OLD SCHOOL BEAUTIES – ANITA EKBERG
Written by: Nate Sabine
La Dolce Anita
It’s a blessing and a curse of our generation to have all the choice – the Beyonces, the Halle Berrys, the Jessica Albas and Lucy Lius, that bad actress from the Transformer movies, even – as faraway objects of affection. But how do you begin to choose who to fantasize about, to obsess over, to have one unforgettable night with as your final wish before dying? The instant answer when you’re sitting in the lunchroom at school and your buddy poses the question “Would you crawl 3 miles down a sewer, wrestle a wolverine and dig up your grandfather’s corpse to have sex with _____” and you blurt out “Yes,” stonefaced, before he can even finish, because you know whose name he was going to throw out there? Maybe back in grade 8 you could call it instantly. Maybe. But now? You can’t. Choice. There’s too much goddamn choice. 24 hour media and the internet have ruined us all.
So let’s take it back…back before the world wide web, before tits, ass and cursing on TV, before Playboy and Penthouse Magazines…let’s take it back to the late 50s / early 60s and stay here a minute. Picture it: the Greatest Generation has just beaten the hell out of its enemies in WW2 and Korea. The U.S. is an undisputed superpower, the world’s first. The country swaggers, the middle class grows, suburbia flourishes…the perfect storm for a wave of red-hot sex symbols who, at the behest of movie and TV studios, embed themselves in the national consciousness. They grab hold, shake and scream at the imaginations of these men sitting relatively idle (lest ennui take over and things get hairy out in Pleasantville. Or abroad. Think men haven’t ever started a war out of boredom? Think again. See: Vietnam). This troupe of ladies was not the first of its kind but after they arrived we would never look at our female sex symbols (or wives) the same way again.
Oh, there was choice, even in America’s racist myopia (see: Eartha Kitt), but not much. They’re almost all blonde, these ladies. Buxom, bombastic blonde broads who could drink you and your buddies under the table, blowing cigarette smoke and laughing in your face as they did. Remember – it’s the early 60s. “Some Like it Hot” has just been released and Marilyn Monroe is without question the hottest starlet in the world, a slinky, simmering sexpot.
But was she the hottest? What would have been the lunchroom answer in 1960?
We at Prevail Prevail have a few favourite old school beauties of our own – blonde and definitely not blonde (see: Eartha Kitt) – and Marilyn doesn’t the top of the list. The top, or damn close to it, would have to be Ekberg. Anita Ekberg. She of La Dolce Vita and the Trevi Fountain scene. Swedish-born (she was Miss Sweden in 1950. MISS SWEDEN) and made nice with Hollywood despite barely speaking the language and having zero acting experience. She had what used to be known as a ‘smouldering’ beauty, half closed almond shaped eyes, high nordic cheekbones and a natural build that women (or their men) put plastic surgeon’s kids through private school for. Kardashian-esque proportions of breast and booty. Though her film career outside of Vita is unremarkable she was notorious through her affairs with Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn and the like and by all accounts she lived the high life aggressively, being spoiled by the Paramount studio system and her men both. Depending on your personal slant on things Anita’s life can be viewed any number of ways but there is an undeniable cautionary tale to be had here. Even after her marriages and relationships to rich and powerful men, Miss Ekberg is flat broke and in poor health, her beauty long gone. She is alone in her adopted country of Italy.
See Anita’s breathtaking beauty in the La Dolce Vita’s Trevia Fountain Scene HERE. Things start to heat up around the 2-minute mark. Enjoy.