Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Real Beauty Looks Like

I am sure it was pure coincidence, but was anyone else struck by the fact that the largest display of Hollywood beauty and glam came on the eve of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week?

As you all know, I love movies.  When I was in junior high school and had to fill in some survey for one of the teachers at the beginning of the school year so she could get to know us, I answered the question about what I wanted to do when I grew up as "film critic".  I've probably mentioned that before.  It's occurred to me since that my 14-year old self knew me better than any other iteration of me since.  Of course, had I pursued that, it would mean that I would have to actually sit through movies with "Resident Evil" in the title or "Silent Hill" or anything that claims Nicholas Sparks as the source material.   However, if you think about some of the things I've actually done for a living, that would probably be a more productive use of my time.  But, as it stands, I go to the movies for personal pleasure only and enjoy them like some people enjoy fine wine.  At their least they entertain, at their finest they inspire and maybe even educate.  And as such, Oscar night is a big deal for me because it's the ultimate celebration of the medium I love so much.  Yet, now, after everything we have been through as a family, Oscar night takes on a different tone.  I can never just look at all those women in their finest gowns and jewels and be dazzled.  For me, the red carpet is a whole lot of complicated these days.  As a matter of fact, I skip the whole red carpet parade and just concentrate on the awards themselves and sometimes even that is hard.   I didn't make it past Angelina Jolie's presentation last year.  I was so distressed that I erased the rest of the show.  That was a tough one all the way around because Rooney Mara was in the audience, and she reminds me so much of Kelsey, particularly when she is sporting short, severe bangs.  She is lovely and NFL royalty, but she is disturbingly thin with a piercing gaze that just unnerves me because I've seen it on another's face too.  I will never look at her with any level of comfort I'm afraid.  Then of course, there is always the threat of a Suzi Amis sighting, which I find highly troubling on several levels (for one:  she's known as quite the fashionista around Hollywood - don't any of those designers think enough of her personally to do something or say something...?!)  This year, however, things seemed better.  Relatively.  There still was a dazzling parade of women with dresses designed to show off flat tummies and lots of bare arm, and lots of evidence of women fighting off aging with collagen, silicone and lots and lots of Botox.  There is still ample evidence that body image is game one in the City of Angels.  There are some exceptions:  women with full figures who are thriving in a body conscious world like Adele, Melissa McCarthy, Queen Latifah and Octavia Spencer, but the fact that I can list them by name in a single sentence will probably tell you something.  When I look at Catherine Zeta-Jones and think, "Well, I don't stack up well against that!" then I'm in danger of losing perspective.  I can only imagine what girls like Kelsey must have thought watching all of those hard bodies walk the red carpet.  I wondered about that a lot when I saw Jennifer Lawrence, who truly is a vision and only 22.  But I watch because this was a phenomenal year for film, and I wanted to see that being celebrated, but there is a lot to process after seeing so much glitz and glamour on parade, as you can see since I'm writing about it days later.  And, as I sat and considered all of it while I was watching a female police officer on Boston's Finest last night (and yes, that is because it has a Wahlberg connection and yes, I do get the hypocrisy...), it occurred to me that I'm wrong - we're a lot of us wrong - about what real beauty is.

Here maybe is a better depiction of what real beauty looks like (just to name a very few):

Eleanor Roosevelt:  First Lady, author, activist

Barbara Jordan:  Civil Rights leader and politician

Jane Goodall: primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace

Rosa Parks:  Civil Rights activist

Mother Teresa:  need I say more?

Who do you find beautiful?

No comments:

Post a Comment