Reshaping America
posted: December 1, 2008
The other night we were watching a recent movie starring Vanessa Redgrave, and I remarked how refreshing it was to see an older woman who hadn't gotten plastic surgery. It got me to thinking how odd it is that it's become a novelty to see an aging face in its natural state.
It appears the current standard of beauty is a grotesque mask that only vaguely resembles a human being. Overblown lips, tight, shiny foreheads, bulbous cheeks and chins framing pinched little slices of nose, all of it mixed up in a permanently bland expression -- this is the new ideal, an aesthetic fashioned on porno stars and adolescent fantasies, unattainable except by surgical procedure.
And nobody seems to notice that they don't even look human anymore. The rubber balls inserted over rib cages (the last rung of which is removed to make the waist a size smaller), the asses plumped up or shaved down, the eye jobs and neck lifts, the wigs and rugs and toups and's all making me forget what people actually look like.
So it was exciting to see a beautiful and dignified Vanessa Redgrave, eyebrows on the move in a face lined by decades of amusement and worry and thinking.
I looked Ms. Redgrave up on the web, to see what she had to say about her refusal to go the cosmetic surgery route, only to discover that she'd had the bags under her eyes removed in '85. I kept searching and searching to see which movie stars had foresworn plastic surgery. And I came up empty. So much for natural beauty.