This post was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus
I think part of Jayne Mansfield’s dumb blonde image had to do with the fact, one because of the roles she got. But two she never really grew up personally and was basically a big teenage girl with the baby-face her whole adult life with the personality to match. And if you look at a lot of her movies and a lot of those movies are either very funny, or she’s very funny in them and she was a very funny actress with a great personality, you see her playing women that are a lot like her. I’ve blogged before that I don’t see Jayne as dumb, but as immature and simply too cute personally for someone of her years.
Jayne Mansfield was always a big little girl who never grew up. When she turned 16 or 17 and perhaps even 18 that is about as far as she ever got emotionally. And when her career went south in the early 1960s, she handled that like a teenage girl who doesn’t know how to manage disappointment like a mature grown women would be able to. And as a result her life goes south as well and she stops taking care of herself. Not that she ever did a good job of that to begin with. But she starts drinking way too much and using drugs. And was never happy again in her life.
The interviewer questioned Jayne about her dumb blonde image. And she intelligently answered that had to do with a lot of the parts that she got in Hollywood. Hollywood saw her as this hot baby-face adorable goddess with the great body and they ran with that as long as she was useful to them. In the movies Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter and The Girl Can’t Help It, she essentially plays herself in those two movies. But that was just part of why she was portrayed the way that she was. The other part had to do with how she presented herself in public as this baby-face adorable little girl with the great body. And how she lived her life.