Friday, August 30, 2013

Nerd Girl of Note #154: May Lyn

I had a difficult time picking a themed NGoN this time around, having covered Maura Monti during Semana de Luchar. While looking around a bit at the women from the movies I found that Lyn May proved to be an ambiguous answer, or perhaps reinforcement, of my hypothesis of the period; of Mexico in general at the time. Allow me to explain.

Lyn May is, according to the brief Wikipedia article, Mexican of Chinese descent. She was rather poor and had an abusive childhood. She ran away, had two children, became a go-go dancer, and then moved on to burlesque and the world of cine de fischeras, a sub-genre of Mexploitation that is likely best described as "sex comedies". She became rather wealthy, and sent her children to school in the United States, and began investing in real estate in both Mexico and the US. Why does she, in some ways, embody the genre?

Much like the US, Mexico began inviting Chinese immigration to bolster their workforce and to modernize the country. They later, again like the US, began exclusion and deportation of the Chinese. May was able to grow and rather thrive in a Mexico that might have been very tough on her. As her wealth grew, she turned to the US, but did not abandon Mexico in the process. Also, her fame and history is unknown to the majority of people in the US; much as is any history of Mexico that does not involve Cortés. I could be blowing hot air here, but in a lot of ways she is the Mexican version of The American Dream.

Sadly, most of what you will find of Lyn May on the internet these days has to do with her looks in old age. I did not find a date of birth for her, but her first film, Tivoli was released in 1975. She reportedly left home at age fourteen, so at a minimum she is currently 52, but I would assume that is rather generous; her first big break came from television producer Raúl Velasco, who began television work in 1969. She has likely gone through some poor plastic surgery, but it is always a shame when people who helped define a genre, no matter how niche said genre is, be held up for ridicule as the years pass.

Anyway, three cheers for May Lyn!









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