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Old 03-09-2008, 09:01 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Vera-Ellen's neck

Yesterday I watched Call Me Madam, a 1953 movie with Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor, and Vera-Ellen, songs by Irving Berlin, which I don't think I've ever seen before. Very entertaining.

I was struck by Vera-Ellen's costumes, all of which covered her chest and neck, and her arms as well. I remembered the meme "she had anorexia, and her neck aged badly and quickly," and started googling for pictures -- and even the earlier pictures of her, with chest and shoulders exposed, usually had her neck covered with a choker or scarf of some sort.

Example, example, example, example, example, example. (Not all, of course.)

"Everyone knows" it was about anorexia -- but I can't find a single source where that's presented as anything other than "everyone knows." Where's eve, dammit! I want to know what the deal was with Vera-Ellen's neck!
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:04 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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It's a silly argument. Women wore necklaces to formal occasions in those days, and the ones she has been pictured with don't hide much.

I suppose the one thing it might be hiding is a tracheotomy scar, and her IMDB bio mentions she had severe health issues until she was nine, but there needs to be more evidence than that.

The IMDB says she did suffer from anorexia, but I always mistrust after-the-fact diagnoses on people. And what aspect of anorexia would cause problems over a small portion of her neck like that?

(I'm afraid your counterexample photo is probably not to be trusted. It's a publicity photo, and they were always retouched.)
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:14 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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The very way all of those necklaces cover exactly the same place on her neck does seem rather peculiar. I wonder if she had a mole or, as RealityChuck says, a scar or something like that. The visible parts of her neck are quite lovely, so I don't think it could be much more than that.

Am I the only one who continues to be surprised from time to time how many really hot chicks there were back in the old days?
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Last edited by KneadToKnow; 03-09-2008 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:14 AM
ASAKMOTSD ASAKMOTSD is offline
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Adam's apple
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:44 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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I didn't click your links, so forgive me, but in White Christmas, her neck is always covered as well. Hmm... You may be on to something. Then again, she has (had?) a swan like neck, and that is the best kind to show off a choker.

Last edited by eleanorigby; 03-09-2008 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:15 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanorigby
I didn't click your links, so forgive me, but in White Christmas, her neck is always covered as well. Hmm... You may be on to something. Then again, she has (had?) a swan like neck, and that is the best kind to show off a choker.
Had. She died in 1981.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:31 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Actually the studio system were serious jerks about physical appearance, and I understand that more than one female star had been given early barriatric operations. Eve hopefully will be along shortly - but the most annoying bit I ever heard that they practically starved Judy Garland [she actually said in a later interview that they restricted her lunches to nothing but broth, and she wasnt allowed to eat most of the food at the fancy banquests she had to attend for publicity resons.] and Carol Channing mentioned in an interview [with Merv Griffon IIRC] that she *had a medical condition* where she could only eat a few bites at a time every hour or so. Not to may real medical conditions that do that other than barriatric surgery or removal of part of the stomach for other reasons...

I could seriously see Vera Ellen not as an anorectic by choice but by contracted force.
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:41 PM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
and even the earlier pictures of her, with chest and shoulders exposed, usually had her neck covered with a choker or scarf of some sort.

<snip>

I want to know what the deal was with Vera-Ellen's neck!
Rumor has it that if you removed the choker, HER HEAD WOULD FALL OFF!
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:46 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlett67
Rumor has it that if you removed the choker, HER HEAD WOULD FALL OFF!
o/` Sisters! Sisters!
I'm-a gon' decapitate my sister! o/`
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:55 PM
jacquilynne jacquilynne is offline
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The bad neck skin theory doesn't really seem to work with the reality that most of the those necklaces draw attention to the neck, and don't cover much of it. They might be hiding small scars, but they aren't enough to hid overall neck crepiness.
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:38 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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No, clearly the early ones are about adornment rather that concealment -- but it fascinates me that it's so hard to find a picture of her with her neck uncovered. Even my counterexample isn't exactly revealing of her neck, given the way the collar is cut.

The "can't see her neck" thing is extremely well established by White Christmas -- which is 1954. Call Me Madam was a year earlier -- which is why I started trying to track down when the change took place. The stills I found for On the Town (1949) all seem to have her in high-necked costumes, but I haven't seen the movie in a couple of years and can't be sure that that is so for the entire movie.
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:59 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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As a corollary, how often was Audrey Hepburn's neck shown? She's another gamine star..... I think these chicks just look hot in turtlenecks, mock turtles and chokers. We all should be so lucky.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2008, 09:00 PM
lissener lissener is offline
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Vera-Ellen's Neck

This will be the name of my first band.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:37 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanorigby
As a corollary, how often was Audrey Hepburn's neck shown? She's another gamine star..... I think these chicks just look hot in turtlenecks, mock turtles and chokers. We all should be so lucky.
The Japanese thought Audrey Hepburn's neck was especially sexy.

However, www.audreyhepburn.com has several pictures where her neck is shown.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:31 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Okay, here's one with nothing around her neck -- but her neck still isn't clearly visible.

Coincidence? I don't think so!
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:43 AM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lissener
Vera-Ellen's Neck

This will be the name of my first band.
I'll be on keyboards.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:09 PM
TWDuke TWDuke is offline
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Let's take this from another angle. Is there any evidence that anorexia causes one's neck to age especially quickly while the rest of one's body remains young and beautiful?

This looks like a dubious proposition to me, perhaps inspired by the appearance of women who have had extensive cosmetic surgery on their face while their necks show the natural effects of aging.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:21 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
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That's so weird...in On the Town, I remember some of her dance-class scenes where she wore leotards with turtlenecks. But those cover the whole neck...some of those little chokers don't at all. Maybe she just had a super-long neck, so the costume designers did stuff the minimize the effect, or maybe she just liked it and it was a trademark look for her, and the thing about anorexia is just a rumor?

Last edited by Sarahfeena; 03-10-2008 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:47 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
Okay, here's one with nothing around her neck -- but her neck still isn't clearly visible.

Coincidence? I don't think so!
That's "semi-nude"?!
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:57 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Since most of those chokers are in the exact same spot, I think the tracheotomy scar theory is likeliest.
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  #21  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:02 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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I would think a mole or scar would be easily covered with make-up. Unless it was a really thick scar.


Perhaps she just liked wearing them? I find chokers really sexy.
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  #22  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:06 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Too bad she never played Mina Harker...
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  #23  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:07 PM
twickster twickster is offline
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Okay, that may be why she wore chokers -- but why the move to long-sleeved, high-necked costumes like this? (Nice detail on her neck there -- it is a bit odd looking.)
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  #24  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:11 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krokodil
Since most of those chokers are in the exact same spot, I think the tracheotomy scar theory is likeliest.

Chokers hit too high on the neck to cover a trach scar.



Personal fetish of a fairly large Hollywood name?

And my neck is going to hell in a handbasket long before my face. Me and Nora Ephron.... and Vera Ellen, too!
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