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November 8, 2017

The Story Behind Sophia Loren's Infamous Side-Eye to Jayne Mansfield Photo, 1957

A photo taken 60 years ago of Hollywood’s two most alluring sex symbols is still getting a lot of attention. The most famous side-eye or even stink eye photo in history belongs to Sophia Loren’s reaction to Jayne Mansfield and her famous large assets! Here’s a little history of the iconic photo that appeared in newspapers and magazines with the word ‘censored’ hiding Jayne's exposed breast.

According to People Magazine, in 1957, Sophia Loren had just signed a deal with Paramount and had come to California, and Paramount threw a big welcome party for her in Beverly Hills and Jayne Mansfield was on the guest list.

Mansfield sat down at Loren’s table which included actor Clifton Webb and of course, had every eye in the room watching her. She barely dressed for this event and her famous ample breasts were the focus of a notorious publicity stunt intended to take the media attention away from newcomer Loren. Loren couldn’t help but stare at her exposed nipple, as she was fearful that they would come down crashing down on her plate!

“She came right for my table,” Sophia Loren recalled in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2014. “She knew everyone was watching. She sat down. And now, she was barely … Listen. Look at the picture. Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate.”

“In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table,” she added.

While the two women can be seen laughing and smiling together in other photos from the night, Loren made it clear that the infamous photo (above) best represents the situation. “There may be other photos, but this is the picture. This is the one that shows how it was. This is the only picture,” she explained.

All these years later, Loren said she’s still asked to autograph the photo. “Many, many times I am given this photo to autograph it,” she said. “And I never do. I don’t want to have anything to do with that. And also out of respect for Jayne Mansfield because she’s not with us anymore.” (Mansfield died in 1967).

(via Groovy History)


  1. Sophia Loren has always been a very beautiful, talented, classy lady. Similarly, Jayne Mansfield was a also very beautiful talented lady. Neither woman appeared to be especially self centered or jealous of other woman. Of the two ladies, Sophia Loren was always one of my favorite actresses. No disrespect intended to Jayne Mansfield, but Sophia's inner beauty and talent as an actress exceeded Jayne's.

  2. I see more than one photo here that expresses what was going on in Sophia Loren's mind. There is more than "fear" written on Miss Loren's face that Mansfield's visible assets were going to spill out onto the table. I also see shock, dismay, and discomfort in other photos shown here, all that I hadn't seen before. This was an obvious stunt, and it is unfortunate that it was allowed to continue on as it did. She should have been asked politely but firmly to leave, as it was a party to honor Sophia Loren, and Mansfield's shameless self-promotion put a damper on the entire affair. It's a shame that Mansfield was rewarded by the Hollywood execs for stunts like this, as she never should have been regarded as a serious talent, beyond her silly, burlesque-like performances. On the whole, they all lost money on her.




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