit attention for female anatomy. Neither resorted to constant publication of measurements, but they certainly stood out.
Possibly Mae's southern measurement would have triumphed over the northern—which is not to say, however, that she was not well endowed at every point of the compass. About the time of that very outstanding girl, Jane Russell, 'vital statistics' really came into their own. Her gyrations were always interesting and, of course, still are. Today 'vital stats' are right in the public eye — especially if the eye happens to be male. Italy, Great Britain and the U.S.A. dominate the scene on the score of publicity.
Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren; Diana Dors and Sabrina; Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield make up what can, for more reasons than one, aptly be described as a famous sextet. Not all of them can fairly be described as actresses, but, in their own way, they are certainly entertainers.
Of the six, Sabrina is, perhaps, the prime example of present-day trends. She learnt to sing, and her first record proved that if only some genius could think how to put busts on discs, Sabrina would win a golden disc within a week. No girl can bulge and plunge more efficiently. Furthermore, she obviously knows which are her greatest assets. Her 41-inch first statistic is insured for £100,000 at Lloyds.
Jayne Mansfield has been quoted as saying that she once thought that only cheese-cake was necessary for success, but now she thinks clothes are just as important. This probably proves that you can't believe all you read, for there is still a whole lot of Jayne showing in publicity pictures. It has also been stated, although not by Miss Mansfield herself, that her measurements are checked daily in the interest of science. If this is so, it may be that science will become of really absorbing interest to the layman at last.
There is, surely, scope for scientific study on the 'vital statistic' front. For there are people who assert that some of these statistics are not all that they seem. Many female figures are — claim these cynics — encouraged upward and outward. In short, like many another business asset, they are 'managed'. Well, this may or may not be so. One can imagine the assiduity with which investigators would check this matter, if given the chance.
But until such a day dawns, let us not heap strictures upon businesslike young ladies whose charms are—to some extent— public property. They make the best of what they have—and who shall blame them? Even if they cannot sing, dance or act, some of them still manage to bust their way to fame. Yes, it's as true today as ever it was. There's gold in them thar hills!
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