In the tsunami of celebrity deaths that seemed to wash over us too high in 2016, just before Christmas and shy of her 100th birthday, Zsa Zsa Gabor died. In this age of feminism paradigms under a seemingly constant attack and some could argue a renewed sense of misogyny (or at least a modern day discussion about misogyny that seems to rage daily) one needs reflect on those women who have forged paths of their own design. Some for their seemingly own entertainment, others maybe with a deeper purpose, but surely strong ladies to admire all the same.
Zsa Zsa Gabor was a lady with a strong sense of self and purpose, a giant in entertainment, and a woman to certainly admire. And a feminist?
Born Sári Gábor in Budapest Hungary, Zsa Zsa and her sisters Eva and Magda were well-known Hungarian ‘imports’ (Eva would become an actress and business woman of note, Magda an American socialite). Zsa Zsa, the middle in age of the trio, was discovered by operatic tenor Richard Tauber, while he was on a trip in Vienna in the early 30’s. He invited the young Zsa Zsa to sing in what was his new operetta at the time; this would mark Zsa’s Zsa’s first stage appearance. Two years later in 1936 Zsa Zsa was crowned Miss Hungary. Emigrating to the U.S., five years later the green-eyed blonde starred in films like “We’re Not Married” and a celebrated lead in “Moulin Rouge.”
In her First Thoughts piece in the UK’s “Guardian” the week before Christmas, author Suzanne Moore knowingly expounds on Zsa Zsa’s allure and why she did indeed represent modern femininity, even though the lady seemed always covered in diamonds, attending to little dogs constantly and was considered one of Hollywood’s main examples of its fluffery.
“Excessiveness was part of her “brand”. Flaunting conspicuous consumption, dripping with jewels, her image was that of a woman who knew how to get what she wanted.” Moore states. Zsa Zsa was also open about liking sex in an age when women were not supposed to talk about such things. She even penned: How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to Get Rid of a Man. She had been married nine times.
Moore postulates that Zsa Zsa Gabor was the Kim Kardashian of her day. But to call Zsa Zsa simply a proto-Kardashian, as Moore suggests, underscores the lady’s charm and her stamina.
And that’s what we should celebrate most about this Hollywood legend; Zsa Zsa Gabor lived life on her terms as best she could as a woman of her time.