Well the post-Oscar chatter about Kim Novak lends credence to one stereotype: Women really can be cruel to other women.
Beyond that, the comments of so many young women reek with hypocrisy and age-ism.
If I understand them correctly, Ms Novak’s looks are an example of the Hollywood–media culture that dictates that women must, at all costs, stay young, thin, and beautiful. That pressure sends them to the plastic surgeon who, in turn, sometimes betrays them. However, many of these same young women then go on to say that, looking like that, Kim Novak should not have been invited to be on the show, and certainly should not have agreed to appear. Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy here? Bad Hollywood made her do it but (although of course, we don’t agree with Hollywood’s views of women, feminists that we are) still, she shouldn’t have shown that face in public.
Given how rarely the internet meets truth, it is unlikely that we will ever know why Kim Novak now looks like that. The popular theory is that pressured, victimized, by the culture, she had bad plastic surgery. Let us suppose for a minute that is true. Wouldn’t that be more reason for her to stand up there on the stage, to say ‘Young starlets beware, look what happened to me.”
The other theory, which has more credence with me, is that this is the result of facial reconstruction after an accident, and/or a stroke and meds. If this is true, I say “Bravo, Kim” for saying to the world, “I am no longer beautiful, I can hardly speak, but I am still here.”
And bravo for bringing a moment of truth into the glitter and glam of the Oscar’s: Life is not always pretty.
Having knocked Ms Novak about for doing that to herself, and then daring to appear in public, another chorus exclaims, “She’s 81!” Oh dear. So, she’s 81. What does that mean? Is she supposed to just exit, leave the stage. Well, dear little sisters, I am 81 and I have no intention of leaving the stage and when you are 81 – which, if you are lucky, will happen to you, – you won’t want to leave the stage either. You may even have your own Kim Novak moment.
Really. By all means let’s blame the culture. But let’s not give too much credit to advertising, Hollywood and the media. The urge to adorn oneself dates back to Eve and the fig leaf. My guess is Eve bit her lips to make them redder. And every tribe since the beginning of man has used bone, paint, or extensions of lips, bottoms, and ear lobes, to fit the particular norm of their culture.
Honey, and I am using that word even though I know it is demeaning because in this matter, you could use a little demeaning, a whole generation of post world war 2 women fought hard to get equality at work, home and in the law. And this is the result? Young women whining that they are coerced into becoming something they don’t want to be?
Little sisters, you are your own culture, you make your own society. If you want to pluck and plump, do it. If you don’t, don’t. If you love your pecs and abs, fine. If you don’t mind a little jiggle, that’s fine too. If you think that having a face lift will get or keep a lover, get thyself to a psychiatrist. If you don’t like the look of your neck, be like me and follow the example of Nora Ephron: wear a turtleneck.
If you want to have a facelift, be my guest. But do it for yourself, not society. And do your homework. First, got to an orthodontist and check your bite, because that may be the issue. Then see your doctor and find out whether you are retaining fluid. If you are, no eye surgery will help what a not so endearing plastic surgeon calls the little sausages under the eyes. And consider giving up the booze. I have little sausages that are the gift of Mr. Dewar’s. Like my wrinkles, they are well-earned. And then, check out that plastic surgeon with the same diligence you would bring to a neurological surgeon about to operate on your brain. Don’t let that word “cosmetic” in front of surgery fool you. Plastic surgery is major surgery. Things can, and do, go wrong.
Use your mind. Use your mind to discover who you are and become that person. Grow up. And, given their post-Oscar comments, within a certain circle of young women, it would seem there is quite a lot of growing up to do.
Hi Joan…you had me at the heading!!! I too watched the awards..and when they introduced Kim Novak they had my full attention….hadn’t heard about her in years….didn’t know if the was still alive…but my jaw dropped when I saw her. I felt that Hollywood had betrayed her – one of their biggest stars…anything for ratings. Your article was right on….remembering my own experience with cosmetic surgery (in the book). I called John M illyard yesterday morning and he returned my call same evening. We had a long talk….suggested I find a publisher and/or agent. Will call me when back from Florida in April and we’ll get together. Thanks for the intro. I was re-reading your column about what you missed most being alone…it was so beautiful. I’m sure every woman who reads it will make a copy for their spouse…I gave one to Bruno! Your marriage was indeed blessed and I’m sure every woman is envious of your closeness. Just realize how very lucky you were to find “the one” and share all those wonderful years. And keep writing your incredible columns..straight from your heart. Love you Eleanor Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 17:23:21 +0000 To: email@example.com
Joan, Your piece is excellent. Maybe it should be on the Op Ed page of the Times. Your sausages from Mr. Dewar’s made me laugh. You look terrific in spite of it. Duane
Joan, you will always be a babe.