WTF did they do to Penelope Cruz? Take a look at this magazine cover. I picked it up in the beauty salon yesterday and if I hadn’t read the headline next to her photo, I never would have recognized her. The first time I remember seeing Cruz was in All About My Mother. She played a nun, wore a minimum of makeup and dowdy clothes and looked fabulous. She looked like a beautiful woman with an unconventional nose, big dark eyes and lustrous dark wavy hair. Now she looks like everyone else.
Look I know they’re going to erase the zits, fiddle with the hair and change a shadow or two, but her face doesn’t look real anymore. It looks like a mask (the full effect of which you probably can’t see in this reproduction).
The gripe against the fashion/beauty/industrial complex used to be that ethnic girls weren’t allowed in. Then came Iman in 1975 and the barriers broke down. But at some point in the intervening years, Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Iman and Naomi Campbell were all put in a blender and the ideal became some sort of a composite and the reality is you can’t tell one from another.
Part of the problem seems to be the ease with which flaws can be erased via computer, so that editors can “correct” any deficiencies that might distinguish one face from another. Nose too wide, let’s narrow it a little. While you’re at it, do something about those cheeks. Plastic surgery has played a role, too. (And I’m not even going to get into the improbable bodies this has created.)
But the real culprits are the stylists. It was as though a memo came down 10 years ago that decreed all women should have long stick-straight hair. And so it was. Andie McDowall, Julianna Margulies and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss suddenly were blown-dry to within an inch of their lives. Now the memo has decreed that big hair is back–and everyone must have blonde highlights. Beyonce, meet Penelope Cruz.
And so it went with fashion, too. Movie stars, no longer schooled by the studios on dress and deportment, took their cues from Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily and hired stylists to ensure that they didn’t look foolish come the Oscar’s. Now one year they all wear vintage, the next they all wear white. Gone are the days when Cher showed up looking like a chandelier and while there are missteps, mostly it’s just boring.
It wasn’t always this way. Audrey Hepburn didn’t look like Katherine Hepburn or her contemporary, Grace Kelly. Claudette Colbert didn’t look like Jean Harlow. Rita Hayworth didn’t look like Lauren Bacall. And what the heck would the beauthy/fashion/industrial complex have done to Gene Tierney’s overbite?
You get my drift.Powered by Sidelines