Under the Black Flag

Loathing Beauty

I recently wrote a column for the London Spectator extolling the beauty of one of the Olympic competitors, a British high jumper.  She was 19, café au lait, and did not win any medals.  But she had wonderful poise, looked very feminine, and had an innocent way about her.  Her name is Morgan Lake, and had she been an American athlete, I would have suspected a Hollywood agent came up with it.

My unsolicited advice to British mothers was to encourage their daughters toward high jumping rather than Hollywood, where most of them would end up being high-class hookers.  Then I went on to extol beauty, a rare commodity nowadays as homeliness has completely taken over.  I don’t know the names of today’s stars, but there are no Ava Gardners, Rita Hayworths, or Jane Greers around.  I suppose it began with the Concord-nosed Barbra Streisand, a Clinton family favorite, and on a par with Monica Lewinsky as far as looks are concerned.  Just look at this Lena Dunham, and pray you never have a blind date with her.

But it’s not only ugly women but ugly, short men whom we now pay at the box office to watch.  Just think of Bill Holden, Burt Lancaster, and Gary Cooper back then, and Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, and the rest of the midgets now—and weep.  Not that fashion is any better.  Dressmakers—they now call themselves designers—used...

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