Yesterday I wrote down some thoughts about the Oscars. For the record, I thought the show was boring and not very funny. And there were several instances that had me shaking my head and wondering WTF just happened.
One of those was watching Kim Novak.
It looked like she had had so much work done on her face she could barely talk. Her lips were ridiculously plumped, her eyebrows were unnaturally high, and her cheekbones were in a really weird place. It looked like the top two-thirds of her face was a mask with eye holes cut out.
And for saying all of this on twitter and facebook and in my post, I got some hate mail.
(Which, BTW, I’m not going to respond directly to. I put my thoughts out there in public. If you want to discuss them with me, you can put yours out in public too, in the comments section. You even get to remain anonymous. But I’m not going to take the time to engage in that kind of back-and-forth over email.)
Obviously I wasn’t the only one who thought this – it was a hot topic during and after the Oscars. And there were some eloquent defenses of why someone might do that to her own face. This is a woman who was constantly belittled during her career and that had to have done some major damage to her sense of self-esteem.
But that’s exactly why these things need to pointed out, why we need to say that doing THAT to your face is ridiculous, and does not in any way make you look younger or better.
I have nothing against plastic surgery. Based on what’s going on with my own body after gaining and then losing a lot of weight, I’ll be surprised if I don’t end up getting some things nipped and tucked in the next few years. But there is something so wrong about trying to restore yourself to another era.
Aging happens to everybody. If you have amazing genes, you age fabulously. Most of us won’t be so lucky – life’s not always fair. And it must be one thousand times worse when looking good was a huge part of your job for decades.
But my goodness, how many women have to turn themselves into plastic freak shows before we all come to the conclusion that aging naturally looks better? I can’t remember ever thinking of an older actress “Wow, she looks old.” If she’s old, she’s supposed to look old. I have many times thought “Wow, she got fat” or “Ugh, I can’t believe she wore that!” But aging? That you have no control over.
There were some really great looking older women on that Oscar stage. Did some of them have work done? I have no idea. They looked good, but they looked their age. So if they got something nipped or tucked, good for them.
But there’s a line. A desperate, ambitious, sad line that you do not want to cross. And if the uproar over Kim Novak makes someone else think twice before trying to restore her face to the 1980s, then I don’t feel bad at all for throwing Kim Novak under the bus. She was standing in the middle of the road already.