Thursday, March 1, 2007

Oscar Fabulous

Being fabulous! Isn't that what the Oscars are all about? We're all vicarious Cinderellas, dreaming about being fabulous. Is it the perfect dress and makeup that makes the star? Or are they manufactured out of silicone, restalyne, hair extensions, and cash?

This year's Academy Awards was all about the revenge of the Real Girls. Jennifer Hudson overpowers Beyonce (you think that hug at the moment all cameras were on Jennifer Hudson wasn't calculated?) because she's real. Beyonce is as Hollywood as they get: a manufactured beauty. She's had her breasts done, her nose thinned and tip made pointier, hair straightened and dyed, starved her thighs. It's a volatile topic but she looks less African-American than before. Was she beautiful before? Absolutely– but a Caucasian aesthetic dominates Hollywood and it shows. Just look around at the Oscars. The men are allowed to be deliciously dark, while black actresses have to pass. Jennifer Hudson is fresh in part because she breaks that unspoken rule.

Example #2 of Real Girls' revenge? Nicole Kidman gets the Oscar award for the most obvious surgical intervention: forehead (botox), lips (Restalyne), breasts (implants) or maybe she just padded that big red dress. Her face is painted like an airbrushed masterpiece. As an actress she rarely breaks out of the mannequin role. Now look at her posed next to Meryl Streep. The best line of the Oscars belonged to her and the 14 nominations she's received as an actress so far: I'm a size 14, so it all matches! Do you think Nicole Kidman will have her pick of roles as a 58 year-old size 14?

Listen to what Real Girl A-listers have to say:
I would never ever have plastic surgery. We're all just going way too far. I know it's a product of the whole celebrity industry, but it's something I absolutely detest. I want my daughter to see what is real, not what is unachievable and fake.
Julianne Moore, 46
[Plastic surgery] makes these people, actors especially, fantasy figures for a fantasy world...acting is about being real, being honest.
Kate Winslet, 32
[P]eople who look too perfect don’t look sexy or particularly beautiful.
Rachel Weisz, 36
Death is not going to be any easier just because your face can't move.
Cate Blanchett, 37

The bottom line: if you're trading on your looks and not your talent, you're going to have a short, desperate career in film. I'm putting money on the Real Girls: they'll have longer, more fulfilling careers and their film output will be more memorable.

So, what makes Real Girls fabulous? What gives them light-up-a-room star quality? There's an often retold (but true) tale of Marilyn Monroe walking incognito down a busy street, just another hausfrau in a headscarf, offering to demonstrate this very principle to her companion. She simply turned on her star persona and in a moment had that New York city street at a standstill. No grand gestures, no lighting, no make-up, just that switch in attitude.

So all you vicarious Cinderellas: go out and be fabulous.

Anne live on the Kevyn Burger show on Thursdays featuring Knifestyles of the Rich & Famous.

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