MovieChat Forums > Norma Rae (1979) Discussion > Sally Field's beauty was underrated

Sally Field's beauty was underrated


She was just beautiful here. Maybe it was her ballsiness, her vulnerability, her down-on-her-luck eagerness, or a mothering instinct to protect her children, her family, her co-workers and neighbours, that made her so beautiful. But maybe it was just her sex appeal and attractive face in this film alone that makes her so appealing. Seriously. She has a fantastic body and a really refreshing face. I mean refreshing in the sense that she was a welcome change form all those dull blondes that Hollywood was forcing down our throats back in 1979 (and still are doing so today)! I haven't seen her in more than 6 films, but I absolutely loved her in this.

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I completely agree!

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What's even more amazing, she's now 68 (we're the same age). I'm guessing she's had some work, but she totally looks like herself...at 68!

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You seem to be saying that Field is likeable, here, rather than 'beautiful'. She was certainly not bad-looking here by any means, but this is really a character study - even a plain-looking actress could have played the role. And not all top actresses of that time were blondes - we had the likes of Kate Jackson, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, and Mary Tyler Moore, for example. Sally Field was not necessarily a 'breed apart'.

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What I think is trying to be said here is that she is both beautiful and likeable in a girl next door way, rather than beautiful and unattainable like some Hollywood leading ladies were. This has a lot to do with what you said - it's a character study and Norma Rae could have really been anyone, from your mom, to your neighbour, to a woman you went to school with. What the OP intends in his original post is that Field was probably more recognised for her acting ability around the time of Norma Rae, even though she was drop dead gorgeous (and gutsy as all get out) in this film.

On an unrelated note, I cannot get the scene out of my head where she argues with her husband about "female duties". There was so much passion and fervent martyrdom in her being. "You want cooking'? I'm cooking'. You want ironing'? I'm ironing'. You wanna make love? Lift up the back of my nighty and we'll make love." Sally was so powerful and extremely deserving of her Oscar win.

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I wouldn't say "beautiful." I'd say that Field is cute, with a sharp-witted and spunky personality, which is great if you like that sort of gal. She seems like the type who would be reliable and true, not the cheatin' kind, a good wife. Ginger from Gilligan's Island was beautiful. Sally Field is more like Mary Ann.

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Your opinion is exactly the type I'm trying to challenge. I realise arguing over such a subjective matter is probably futile and frivolous. But the entire point of my previous post was to say that audiences are so accustomed to Eurocentric beauty standards that anyone outside the norm is deemed exactly what you referred to her as, "cute" or for someone even further outside of the ideal, "homely". I'm not trying to cause conflict, but I do think that beauty is certainly a matter of opinion, an opinion that has been skewed by years of societal conformity and media stereotypes. Anyway, if there's any doubt Field was beautiful here, there's absolutely no denying it in Smokey and the Bandit!

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Your opinion is exactly the type I'm trying to challenge.


No offense taken, but I disagree. I find her pretty in a homely way, but attractive for that and many other reasons. I always preferred Mary Ann to Ginger anyway.

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But isn't that a contradiction or oxymoron, "pretty in a homely way"? It's the same as that faux criteria people use these days, "ugly-hot", it just doesn't exist. A person is attractive or they're not, it doesn't matter if their features don't conform to an idealised standard, and it certainly doesn't warrant relegating them to a "homely pretty" status. I find if somebody doesn't fit People Magazine's "100 Most Beautiful" list, they're labelled as unconventional material. It's just spoon-fed rubbish.

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yajji wrote:

But isn't that a contradiction or oxymoron, "pretty in a homely way"?


No. I make a distinction between my notion of "beauty" and that which I have observed to be foisted upon us by the powers that be (fashion world, Hollywood, etc). There is no universal standard for "beauty," so when somebody writes that Sally "Mary Ann" Field's beauty is underrated, I use as the baseline the only measure that makes sense to me, which comes from those sources I mentioned. What else are we to use?

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I thought she was lovely in this movie. Forget "pretty", "beautiful", they're subjective. Field was so great in this film, she deserved that Oscar.

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About the only film I ever found her attractive in.

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Now... time has swept away all traces of her youth and beauty... She be oooold...

WHY DO WE HAVE TO LOSE OUR LOOKS WHY?

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