Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Barbarella Moved On

Barbarella [Blu-ray]
On Amazon, blu ray, $5.30
Husband John will always remember the movie, Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda. Released in 1968, when my husband was 18 and full of testosterone, Barbarella became a cult classic of spoofy erotic sex and science fiction.  It was a coming of age for those male baby boomers.

In 1982, Jane Fonda became a different coming of age (literally) for the female baby boomers, who were thirty-ish and experiencing sag-after-babies, when "Jane Fonda's Workout" video was released.  It led to 13 more such videos, rake in $13 million, and open up a whole industry of muscle toning (leg warmers, incl.).
  
Jane Fonda's Original Workout
Amazon, $8.96
For two+ years, I faced Jane through the television screen and followed the mantra: No pain, No gain.

But, sandwiched in between 1968 and 1980s, Jane Fonda was an activist for many civil rights issues.  Ranging from women's rights to Alcatraz and American Indian reparations, Jane Fonda was a voice.

It wasn't always a good voice.  Black Panthers, Huey Newton, and then Vietnam were always in the forefront.  It was that Vietnam choice that tarnished who and what Fonda was. 

She visited Vietnam and American servicemen, as well as North Vietnamese military.  So much gets blurred, especially when a photo of her on an anti-aircraft gun was published.


Nicknamed "Hanoi Jane" thereafter
My Aunt Minerva was enraged by Fonda's relationship and actions with North Vietnam.  She was a Gold Star mother, one of too many who had lost sons in this war; Jane Fonda's actions were unforgivable. Even into her dying years, my aunt still held tightly to that fury.

Although Jane Fonda relayed what really happened in her 2005 autobiography, that photo is still too strong. 

From Barbarella to Exercise Queen to Political Activism, Jane Fonda definitely created a memorable legacy.

What do you remember?

28 comments:

  1. All I really remember about Jane Fonda is leotards and a head band. To be honest, I don't really remember hearing much about the war in Vietnam except for that horrific picture of the little girl burned by napalm.

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    1. That photo should reappear every so often, just to remind this generation that denial and elitism leads to tragedy.

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  2. Ah yes, I remember the workout video. I was a teen in the '80s, so the '70s and '60s stuff was before my time.

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    1. I even had cool tights and leotards.

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  3. She caught a lot of flack for what happened in Vietnam, and she's since apologized. Forgive and forget.
    I didn't discover Barbarella until late 70's, but this teen enjoyed at least parts of it.

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    1. I believe she has done enough to demonstrate how it happened. Move on, we have to move on.

      So you watched Barbarella?

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  4. I remember all the exercise videos, none of which I bought or followed and I'm sorry about that since I now have a hanging "apron belly", but years later I read somewhere that even Jane has had surgery to maintain the body and face, so maybe the exercise videos don't work so well after all?
    I knew she had been to Vietnam, but so many others also went at different times, I didn't really care so much.

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    1. I, too, have the apron belly (aptly named).

      You're right--many went to Vietnam at that time. This photo and following uproar made it into history.

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  5. I know some people can't forgive her, but I say we all make mistakes (especially when we were young), and we learn from them. She has managed to have a long career and now, close to 80, she is still working on a successful show. All that exercise taught her endurance and I can't help admire her for that.

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    1. There were so many traveling to N.Vietnam in humanity efforts, missionary work, as well as celebrities. Fonda, D. sutherland, and many more. Fonda was the only one who interacted with military frequently. But, it is time to move on. She has done much good.

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  6. I knew about her workouts. And about her voice, particularly about Vietnam. Knew about it, but it didn't really register. The napalm photo on the other hand...

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  7. Her interview on the old Colbert Report is not to be missed. Stephen was always so firmly in control of every interview but Fonda ran rings around him and left him blushing. Definitely worth a Google.

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    1. Just watched the video. Oh, she had him quiet as she told life stories. And he blushed.

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  8. I think I seen parts of Barbarella, at least only a few parts stick out lol If heard her work out videos get referenced a lot, usually made fun of.

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  9. My mom hates her, I think for the Vietnam thing. Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind for me when I hear her name is the Sir Mix A Lot song, "Baby Got Back", the line that talks about workout tapes by Fonda.

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    1. Never heard that line. Baby Got Back, I know.

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  10. It's the exercise work outs I remember her for ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. I still remember the routine, not that I would/could do it now.

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  11. Good or bad, right or wrong, she was an activist and never sat on the sidelines. I admire that.

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    1. Absolutely. Few people step up with action, instead of yelling on twitter.

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  12. Years ago, my mom bought me a Jane Fonda workout tape and thigh crème for my birthday. She really cheered me up that year. I've always thought of Jane Fonda as a great actress period. I never saw Barbarella, but loved her in classics like Klute and They Shoot Horses Don't They? I even liked her in Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford. She still looks fantastic and will never be a candidate for thigh crème.

    Julie

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  13. Replies
    1. Well, if it were creme de brule, those thighs would go all wiggly. But I suspect she limits those joys. Thigh cream?

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  14. Replies
    1. She was something else when it came to her work out empire.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!