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Brassy women often elicit one of two reactions. People either love them or hate them. Nobody fit the profile of a Brassy women better than Mae West. For her time, Mae West was considered by many to be brazen, a bit vulgar and tastelessly showy. While she was a huge box office draw on the Vaudeville stage, Broadway and at movie theaters nationwide; her plays and films were critiqued by morality groups and even city officials. West was even jailed in 1927 in New York City after debuting her play Sex on morality charges. She was sentenced to ten days and served eight days on account of good behavior.
Throughout her lengthy career, which spanned sixty nine years, Mae West stayed true to herself. Her performances and characters were brought to life through a lens she crafted. Even in her early Vaudeville days, her performances were injected with her spunky, brassy persona. In making the leap from Broadway to Hollywood, this didn’t change. She didn’t let Hollywood change who she was or how she portrayed her characters on film. She stayed true to herself and true to her craft.
It would have been easier for Mae West to abandon her brassy persona as she was the target of many moral groups and even the police throughout her lengthy career. She didn’t let the critics, society or the studio bosses dictate who she was or what she did. Whether you’re a fan of her movies or not isn’t important. What is important is to live an authentic life and not compromise who you are to get ahead or make someone else happy. In living a life that is authentic to your values, live fully and unapologetically without looking back.