As it goes, there is major misconception that the above statement might not be true. Beautiful women are often considered exactly that; beautiful. They are judged by their appearance and no one even assumes there can be anything of substance to find in the beautiful shell.
As a woman in the world of science, I pay attention to women that came before me. In no way can ever claim to be in the same league as any of the famous females in history, that contributed to the changes in the world of science and technology. But I like to think about the fact that they existed. These strong women that made their mark and excelled because they worked hard and devoted their life to something they loved and believed in.
I also admit being somewhat shallow relishing in the fact that some of them were indeed beautiful. Or I guess, it might be my sense for that, which is aesthetic in an intelligent manner. An appealing woman, that pays attention to her looks, yet seems to posses an open mind, astuteness, curiosity and uncanny genius, encompasses my natural ideal.
The other day I watched a short documentary about a life of exactly a woman like that, the Austrian-born American actress and scientist Hedy Lamarr.
Considered an international beauty icon and often proclaimed to be the most beautiful woman in the world, Hedy was mainly known for her charisma conveyed by the silver screen.
Already as a teenager she was cast in movie roles and in 1933, when she was only nineteen, she married Friedrich Mandl, a Vienna-based arms manufacturer, 13 years her senior. Mandl prevented her from pursuing her acting career, and instead took her to meetings with technicians and business partners. In these meetings, the mathematically-talented Lamarr learned about military technology.
Unhappy in her marriage, she managed to leave her husband and escaped secretly to Paris and later to London.
In Hollywood, she was usually cast as glamorous and seductive. Her American debut was in Algiers (1938).
At one point she lived as a neighbour to the avant garde composer George Antheil, who had experimented with automated control of musical instruments. Together, they developed a "Secret Communications System" which they envisioned to be used against the Nazis in World War II. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, they invented an early form of signal encryption.
Lamarr and Anthiel received a patent in 1941, but the enormous significance of their invention was not realized until decades later, during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications, after the patent expired. But most importantly, the "spread spectrum" technology that Lamarr helped to invent would stimulate the development of digital communications and wireless operations, such as those that today are in use in ordinary cellular phones.
Hedy Lamarr received recognition later in life for her invention and likewise have been featured in magazines, adds and articles over the years.
She became an American citizen and lived in Florida until her death in 2000.