Women on Film: How To Tell a Guy You Like Him

Barbara Stanwyck instructs us on how to properly court a man.

For two solid decades I dated. Sometimes I had a boyfriend for a few years, other times, I just saw someone for a couple months. This version of boyfriend once meant a peeing-off-my balcony-drunk man because he thought it was hilarious and cool. (Despite a fully-functioning bathroom as far away from you to this screen.) The moral of the story is that sometimes, I didn’t make the best choices in men. Also, it’s possible I’m not young.

Sometimes, I did meet a great and worthy man. Then, I would mask my keen feelings of attraction with modern courtship rules, which meant that I would really, really, really like him without ever letting him know how much. To me, telling a man that I was enamored was equivalent to walking through Hollywood wearing nothing more than pasties and a thong. It would mean I would be exposed, naked, and most of all, exposed and naked for possible rejection.

So if I could do it all over again, I would immediately revise all of my dating exploits in the following manner.

In the 1941 comedy Ball of Fire, Sugarpuss O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck) shows us how to properly court a man. Here, Stanwyck plays a gangster moll on the run who takes refuge with scholarly Professor Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper). Ball of Fire, partially penned by Billy Wilder, is loosely adapted from Snow White. This makes Stanwyck our enchanted princess while Cooper stands in for one of the dwarves.

But Stanwyck is no Disney lily of the field. She reminds us of the importance of sass and truth when dating afield. Of the proper way to lay out our feelings on the table. We all can be Sugarpuss O’Sheas when it comes to wooing our preferred sex. We just have to hide the pasties and learn from poor choices in toilet-challenged boyfriends.

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.