There’s a new trend in women’s faces and it’s called real. Hollywood no longer wants faces that look unnatural, according to a story in the New York Times. Talent agents are advising their clients to avoid cosmetic surgery. Some directors are even saying no to obviously augmented breasts. Having a hard time finding believable faces in LA some casting directors are going to England and Australia. And get this – they especially appreciate older faces that look honestly mature.
Be still my pacemaker. This is good news, although I wouldn’t want to be a Hollywood hopeful swathed in bandages coming out of anesthesia and read that I could have saved a bundle and retained the family nose.
Yet it is encouraging when Hollywood, which sets an impossible beauty standard for actors as well as ordinary people, suddenly declares a newfound love for character lines.
They toy with us, these image makers. They say old is ugly and young is beautiful and skinny is even more beautiful. And foreheads shouldn’t move and necks should be long and chins firm. And then one day they yawn and say perfection is so boring.
And why should we non-movie stars care what someone in LA decrees is good box office? I guess it’s because as a culture we sometimes lapse into being vain and insecure and turn our attention from important things to wonder if life would be more fun if we looked like Julia Roberts.
This new Hollywood trend is akin to the fashion industry changing its mind every season, proclaiming that bell bottoms are back just as you’ve invested in new skinny jeans.
But this whimsical yearning by Hollywood for the new natural is more diabolical, it being a lot easier to alter hemlines than a profile.
Any trend toward natural obviously hasn’t been heard by those standing in line for the latest anti-aging cream, including one hotly advertised beauty product said to make eyelashes as lush as a cocker spaniel’s but which, in some cases, can cause permanently discolored eyelids and change blue eyes to brown.
When I was in my 20s I went to an eyelash salon in New York where someone applied individual long lashes over my own skimpy ones. I felt fabulous for about a week. And then my eyes started to itch and the new lashes all fell out, taking the old ones with them. Fortunately my lashes grew back, teaching me to be grateful for short stubbies and good mascara.
Lynn Redgrave didn’t look like a movie star and still did all right. An obituary for the British actress included an early description of her by critic Rex Reed. He wrote that she was “Treetop tall, all kneecaps, with hair that never seems to have met a stylist, a little round mouth invented for devouring hot fudge sundaes and a chubby figure that changes weight according to her mood.”
You can imagine Redgrave and her agent wincing when they read that, but considering her long, varied career I bet she came to enjoy her distinctive non-star looks.
There’s a lot to be said about a person who is more than another pretty face which is a good thing to remember when the image-makers change their mind again. And they probably will, declaring real was interesting but Barbie’s better.