Golden Days in the Olden Days

A Peek Into Senior Dania Mael’s World


Senior Dania Mael on one of her usual antiquing stops to find treasures from the past | photo provided by Dania Mael

Lilla Gaffney, Staff Writer

An old soul, teachers and peers alike who have had the chance to know senior Dania Mael feel like they’re talking to someone beyond their years. Stemming from her ability to hold conversations with adults at a young age, Mael is grounded in who she is and does not conform to trends. One of those idiosyncratic traits that set her apart is her passion for something not many of her fellow classmates were interested in: the golden age of Hollywood. 

Ever since childhood, Mael has had a passion for the past. Her interest was sparked at age 13 when she watched the 1968 musical Funny Girl, starring Barbara Streisand. The magic of the movie changed her view on films, she became fangirling over old Hollywood. 

“Older films and music are an outlet and escape into a different world,” said Mael, who uses these films to balance out her rigorous course schedule. Mael will attend the University of Vermont in the upcoming fall. She has decided to major in neuroscience with a minor in psychology on the pre-med track. 

Poster from Gone with the Wind | photo courtesy of Google Images

When not focusing on her studies she is busy time traveling through film. “In ninth grade, I would get home from school and it would automatically be Gone with the Wind time.” 

Few high school students have watched Gone with the Wind, the 1939 film adapted from the Margaret Mitchell novel, while Mael has viewed the epic time and time again. “It is literally a four-hour-long slow film, but the ending is just so good.” 

When asked what really gets her interested during these movies Mael said, “The fashion, music and also there is a lot of drama between stars that not everyone knows about.” 

An important element of current film is fashion, but certainly, in the days of classic Hollywood, fashion was just as much a character as the actors. “Old fashion trends always come back in modern fashion,” Mael said regarding not only her own style but the trends that are all over the internet right now. 

“Many of Marilyn’s (Monroe) fashion tricks are still used to this day,” Mael laughed, speaking about the woman who claimed diamonds are a girl’s best friend.  Even her prom look was heavily influenced by the 20s and 30s. She has taken her love for the past and put it in every aspect of her life.

Though she did not get to wear her dress because of the prom cancellation due to COVID-19, Mael plans to adorn this classic look at Senior Reception | photo provided by Lilla Gaffney

Mael remarked about Monroe and Audrey Hepburn while watching these leading ladies light up the silver screen films, that she feels like she is “seeing the world develop.” Most people know the classics from the past but Mael does not see how current films could be classics later on, “When I watch movies now I can not see them being talked about in the future.” 

As much as it is fun to focus on film and fashion, Mael believes it is important to another level, “Everyone should know about the past, at least be aware. We have history right here.”