Event Title

Clara Bow: Being the "It Girl" in the Roaring Twenties

Major

Theatre

Faculty Mentor

Amy M. Pinney

Abstract

In this performance presentation, I explore how female film star Clara Bow became a prolific actress in the silent film industry and why she is important to me, women in the industry, and our generation. Conquering a difficult home life, Bow entered the silent film industry in the early 1920s at a young age against all odds. She soon become the first ever ÒIt Girl,Ó embodying the culture of the Roaring 20s and transforming in to its primary sex symbol. She appeared in 46 silent films as well as 11 Òtalkies,Ó and then retired like many silent film stars after difficulty transitioning to films with sound. Famous for her nonconformist attitude, Bow persistently challenged the behaviors expected of her as a woman and a celebrity personality. In my performance and discussion of Clara Bow, I explore her unique iconography and personality as a female sex symbol, how she combated gender and sexuality roles by presenting herself as a confident, modern woman, and how the treatment of female celebrities highlight unrealistic expectations of women.

Session Name:

The "It" Girl: Can-Can Dancers, Ballerinas, and Venus the Red-Head

Start Date

10-4-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 10:00 AM

Location

HSB 211

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Apr 10th, 9:00 AM Apr 10th, 10:00 AM

Clara Bow: Being the "It Girl" in the Roaring Twenties

HSB 211

In this performance presentation, I explore how female film star Clara Bow became a prolific actress in the silent film industry and why she is important to me, women in the industry, and our generation. Conquering a difficult home life, Bow entered the silent film industry in the early 1920s at a young age against all odds. She soon become the first ever ÒIt Girl,Ó embodying the culture of the Roaring 20s and transforming in to its primary sex symbol. She appeared in 46 silent films as well as 11 Òtalkies,Ó and then retired like many silent film stars after difficulty transitioning to films with sound. Famous for her nonconformist attitude, Bow persistently challenged the behaviors expected of her as a woman and a celebrity personality. In my performance and discussion of Clara Bow, I explore her unique iconography and personality as a female sex symbol, how she combated gender and sexuality roles by presenting herself as a confident, modern woman, and how the treatment of female celebrities highlight unrealistic expectations of women.