Mae West, classic vaudeville star and Hollywood actress, was known for being a straight talker.
She didn’t mince words, and her personality was often described as “larger than life.” This iconic actress has left behind her body of work, but she also left us the kind of advice every woman could use from time to time.
We all need a girlfriend like this: a straight-shooter. One who tells us what we need to hear, whether or not we like what she’s saying—but one we can also enjoy a drink and a laugh with at the end of a long day.
Some of us are lucky enough to have one friend like this. Some of us are blessed to have more than one. Happily, I have more than one friend who could be described this way, and I feel extremely fortunate for benefiting from a tribe of bold, outrageous, strong, and wild women who keep me on my toes, tell it like it is, and always show up for me.
But for those who don’t yet have a friend like Mae, here are some of her quotes to get you through until you do:
On love and sex.
“Love isn’t an emotion or an instinct—it’s an art.”
“It’s not the men in my life that count, it’s the life in my men.”
“A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.”
“A hard man is good to find.”
“Good sex is like good bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”
“An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away.”
“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”
“The best way to hold a man is in your arms.”
“It’s easy to get married but hard to stay that way.”
“Marriage is a great institution, but I’m not ready for an institution.”
“Don’t cry for a man who left you. The next one may fall for your smile.”
“You can do what you want, but saving love doesn’t bring any interest.”
“All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.”
On what other people think.
“I’m no model lady. A model’s just an imitation of the real thing.”
“When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.”
“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”
“Cultivate your curves. They may be dangerous, but they won’t be avoided.”
“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.”
On taking chances.
“Everything’s in the mind. That’s where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.”
“I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.”
“He who hesitates is a damned fool.”
“I generally avoid temptation, unless I can’t resist it.”
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
Every tribe needs that irreverent, bawdy woman (or man) who tells us exactly what she thinks, but can also see the humor in the every day. We need girlfriends who show up for us and who encourage us to take chances, be bold, and to live with courage, grit, and humor. And maybe we’re that person, or maybe that person is counted among our friends.
Either way, we should thank our lucky stars when we have a friend like this. And if we don’t (yet), we can still treasure the words of Mae West reaching out to us from black and white films to remind us not to take life, or ourselves, so seriously.
Her words remind us to have a good time, figure out what we want, and live every day to the absolute fullest.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Flickr/Insomnia Cured Here
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina