Original shin

It is difficult, I surmise, to shrug off all the cultural detritus that informs — or, more precisely, deforms — our ability to reconcile the differences between what we look like and what some self-proclaimed arbiter says we should look like.

After reading this analysis, I remembered something I’d once read, and headed into the stacks in the next room to retrieve Madison S. Lacy’s Leg Art, his book of 20th-century girlie pix, completed by publicist Don Morgan after Lacy’s death in 1978. One Major Babe largely overlooked by the book was Myrna Loy, typecast as an ethnic femme fatale in the age of silents, and at the time never once suspected of having sparkling comedic timing. (The Thin Man took care of that.)

The one perfunctory publicity shot of Loy in the book is described as “rare,” because, said Lacy, “Myrna’s limbs were somewhat heavy.”

Is that a fact?

Myrna Loy

It’s enough to make Nora Charles vow: “Must scold, must nag, mustn’t be too pretty in the mornings.”



  1. Lisa Paul »

    13 June 2009 · 8:18 pm

    Myrna Loy heavy? Burn that book! Not only was she svelte and lithe, her intelligence was so va-va-va-voom, it made up for any physical shortcomings. Of which she had none.

  2. Brian J. »

    14 June 2009 · 9:22 am

    The conception of beauty has shifted in the intervening decades. Many of the actresses from that era were of healthy body types, with more than skin over their bones. Anyone who says Myrna Loy was heavy is casting 21st century judgment.

  3. Gabrielle Anwar presents Rule 5 Sunday! »

    14 June 2009 · 1:11 pm

    […] »»» Dustbury takes a look at the Original Shin. […]

  4. Lisa Paul »

    14 June 2009 · 3:02 pm

    Even by today’s beauty standards, she could stand on the red carpet by anyone but Nichole Richie or Mary Kate and Ashley and not look “heavy”. But then anyone standing next to the Olson Twins looks heavy by comparison. And that’s actually a good thing.

  5. fillyjonk »

    14 June 2009 · 7:42 pm

    If her legs are heavy…no, no, I won’t say it.

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