Hedy Lamarr: a name that seemed to be ubiquitous in American Hollywood and even in the international film scene during the 1900s, was a woman that brings up all different kinds of descriptions: actress, sex symbol, mother, and "the most beautiful woman in the world". All of these descriptions have swirled among both the American and European consciousness for decades, painting Hedy Lamarr into a controversial yet highly recognizable figure. However, these very descriptions that propelled Hedy to fame have also overshadowed many other aspects of herself: namely, her inventive, scientific self.
Unbeknownst to many, Hedy was an inventor, with a curious, brilliant mind for creating things that were novel and unique. Unbeknownst to many, Hedy single-handedly came up with the idea of frequency hopping, which was something that changed the course of World War II by its implementation by keeping radio signals and messages transmitted more anonymous than regular radio frequencies. However, the full impact of this invention was not realized until later in history, when it was implemented heavily in the Cuban Missile Crisis and later in the technoboom of digital communications like cellular devices and wi-fi (all of which we would not be able to live without in the present day). Additionally to this, she was also rumored to have invented things like the shape of the airplane wing in the numerous journals she kept.
So why don't we know more about Hedy Lamarr? She was a film personality, a beautiful face, and additionally a great thinker of the 20th century. However, when someone mentions Hedy Lamarr, curiously, only her scandals, controversies and her looks are the topic of conversation. Hedy Lamarr, with her facial features, seemed to have it all: beauty and fame. But when it became the very thing that constrained her passion in life: inventing.
Being an attractive woman, she was often limited by the stereotypes of gender roles and societal customs of that time, and often was not taken seriously by the so-called "real scientists". Hedy Lamarr, the inventor, was overshadowed by Hedy Lamarr, the face. Lamarr, realizing this, became extremely frustrated and bitter. Hedy Lamarr and her life represented a commentary on the social spaces in the 20th century during that time, painting a picture of the unrealized genius of many due to stereotypes and constraints. Now, it's up to us to look past surfaces and preconceived notions and constantly push past our socially constructed boundaries, in order to explore our full potential.