Celebration of a swimming goddess – Esther Williams

Esther Williams - Hollywood's Mermaid
Esther Williams – Hollywood’s Mermaid

With the arrival of my new goddess-like retro swimming costume…I realised that whilst it came from For Luna, the design was actually Esther Williams which I didn’t realise in my haste to purchase. I was thrilled. For most Brits who have been brought up on swimming at very cold local swimming pools with floating plasters (I shudder at the memory of swimming lessons) seeing a couple of Hollywood’s mermaids in action suddenly created a new dream in life…to become a mermaid (but only in clear, warm, shallow water with friendly creatures). It was Daryl Hannah in Splash! and Esther Williams in the Hollywood MGM hey-day doing her thing in the water with a stunningly display of aquabatics that caught my attention. I’m sure I’ll come to Splash! another time (one of my all-time favourite movies), but Esther Williams seems most relevant in my life right now as I have the swimsuit and have been recently lamenting her departure (in June…she was 91…which goes to show that swimming is probably rather good for you).

Why I love Esther Williams – she made swimming glamourous; she could smile under water; her lipstick and eye make-up never smudged and she made swimming enjoyable to watch…like watching Fred and Ginger do their thing but mostly underwater or with fountains around her. And of course, she made swimsuits look good! (she was rather blessed with beauty and fabulous body).

And as Esther said herself…”It appeared as if I had invited the audience into the water with me, and it conveyed the sensation that being in there was absolutely delicious.”

Esther Williams and Tom and Jerry...in Dangerous When Wet Photo by Silver Screen Collection – © 2011 Silver Screen Collection – Image courtesy gettyimages.com
Esther Williams and Tom and Jerry…in Dangerous When Wet
Photo by Silver Screen Collection – © 2011 Silver Screen Collection – Image courtesy gettyimages.com

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