Quotation by Delmore Schwartz

As one young starlet asked, with annoyance and pretension, "What has Marilyn got? And how can I get it?" A large part of the answer lies in Miss Monroe's attitude toward herself. Along with her very evident feminine charms goes a genuine delight in being sexually attractive—an attitude that makes attractiveness seem as natural as sunlight. No amount of connections and calculated exploitation of beauty could achieve the same effect. Miss Kelly is a symbol in a very different way. The heroines she plays take the sexual initiative in a remarkably overt way, but always as perfectly proper young ladies. It is as if a not-nice girl, when in love, would behave otherwise and no well-bred wife would act otherwise toward her husband. Female interest in physical love becomes respectable and proper, as if no one had ever thought it vulgar and immodest in a good woman. The nice girl as coquette or flirt is archaic and coy.
Delmore Schwartz (1913–1966), U.S. poet, critic. "Survey of Our National Phenomena," The Ego Is Always at the Wheel: Bagatelles, New Directions (1986).
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