Fan Magazine Fun: “Lips Cannot Lie”

Proving once more that movie fan magazine writers could turn anything into an article, presumably if deadlines were looming darkly enough (see: Kneeology), here is a 1918 Picture-Play Magazine article all about…movie star mouths.

Lips cannot lie picplay mag Sept '18

Now now, do not laugh. For this is some hard-hitting journalism right here. Face it, without this article you likely never gave the psychology of movie star lips a second thought. But now you’re thinking about it, and that’s a thought that wasn’t in your brain a mere few minutes ago, so…hooray!

Lips cannot lie 2 picplay mag Sept '18

Our fearless writer does not hesitate to confront us with piercing questions, which I think are well worth mulling over: “What does your mouth silently reveal? Does it betray the sternness of a grim general, the confidence of a successful businessman, the allure of a social butterfly, or the weakness of failure?” Our minds properly blown by these cutting queries, the writer then drops this zinger: “Have you, fair lady, a ‘cigarette lip’?”

Driven to seek more enlightenment, we read on to discover: “Right under your nose, you will find the true story of what you are and have been and long to be. Your eyes may be twin wonders, but they are what nature and the oculist have given you…But your mouth is largely what you yourself make it, and is the true index of your character.”

Lips cannot lie 3 picplay mag Sept '18

See, you didn’t know that, did you? No one did. Who could have guessed what riches of philosophy and psychology are to be found disguised as silly fan magazine articles?

For the entire article, wherein we also learn that the corners of Marguerite Clark’s mouth have “traces of coquetry,” go here. Upon receiving this life-changing enlightenment, go easy on your fragile self. Spend some time in contemplation. Drink a glass of water. And go about the remainder of your life in peace, thanks to the wisdom of Picture-Play Magazine.


4 thoughts on “Fan Magazine Fun: “Lips Cannot Lie”

  1. Fun post, Lea! I love the old fan magazines for features such as the one you highlight as well as for the advertisements. I was looking through an old Photoplay this morning from 1934 that has an article called ” let’s be civilicized about sex”, with comments from Norma Shearer! Photoplay also referred to a screen memories section that highlights the magazine issue from 15 years prior. The December 1919 issue opened with an editorial to Mary Pickford urging her to put aside her curls and pinafores and grow up…”the splendor of early womanhood awaits you!…”
    Thanks again for an enjoyable post!

    • You’re welcome! You truly can’t predict what you’re going to find in old fan magazines–writers back then sure had creative minds. 😀 I love all those old ads, too!

  2. I’ll never think of my mouth the same way again.

    Only now I’ll be self-conscious…what are my lips revealing? Confidence? Failure? Experience? Maturity? Life, it sure is complicated… 😀

    So, what’s a cigarette lip?? Not sure, but I’ll bet Lillian Gish *never* had one. Now Theda, on the other hand…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s