If you've kept up with FX's historical fiction drama, Feud, which dramatizes the Hollywood rivalry between megastars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, you may already be aware of Crawford's larger-than-life personality. So it should come as no surprise that quotes from Crawford's lifestyle book My Way of Life show that the Hollywood legend had a truly unique perspective on life.
Crawford's 1971 book is full of interesting advice as well as personal anecdotes — some of it actually pretty helpful and confidence-boosting, while some of it that truly makes her seem out of touch with today (i.e describing "hippies" as people with "unwashed feet"). Throughout the whole book, which Crawford published six years before her death in 1977, her unique world view is shared in the most campy, yet sincere way. It really shows that she had been a part of Hollywood royalty longer than she hadn't— as the star began clinching roles as early as 1927, when she was still a young twenty-something.
I'd also like to call everyone's attention to the original cover of the book, which features Crawford holding two dogs on her lap while the whole crew sits in front of a painting of a younger Joan Crawford and no one is looking at the camera. It's a lot to take in.
1. "I need sex for a clear complexion, but I'd rather do it for love.”
Yas, Queen! I'm thinking of this quote as the original version of Beyonce's Red Lobster lyric in "Formation."
2. "Scrubbing, for me, is the greatest exercise in the world. It gives me rosy cheeks, and I just have a ball.”
Here, Crawford's talking about how much she enjoys washing her own floor. While I have my doubts about how much the celebrity actually got down on her hands and knees to scrub her floor, I have to agree with her — there's something really invigorating about that sort of mindless task.
3. "I sit on hard chairs -- soft ones spread the hips."
Ladies, sit wherever your want. We can't all be so anxious about our figures we won't even sit on comfy chairs.
4. "“When I plan a menu I consider color. . . . A red vegetable next to a yellow one looks unappetizing. Two white ones, like celery and cauliflower, look awful.”
Caring about the look of a plate is a little silly to me, but making sure your diet has a bunch of different color vegetables is important because it gives you a broad range of nutrients. Way to go, Joan!
5. "Everybody has strong ideas about marriage. And why not? It's the most intriguing situation a woman has in this life."
Except you know, child birth, or graduating high school/college, or getting a job that is satisfying, or traveling somewhere on a bucket list or like a zillion other intriguing situations that have nothing to do with saying "I do" for forever. Also, Joan was married four times, so it was very intriguing for her.
6. "One year when I had a terrible cold that threatened to ruin my whole winter, I went down to Jamaica, soaked up sun and salt water, and was completely cured in two days.”
If only we could all take a trip to Jamaica to cure what ails us. I'm just going to drink a lot of water and down some Emergen-C, but sure, maybe a change of scenery would help for an affliction.
7. "Moisturizer is probably the most blessed invention of the past two decades."
Look, I like moisturizer as much as the next girl, but like, you really can't think of a better invention from the '50s and '60s? I mean, humans were first starting to get launched into space in the '60s. Ahem.
8. "“I feel as if clothes are people. When I buy a dress, or buy the fabric to have one made, that’s a new friend. Am I to let it hang there and not give it warmth and affection? Course not!”
This is actually a pretty good point about not wasting the clothes you buy. Treat your clothes as you would a friend — you gotta hang out every now and again to preserve the friendship (i.e. wear the clothes.)
9. "If every woman could walk into her husband's office and see how many beautiful women pass his desk every day, it would give her something to think about."
Hopefully that "something to think about" is "wow, it's cool that there are so many women working in my husband's office and I wish them great success on their future with the company." But methinks Joanie's going in another, more jealousy-based direction here.
10. “Learning at least one gracious phrase in the host country’s language is the easiest applause-getter there is — and the fastest way of making friends."
Now that is a helpful pro-tip. Joan dives in further with this one and claims, "I’m usually offered some gift as a memento (in Texas, a 10-gallon hat, in Wisconsin, cheese), but I had to refuse the kind offer of my hosts in Brazil: they wanted to give me a wildcat to take home with me.”
11. "All the beauty products in the world can't disguise a disagreeable expression. Have you ever noticed that when you say 'no' you begin to resemble a prune-faced schoolmarm?"
But really, resembling a "prune-faced schoolmarm" really shouldn't discourage anyone from saying no to something they don't want to do.
I think we've all learned a lot from Crawford's book quotes — especially that beauty, femininity, and professionalism have changed a lot since Joan Crawford was a Queen of Hollywood.