Celebrity and the Scarlet Letter

26 Feb

We’re hardly the first to remark that American culture (no, that’s not an oxymoron, though it may sound like one) places a high value on celebrity, and on the whole, we’re pretty forgiving of celebrities.  An actor may have a bout with drugs or alcohol, but after getting clean, he or she is welcomed back into the fold (as was Robert Downey, Jr, for example.) 

There is one thing, however, that even (or perhaps especially) celebrities must not do. Any celebrity who breaks this taboo will be cast out and made to wear a scarlet ‘A’.  We simply will not allow celebrities to age.  If a celebrity stubbornly insists on aging, she (the feminine pronoun seems most apt here; unless you’re Mickey Rourke, women are judged more harshly than men) had better do so ‘gracefully.’  Don’t believe us? Do a web search (we’re old school; we won’t let ourselves use ‘google’ as a verb) on “celebrities age gracefully.”  You’ll get hits for celebrities who have supposedly aged gracefully, but you’ll also get just as many for those who supposedly haven’t. There’s an unspoken assumption that those who have aged gracefully are somehow morally virtuous, while those who haven’t have somehow brought it on themselves. (Sure, Keith Richard may fall into the latter category, but we think that someone who’s lived the life he has looks pretty darn good today.)

Those who attempt to prolong their youthful appearance through plastic surgery had better choose their surgeons carefully.  The price of failure is ridicule. Those who choose well pass unnoticed (or perhaps get into the ‘aging gracefully’ camp) while those whose surgeries fail are given the scarlet letter.  Poor Meg Ryan is lumped in the latter category, but we wonder why.  We’ve seen her ‘post-surgery’ photos, and to us she looks fine, surgery or no surgery.  It’s become so ridiculous that Brigitte Bardot has ended up on someone’s ‘not aging gracefully’ list.  She’s 79 years old, for crying out loud, cut the woman some slack. We saw that the late Farrah Fawcett wound up on someone’s list.  We’re not making excuses for her appalling lack of good taste in not looking like she was still twenty years old, but she did have a few other things on her mind at the time (like coping with cancer.)  Again, we’re not excusing the behavior, just explaining it.

There is more we could say on this topic, but if we don’t leave for our liposuction appointment now, it’s going to take months before we can reschedule.

Yoda

Get an eye lift if you want to keep working, Yoda,

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