Last evening, issue number 312 of OK magazine flew onto my kitchen table.I pushed a kid off my lap and dived onto it.
I love the gal mags. And OK’s my favourite because of its PR-skewed kink. It doesn’t exist in a cycle of create-and-destroy the stars of TV and film.
Afterwards I might feel intellectually weakened, but not dirty, and definitely not guilty. After soaking in a magazine like Famous, I want to whip myself with a cat o’ nine tails to atone for my sins, for being part of the faceless zombies whose five bucks each week feed those cruel paparazzi packs.
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But, on this cold winter’s night, I couldn’t breeze past page one of my favourite mag. There, getting married to Matthew McConaughey’s gal, Camila Alves, was a queenish-looking man of indeterminate age and gender.
Was Ms Alves shacked up and betrothed to Chastity Bono, Cher’s famously gender-confused daughter-son? Was this a celebration of new York’s same-ish sex laws? And what had happened to Camila’s former lover, our generation’s Paul Newman, the spectacularly rugged Matthew McConaughey?
The man with bluish-white teeth, startled eyes, mowed eyebrows and a forehead that was smoother than my pal’s newborn son was indeed mr McConaughey.
Except this wasn’t the McConaughey who rough-rides mountainous waves or manhandles a frisbee on Malibu beach. this was something else. something apparently created as the physical embodiment of the word ghastly.
Now, let me say something right here. I love the concept of plastic surgery. Ageing sucks and anything that promises an eternal and sparkling youth is okay with me. cut me up, stretch me out and fill my lines with poison, just give me one more summer as a kid, one more poolside love affair etc.
But, if ageing sucks, plastic surgery… blows.
For all our advances in medicine, the only tools the plastic surgeon still has is to pull, stretch, fill and stitch. What really gets me is these overpaid, under-skilled butchers become celebrities in their own right despite the visibility of their failures.
Remember when full lips were the preserve of the genetically gifted? how many ill-shaped fat lips do you see now? If it worked, sure, give me kissables and hang the expense. but, it doesn’t. you want to look stupid? get those lips pumped.
In the weirdest sort of reverse cultural longing, it’s no longer the Asians wanting round eyes but Caucasians booking in for so many procedures their eyes are pulled towards their ears creating a look that is part-Alien, part-Asian.
Anyone seen Megan Fox lately? Or Lindsay Lohan? even cute and chubby Rumer Willis, daughter of action hero Bruce, is a shrine to the crude rhinoplasty. And, what about the old birds? Mel Griffith, Meg Ryan and the once iconically beautiful Priscilla Presley cut a presence as oddly benign mutants.
Not everyone’s into it, of course. but, they’re an apparent minority.
“(Plastic surgery) is a grave act,” says French actor Emmanuelle Beart.
“An act that touches our soul.”
And, for a hit of reality, you really can’t go past Michael Jackson, his corpse a one-time shrine to the sport of knifes.
“Let’s put it this way,” said mr Jackson. “If all the people in Hollywood who have had plastic surgery, if they went on vacation, there wouldn’t be a person left in town.”
Oh, and Johnny Depp! A phenomenon of handsomeness stitched, stretched and jabbed into a waxen boy man. every time I see that forehead I want to whip out the tattoo needle and engrave…