A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Grace Kelly's Neck
Friday, November 25, 2016




By 1956 while living in Mexico City I had seen every Grace Kelly film. I was almost 15 and madly in love with her. I was extremely depressed when I saw her last film The Swan. I ate a whole bag of pistachios at the Cine Roble and became so sick that only in the last few years have I re-acquainted myself with the nuts. I hated Alec Guinness, Louis Jourdan and Prince Ranier. They were all idiots.

I wasn’t as sophisticated as you might surmise from my choice for my teenage infatuation. At the same time I was buying as many cheap Mexican magazines that featured Brigitte Bardot’s cleavage.

My interest in Kelly besides her spectacular voice was her spectacular neck. It was in salient evidence in To Catch a Thief.



At the time of my pistachio debacle I had a Californian cousin staying at home. Brian Forment parents were Christian  Scientists. Brian developed a terrible toothache. My mother took him to our dentist who solved the problem. His parents were furious that he had gone to see a doctor.

I had another visitor, Dolores Humphrey my beautiful first cousin. I remember telling Brian and Dolores that I was really interested in that Kelly neck. They snickered and snickered and refused to tell me why they were doing it. Only now have I figured out that I must not have known of the significance of the verb “to kneck” and they did.



After all these years I can explain to most people why it is that we men like women with the hair up. And I also know why women used to (not anymore?) put perfume behind their ears. My mother used to blow gently into my ears (as a child) and would tell me that I smelled like an Englishman.

So I like necks.

I can further tell you that ballerinas in classical ballet always have their hair up so you can see better their grace and they will also look taller.

So I like necks. And Nina Gouvaia, below, has a spectacular one.



But when I take my portraits and figure shots of women I abhor the sight of neck folds. The reason for this is that neckfolds and (ugh!) armpit folds are generally the darkest spot in a photograph and your eyes will gravitate towards them. For neckfolds the only solution is to adjust the pose or hide them with a handkerchief of long hair.

But I like necks a lot.

When we ate roast chicken my grandmother would point out that the neck of the chicken was called “la nariz del papa” or the pope’s nose. I don’t like chicken necks even though I have never tried one.

Perhaps my Grace Kelly thing had more to do than just her neck. I may have had something in common with Alfred Hitchcock. When I saw Raintree County in 1957  at the Varsity on Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, I ignored Elizabeth Taylor. I was all eyes on Eva Marie Saint.

Plenty of nothing 
El sexo debil 
Titzling's support for women



     

Previous Posts
Blanca Rosa de un Jardín Borrado

Sirius - that Dog Star Dog

A Pant Brush - William Blake

So That Our Hands Would Meet - Jorge Luís Borges

Not at an Arm's Length

Arrival - No Zap-Gun Science Fiction

Potato & Leek Soup - Not

Manrique - Detective Steven Prenzl & His Pepper Sp...

Mistresse Mary, be you ficke?

That Elusive Signature Photograph



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11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16