Pretty in the past: Rita Hayworth

Think of the classic Hollywood beauties and Rita Hayworth should instantly spring to mind, although according to her hairdresser Helen Hunt the original Hollywood bombshell was actually ‘rather plain’.

Aug 15, 2012 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

I find that incredibly hard to believe, I think what she actually meant was Hayworth was too 'Latin looking' to have ever really been considered a Hollywood beauty in the early days.

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Also, rather obsessed with this shirt. Stylish AND beautiful.

The daughter of a Spanish dancer and an Anglo-Irish chorus girl, the iconic vision of Rita Hayworth as a pin-up for US troops was one cleverly constructed by her studio. Her trademark deep strawberry blonde waves were originally black and she underwent electrolysis for two years to raise her hairline by an inch and broaden her forehead - an act of blatant racism by her movie bosses in a bid to wipe out her Latin roots.

Whatever the reason for her hair evolution there is no one who can flick their wig quite like Rita. Shampoo ad girls just can’t compete.

Rita was so famed for her beauty, her Only Angels Have Wings co-star Jean Arthur refused to pose for pictures alongside her, saying, “she’s too pretty for me to stand with her.” Unfortunately no one has ever said that about me.

Though famed for her locks, I think her real charm lies in her glossy lips and brilliant Hollywood smile. Surely she should have the copyright on that?

And I’ll confess I’ve been watching Gilda quite a lot lately. That first flick of the hair when asked if she’s ‘decent’ and her tragic hot-mess rendition of ‘Put the blame on Mame’ have cemented a serious girl crush. I advise you to watch it if you haven’t already. She simply glows.

Picture Credit: Rex Features