Hollywood Becomes Less Plastic; Remains Creepy

Speaking of beauty and botox, here’s an encouraging story from the NYT about how Hollywood is getting a little tired of plastic ladies with nylon hair.

“I think everyone either looks like a drag queen or a stripper,” said Marcia Shulman, who oversees casting for Fox’s scripted shows.

Some of this difference may have to do more with temporary trends in entertainment than with any yearning for a return to natural womanhood:

Moviemakers prefer actresses with natural breasts for costume dramas and period films. So much so that when the Walt Disney Company recently advertised for extras for the new “Pirates” film, the casting call specified that only women with real breasts need apply.


“The era of ‘I look great because I did this to myself’ has passed,” said Shawn Levy, the director and producer of “Date Night” and the “Night at the Museum” movies. “It is viewed as ridiculous. Ten years ago, actresses had the feeling that they had to get plastic surgery to get the part. Now I think it works against them. To walk into a casting session looking false hurts one’s chances.”

Of course, this trend away from artificiality (if it is, in fact, happening; some authors, koff koff, can cook up an imaginary story just out of desperation for something new to write about) isn’t exactly kindling a blaze of compassion and warmth toward womenkind.  Here’s a chilling little description of what goes on in a casting conference:

 The actress was talented and naturally pretty. But what stopped the director was his suspicion that, at such a young age, she already had breast implants.

“We looked at film where she was topless and it was like, ‘Maybe,’ ” Mr. Papsidera said. It wasn’t a period film, so authenticity was not an issue. Instead, the possibility of implants became “a point of reference,” he said. “It was more of, ‘Where is that person coming from as an actor?’ ” She did not get the part.

I see what they’re saying.  A young woman’s choice to get breast implants must say something about her personally.  Still . . . brrr.  I’m thinking about those guys sitting in a private studio, watching her closely, comparing notes, and thinking, thinking, thinking about her breasts.  Hey, maybe someone will come up with a computer program that tracks and analyzes the motion of the human breast on film, to judge whether it is actually human or not.  (Punchline contest in the combox!  What would this amazing new machine be named?)

 I guess this is progress.  Still . . . brrr.  Mothers, don’t let your daughters grow up to be famous.


Simcha Fisher is a cradle Hebrew Catholic, freelance writer, and mother of eight young kids. She received her BA in literature from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. She contributes to Crisis Magazine and Faith & Family Live!, and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She is sort of writing a book.

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