Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"The Ideal Woman" --according to Charlie

In 1926, Vanity Fair magazine asked several famous men to list the attributes of the "ideal woman." Charlie was one of them.  They were probably unaware that this was the worst possible time to broach this subject with Charlie. His response reveals a man somewhat jaded by the opposite sex, although it was probably meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

From "Yessir, That's My Baby!—Wherein Several Experts Define the Perfect Female," Vanity Fair, August 1926:
Mr. Chaplin’s contribution to the symposium strikes a rather acid note at times, for one so versed in the poignancy of simple sorrow. He writes:
1. When in my company, she never admires the other men.
2. If I am obliged to leave her in order to keep another engagement, her disappointment is always keen enough to be flattering to me, but never quite keen enough to keep me from going where I am going.
3. Her diamond bracelets never need cleaning.
4. Her shoulders are never shiny.
5. She never takes advantage of a voluptuous situation to narrow her eyes.
6. She always reads all of the Sunday papers (the funny sheet first) but, having read them, she refolds them neatly and leaves them as they were.
7. She knows the words of no popular dance music, or, if she does, never sings them in my ear when dancing.
8. She uses only a faint eau de toilette during the day, but sprays herself plentifully with L’Heure Bleue upon retiring.
9. I am not exactly in love with her, but
10. She is entirely in love with me.


  1. Have a feeling that 9 & 10 were close to the mark for the majority of his relationships! Maybe payback for Hetty Kelly :)

  2. I like #2 as well - very possessive - thinking that she will be pining away for him at home, awaiting his return while he's out gallivanting. I get the feeling Oona may have been the only one who fit this description.

  3. Given his proneness to jealousy (sometimes irrational jealousy), I'm not surprised that the first attribute was a woman not looking at another man in his presence.

  4. How the heck did he and Paulette manage to stay together so long? She was a natural flirt and had men flocking around her no matter if Chaplin was around or not!

  5. It seems they were faithful to each other in the beginning, but after a few years their relationship became somewhat of an "open" one.

  6. i wonder whether he mailed a gift-wrapped copy to lita...