Illusions of Glamour in Silent-Screen Hollywood

A Hollywood makeup artist in the early days of movies tells readers that the beauty of the silent-screen stars is more appearance than reality.

Silent-film actor Lillian Gish

100 years ago ribbonThe fellow who said beauty was only skin deep exaggerated; ask any cameraman and he’ll tell you screen beauty is very much thinner than that; it is quite superficial, in fact, having absolutely nothing to do with the lady’s soul, bearing only a slight relationship to her contours, and depending least of all upon her skin. True, the claimant must furnish some sort of a tree upon which to hang superlatives, but it is amazing how shy she may be on ordinary charms, and still get on the payroll.

Click to read the complete article, “Tricking Them Up,” by Rob Wagner, from the April 20, 1918, issue of the Post.