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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Getting to know Raquel


Glam at 70


That's Raquel Welch, not Raquel Wolstenhulme.
I've just been reading her book "Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage". It's not exactly an autobiography: there's quite a lot of biography, but then it suddenly becomes a treatise for women with Raquel's views on all manner of things, plus a few chapters where Raquel gives her beauty and fashion tips.
I've always been a bit fascinated by Raquel Welch. As she says in her book, she's been fairly enigmatic without giving many interviews throughout her career. She's able to give a list of men including Richard Burton, Burt Bacharach, Burt Reynolds, Warren Beatty (it goes on) and teasingly asks us which one she had a relationship with. And we probably don't have a clue.
I find that she's even more of an enigma after reading the book.

The other Raquel (Wolstenhulme)

Made famous by that shot of her in a fur bikini, Welch apparently became very stroppy whenever directors expected her to take her clothes off. Maybe that's how she got the reputation she has for being difficult. Anyway, you have to admire her principles. It seems that she wanted to be a serious actress, and indeed, has always thought herself to be a serious actress, but because of that wretched photo, everyone treated her as a sex symbol. Very irritating.
In her beauty and fashion tips, she talks at length about plastic surgery and injectibles, but doesn't say whether or not she's had any of it. She does own up to using "Frownies," tiny bits of cardboard you stick on wrinkles at night. I think she's trying to kid us all that she's had nothing done. But you don't look like she does at 70 without a bit of help.
I did warm to her after she admitted to putting on 15 extra pounds during the writing of the book, because an injury meant she wasn't able to exercise. Phew, the woman is human! I was beginning to doubt it after she gave a example of her daily diet. You know the sort of thing: breakfast, egg white omelette. Lunch: salad. Dinner: steamed fish.

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