*vamps

After Theda Bara appeared in ‘A Fool There Was,’ a vampire wave surged over the country. Women appeared in vampire gowns, pendant earrings, and even young girls were attempting to change from frank, open-eyed ingenues to the almond-eyed, carmine-lipped woman of subtlety and mystery.
—  – Mary Pickford, “To Be Or Not To Be a Vampire”, The Day [New London, CT] (16 May 1916), p. 11

Oakland Tribune, California, March 19, 1922

Here she is, Folks, in all her wicked wonderfulness. The Love Pirate, the Lady Vamp, gloating over her heart booty! Lovely picture, isn’t it?

Yes - and that’s all it is.

Just a picture!

This “vamp” idea has no more place in reality than the fabulous purple Sea Serpent! 

But is she a useful myth?

I’ll say she is!

What would the movies be without her and who would Tilly Jane blame for her Wilyam’s wanderings if we didn’t fondly believe in Vamps?

So let ‘em vamp, say I. It’s 1922 and we’ve been evoluting for millions and milyuns of years, but if we still want out voodoos and boogies, why shouldn’t we have ‘em. Why indeed.