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Clara Bow Skinny-dippin'

Pond, Hawaii, Hollywood
1927 CB2755

   Topless in water; implied nude.

   TL flashing perhaps TLB. TMLBAP in implied aqueous censorships. Nippage. Armpits.

   A 22 year old and nude Clara Bow floats on her back in a shallow pond (1), closer in, eyes open (2) and closed (3. In closeups (4) she drips water into her mouth (5), and rotates her head (6). She kicks her leg up(7), stirs (8), and pushes off (9).

   The Bikini Scientist includes this scene for a number of reasons, but primarily because it contains a lot of resonates, the plural.
   For one thing, the Hula bathing is one of three scenes for Hula that all feature Clara Bow. One of them captures her portrait in a bandeau and grass skirt and a pathway toward other dance steppers (CB2750}. Another scene from Hula catches her in a very hot tank maillot (CB2L40). The Bikini Scientist begs your indulgence to permit him include to include one of the 1920s leading ladies and sex symbols wearing what might be called a null swimsuit.
   Bow's nude bathing scene signifies one of these places and moments when bathers discover their natural state, before the bikini and before the problems that emerge after Adam and Eve encounter the tree of knowledge invent relative modesty. Bow is not the first movie star to bathe nude in the Garden of Eden, be it be presented as an actual water location or a studio simulation. Nude bathers in the past include Annette Kellerman a decade ago (AK1610). And nor will Bow be the last; in the 1930s a young Heddy Lamarr will champion this tradition in Ecstasy (HL3310).
   Students, obviously, will examine especially the third picture, to consider nippage nippage and what vehicles might be involved to regulate what is and is not exposed. Stars into the 1930s will continue to play this fine line concerning areolage and nippage, e.g., Claudette Colbert (CC3210-20) and Myrna Loy (ML3308). One is not sure who is responsible for drawing the line where it is; in the second position here and images the nipples are buried in water when she swims away.
   Bow's nudity, here at the height of her career, is her first outing since the very beginning of her career, when like almost everyone else, she posed in the all-together. But she has never been a shy flapper, and throughout the twenties uncovered her cleavage and leg, her belly and navel, acted in underwear, modeled swimsuits, and now reprises and embraces her nude self, albeit slightly underwater.

   Outdoor pond bathing scene in Hula, Paramount Pictures, 1927. Downloaded robbscelebs.co.uk, 2006; bobbyperu99, flickr.com, 2009; clarabow.net. Picture CB275530.JPG has the Paramount number 655-6; this number also appears on CB2L40 and CB2750. 9 pictures.
CB275520.JPG CB275532.JPG CB275530.JPG
CB275550.JPG CB275560.JPG CB275570.JPG
CB275540.JPG CB275545.JPG CB275580.JPG