The Ruminator

Come on up and grab yourself a beer.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Polyester Girls (and Boys)

Interesting vignette in The Sydney Morning Herald over the weekend about the use of Botox injections by movie stars. Botox is popular with actors and models because it reduces the appearance of wrinkles. It does this by paralysing facial muscles. The casting director quoted in this article estimated that one-third of the actors he saw had used Botox. The idea of deliberately freezing your facial muscles in a desperate attempt to look younger is quite a frightening, reality-removed act, although not as bad as having a couple of ribs removed so you have a more dramatic waistline. Or the ability to give yourself a blowjob apparently. Anyway I was rather amused to read that directors and casting agents are weeding out actors who have had Botox injections. Why? Well funnily enough if you have just had all the muscles in your face paralysed, you tend to lose a lot of facial expression. And unless you are churning out B-grade skin flicks, having actors who have more than one facial expression tends to be a necessity. Presumably this is not an issue for models.

Speaking of people with plastic faces, another interesting SMH article today was on why it is that reality television has destroyed Michael Jackson’s reputation, but boosted Ozzy Osbourne’s. This is, after all, a man once famous for biting the head off a bat.

The bottom line seems to be that The Osbournes showed a family on one level deeply weird, but on another level very familiar and accessible. Whereas Living with Michael Jackson just proved how far off the planet we had always suspected him to be.

The Osbournes have problems that normal people don’t – sibling rivalry over Kelly’s musical career, Jack’s obsession with weapons, Ozzy’s shambling reign as the Prince of Darkness. But at the end of the day they aren’t that different to normal people. They shout at each other a lot, but also love each other to death. Ozzy’s very human reaction to his problems is to dive right into the chemical substances, be they alcoholic or prescribed anti-depressants.

On the other hand, Michael Jackson’s reaction to his inner turmoil is to completely rebuild his face into something from a Tim Burton movie, lock himself permanently in a theme park, and sleep with small children.

One of these approaches will win you sympathy, affection, and a certain amount of amused admiration. The other generates the sort of horrified fascination of a car crash, followed by a nasty taste in the mouth and the sudden urge to have a shower.


Post a Comment

<< Home