Saturday, November 28, 2015

Gloria Steinem, 'In Her Own Words'

Somehow it never occurred to me that Gloria Steinem would ever have identified with Holly Golightly.

Gloria Steinem, 'In Her Own Words'

Steinem speaks with reporters at Television Critics Association meetings in July
Steinem speaks with reporters at Television Critics Association meetings in July FilmMagic

Somehow it never occurred to me that Gloria Steinem would ever have identified with Holly Golightly.

Turns out, though, that the Truman Capote character Audrey Hepburn played — who resisted being put in “a cage” for love — not only expressed Steinem’s views for many years on marriage, but was also responsible for the iconic feminist’s trademark blond streaks, which, she says in Monday's “Gloria: In Her Own Words” (9 p.m., HBO) “I can directly attribute to ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’”

Beginning with her transformation from a magazine freelancer writing pieces on textured stockings or — more famously — on the then little-known travails of Playboy bunnies, into one of the country’s leading feminists, “Gloria” never shies from discussing Steinem’s looks, which over the years have probably attracted as much attention as her beliefs.

“Maybe I helped to break a false stereotype,” she says in the film. Now 77 and in a recent appearance before reporters in Pasadena, still looking strikingly vibrant, she draws the  the kind of how-do-you-do-it questions from some reporters that usually go to actresses. (Her answer: “Revolution keeps you young.”).

As for her involvement in the documentary, “It’s really really scary to just give up total control and submit your life to somebody else ... I just answered questions. I kind of supplied the trees, and Sheila [Nevins, the network’s documentary chief] and HBO said, ‘OK. We think this is a forest.’”

Stick with this fast-moving, clip-heavy survey course of Steinem’s career, and you’ll eventually get past the surface stuff, as she discusses aging, her regrets about how she handled her parents’ deaths, her long struggle for self-esteem, her decision to marry for the first time at 66 and her subsequent widowhood.

A lot of the rest may feel like a rehash to women (and men) of a certain age, but for anyone not old enough to remember a time when  network  anchors, all male, felt free to make fun of the fledgling women’s movement on the evening news, “Gloria” might yet have something to say.


Read more Ellen Gray on Television

Daily News TV Critic
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Our Television blog is your go-to guide for everything that’s happening on TV: updates on your favorite actors and programs, reviews, ratings, rumors and some of the sharpest opinions on the web.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter