Dial H for Harlot

By Tee Tyson

Noir is often described as murder thrillers or stylized crime dramas that center on the tick in our moral compass and our skewed desires. But while the plots and twists and dark ambience of these films and books are immediately recognizable, so are the fashions. And the women. The badass women, to be correct.

Which got me thinking, what is it that made these vivacious, buxom creatures so desirable?

In my opinion, this genre wouldn’t work without the attitude of the women within it. They have the swanky clothes, the vampy lips and the trampy hip-swaying walk that simply makes them the cat’s meow. When they walked into the room, everyone took notice. There is a difference being a walk-on role and the main character and, in my opinion, the female leads so often stole the show.

The T is silent.

Growing up, I watched a lot of Film Noir and the images of these women are ingrained on my brain. Even though so many of these movies were in black and white, I knew the women wore whore red lipstick. And I wanted to wear it to. Their hair was flawless. They wore garters, and always kept a snub nose pistol tucked safely away, just in case. Oh, and their heels. These women mastered the runway saunter. Hands on hips, head back, buttocks winking at the men who fell at their feet.

The women drove me nuts.

They were the epitome of wanton harlots. And they made me envious of the way they could glance up at men from beneath their thick lashes and demand anything they wanted. It always intrigued me how the women depicted in Noir books and film were able to be vulnerable pussycats one moment only to switch over to cold-hearted bitch the next.

In conclusion, I have never smoked a cigarette in my life, but somehow these women made it seem sexy enough for me to crave it. Just a little. You can only accredit that to good writing. Or, at least I do.

Now, where’d I put my stockings with the seam up the back? I know they are around here somewhere.

I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.

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