One of my favorite history podcasts about women is the History Chicks. I keep thinking about the Clara Bow episode.
Clara Bow was an American actress, icon of the roaring twenties and the sex symbol of that time. She was in many silent films and talkies. She's most well known for the movie 'It' and she became the original 'it girl'.
"It isn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It's just 'It'. Some women will stay in a man's memory if they once walk down the street." - Rudyard Kipling
In her early life, she scraped by money to enter a magazine contest to star in a film. She won the contest and gave up her day job, just to not make the cutting floor and not appear in the film. She had to go back to her crappy job, but she persisted. Then came her rise as the "It girl" - her success roared.
What strikes me about her is she was a sexually active, modern woman with gloom around her. Her rough past to her legal battle with her best friend/secretary who blackmailed her later in her life, to her slashing her wrists with the studio being laissez-faire caught me the whole podcast.
Starlets are a constant source of inspiration to me in a dark Lana-Del-Rey song kind of way: beauty, rage, drugs and nihilism. Beauty isn't what it seems.