I didn’t watch the Oscars. I never do anymore. It’s so often boring and overlong, and let’s face it, this is about the wealthy patting each other on the back. At a time when people are going hungry and can’t find work, this awards show is a slap in the face.
But I know lots of people watch, mostly to see the clothes and maybe to fantasize being one of them some day. Ain’t nothing wrong with dreaming.
I usually skim the winners the next morning, and I came across several articles about how the host, Ellen D, unintentionally ripped Liza Minelli for being the best drag queen for the icon yet. Yeah, that was cruel, because it pointed out how many face lifts Liza’s had in order to appear still young.
And then I saw Kim Novak. Wow. It actually hurt to look at her. I own a copy of Bell, Book, and Candle because it’s a terrific little film starring Novak, Jimmy Stewart, and Jack Lemon, along with a wonderfully loopy Elsa Manchester.
Ms Novak is 81 years old. Why the hell she thinks she has to go through the pain and danger of surgery in an effort to give the appearance of still being young is beyond me.
Eighty-one, and still so insecure about her looks and self-worth, she was willing to go under the knife… to end up looking like this. What Hollywood and our culture do to women is despicable. She should be rejoicing in being alive at all, and treasuring every wrinkle as something well earned over a long life. The photo on the left, by the way, was taken in 1989, two years before her last film. She’d no doubt had work done by that time, too, as she would have been 56, and she looks a little too “fresh” to be entirely natural.
I can’t even imagine twenty-five years of plastic surgery. The thought makes me cringe.
Recently, I saw the film The Heat with Sandra Bullock. Here’s another actress who has recently jumped on the botox and plastic surgery train, and it saddens me. The movie was horrible. I do not recommend it.
The one thing I kept noticing was how plastic Bullock looked. No lines anywhere, especially around the eyes. I’m guessing some serious botox and maybe an eye lift. She’s forty-nine.
She looks younger in the second photo (from The Heat), on the right, than she does in the still on the left taken from The Net, which was shot in 1995, almost twenty years ago. It looks like she may have had cheek implants, too.
I’m not even gonna talk about what Meg Ryan has done to herself with lip collagen and the rest. I prefer to remember her as she was.
When did being female come to mean you were only valued for your looks? Despite all the progress women have made in the last few decades, they still consider themselves worthless unless they look young and pretty. Oh, and don’t forget thin. Because I’m pretty sure, if you’re fat, you are invisible.
My mom was quite the looker in her youth. She’s now sixty-two and looks it: she has lines, the beginning of jowls, and a crepey neck. She once told me, “I still looked great at forty, but five minutes after I celebrated that birthday, I became invisible. Men didn’t look at me anymore. They looked through me.”
Yet men go on being attractive until they die, no plastic surgery necessary. Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it? I see this disparity as yet another way women are “kept in their place” by men. It’s not enough they get paid less than men doing the same job. It’s not enough the bulk of housework and child-rearing falls to women. It’s not enough they often get tossed aside for younger models when they start to age. No, we gotta make an entire group of them–those who live past age forty–invisible. You don’t see them in magazines, and you rarely see them in commercials or movies. Women must be young young young and pretty, or they don’t exist. They’re background, like furniture.
Olivia Goldsmith wrote “The First Wive’s Club,” among other books. It was turned into an entertaining little film about three women “of a certain age” who are dumped by their husbands and ultimately get revenge. Goldsmith’s novels centered around the theme of women being used and discarded by men based on their looks. She decided she needed a chin tuck. She died on the table.
I’m pretty sure, if she’d been offered the choice to rethink her decision to undergo “vanity” surgery, she’d have turned it down.
Too late now.
Lately, the critical social eye has turned to men, and not just those who are gay. They are being encouraged by advertisers to wash away the gray, get botox and plastic surgery, and stay forever young. They are being told they need iron pecs and a six-pack, and this can be provided for a reasonable sum of money. Did you know men can get butt implants? Oy.
What the fuck is with this cult of youth? Why aren’t people supposed to look their age? I’m all for everyone looking as good as possible, but I draw the line at carving up my body to achieve something that doesn’t fool anyone. Because take another look at Kim Novak. Not only doesn’t she look young, she is now a caricature of herself.
Granted, she’s an extreme case. But we have plenty of old actresses running around who think they look great when, in truth, we see exactly how old they are despite the unlined faces.
You can’t really hide age. You can only slipcover it.
Since getting older is something that happens to all of us if we are lucky, I’d like to see that celebrated and revered. Because by lauding attention only on the youthful, we ignore all the knowledge and experience older people have garnered in their lives, and that’s a damn shame, as well as a great loss to our society.
I bet Ms Novak has a lot of great stories to share about the early days of Hollywood, but because she’s old, no one’s listening. They’re too busy chasing the shiny.