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Bella Donna: Mae West

Bawdy, brash, and beautiful, Mae West wasn't a lady — she was a dame. Just 12 years old when she began performing on the vaudeville circuit, she became a controversial figure for her unapologetic stance on sex. (In short, she liked it and wasn't ashamed of it.)

Born in 1893, West grew up to write her own saucy plays, including Sex and The Drag. Her racy tales drew audiences, but they also drew outrage — including a few obscenity charges for West. The publicity made her a bigger star, and at age 38, she began appearing in films. But her biggest claim to fame came from being a witty wordsmith. Some of her best entendre-laden quips:

  • A hard man is good to find.
  • Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
  • I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.
  • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
  • Love thy neighbor — and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.


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For a bit about Mae West's beauty,

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It probably won't surprise you that West's light blonde hair came straight from a bottle, or that her eyebrows were drawn on. But as she aged, people marveled at her smooth, soft skin. (Check out this footage of her at 83 for proof.) Her secret? "Warm baby oil, applied daily by a man." She also added that she'd been drinking Poland Springs water for 20 years, "...ever since I was six!" When she died in 1980, the world lost one of its sauciest women, and it's never been the same since.

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Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
Great quotes. Love her attitude even though she's definitely not a beauty like everyone makes her out to be, not in the traditional sense anyway. Her personality makes her beautiful.
paine paine 7 years
I sure do love her quotes, I must see her few movies.
lizlee89 lizlee89 7 years
she's awesome, but what I really love about her is how she inspired Salvador Dali...
Bettyesque Bettyesque 7 years
Classic.
cocomademoiselle cocomademoiselle 7 years
The carrots in a diamond!!! Ahahaha! :D
Swen Swen 7 years
Love her quotes, never actually seen her movies though
WiCkeD_LaDy WiCkeD_LaDy 7 years
love her quotes very true......
xoxoxx xoxoxx 7 years
ahaha, she looks damn good in that vid. too bad I had a very bad allergic reaction to baby oil gel [note: NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR AN OIL CLEANSER]. and her voice is bad ass. hope I sound and look that good when I'm old. :D
ckeller825 ckeller825 7 years
she's so great...voice is annoying, but great
fsofield fsofield 7 years
she's great!
jspeed jspeed 7 years
My favorite Mae West film is She Done Him Wrong - it's got some great lines and a sassy performance by Mae, plus a baby-faced young Cary Grant. What fun!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
rabidmoon, post a photo of the brooch - what a great story to share! She is definately inspirational!
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
This article reminded me how much I adore her, I am going to change my avatar in her honour. :D
rabidmoon rabidmoon 7 years
She is one of my heroines..such intelligence and confidence!! I also have to say I am proud to actually own one of her small rhinestone brooches, its a pink and white stone butterfly. Everytime I wear it, it reminds me not to shy away from my inner "Mae".
gabiushka gabiushka 7 years
Funny how a beauty icon of back then would be considered fat today.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 7 years
She was such an amazing woman - I love her quotes!
alliallialli alliallialli 7 years
baby oil? seems like breakouts would ensue if i tried that..
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 7 years
LOVE her quotes. Sooo true!!! ;)
megafie megafie 7 years
Love her!
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