Thursday, August 16, 2012

Was Julia Child a sex symbol?

As a child I remember seeing various cooking shows on PBS featuring Julia Child. While she would have been 100 years old yesterday, she never seemed that old to me. I never paid much attention to the female chef but I do remember thinking that she had a strange accent and prepared strange foods. Those were my observations as a five year-old trapped inside on a weekend during our painfully long winters during my childhood.

Maybe I thought that Julia Child prepared strange food because I was five years old. Maybe I thought that the food that Julia Child was preparing was weird or strange because it was actually strange food.

Many years later I have to wonder about the venerable Julia Child. What was she like off-camera? Was she just another person going about her life on Earth? Or was Julia Child viewed as a sex symbol? Sex symbols 30 or 50 years ago were far different than our modern-day sex symbols. A woman with a healthy body and curves was fit to be considered a sex symbol in those days. Now I only remember Julia Child as seeming old -- I know she wasn't always old unless the had some sort of Benjamin Button disease -- but at some point Ms. Child was a young twenty year-old who had likely flawless skin, a young body and a burgeoning talent (cooking) that she would parlay into a multi-decade long career.

In the early part of the 1900s, a woman who could cook and please a man with hearty meals was likely viewed as sexy. She provided what a man wanted after whatever he did during his long day of work. Those scenes were portrayed in cheesy black and white family sitcoms in the 1950s and 1960s but the meals served were definitely up to the standards of Julia Child.

French cuisine was Julia Child's specialty and she honed those skills for well over a decade before landing in her very own TV show featuring the tall chef preparing her favorite French cuisine for viewers.

While I cannot find much in the way of photos prior to Julia Child's rise to popularity in the early 1960s I will have to stand by my question of whether or not Julia Child was a sex symbol.

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