The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hollywood's Mermaid

Esther Williams, Hollywood's go-to mermaid in the '40s, '50s and '60s,  shows off her swimmer’s body.

Esther Williams, known as "Hollywood's mermaid," died peacefully in her sleep this week, at the age of 91.

Esther started her career as a champion swimmer, specialising in male-dominated strokes such as the butterfly. She had three national titles by the age of 16. When the outbreak of World War II prevented her from competing in the 1940 Olympics she began appearing in Aquacade live shows with future Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller, where she attracted the attention of Hollywood studio MGM. During the 1940s and 50s she starred in several "aqua-musicals" designed just for her, films such as Bathing Beauty and Thrill of a Romance.

In her personal life, Esther married four times, and in her third marriage to director Fernando Lumas she withdrew from film and the public eye. She reemerged after his death to host synchronised swimming competitions, launch a swimwear line, and produce video swimming lessons for children.

Since Esther, I don't believe anyone else has managed to merge swimming and acting as successfully as the so-called "Bathing Beauty," and perhaps they never will.

You can see some of Esther's work here.

-Emma Hatherall
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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