Friday, February 1, 2013

Tina Fey and Nicole Kidman vs Jennifer Lawrence and Lena Dunham

In Hollywood actresses fall into three categories:

The "it" girls.
Jennifer Lawrence 

Lena Dunham and the cast of Girls.

Former "it" girls who are trying to stay in the category through plastic surgery.

Demi Moore

Nicole Kidman

And former, former "it" girls who have allowed themselves to age naturally in front of the camera while also experiencing a resurgence in their careers. 

Jessica Lange

Sally Field
When all these categories of actresses end up at an awards ceremony together there is bound to be tension. 

At the Screen Actor's Guild Awards Tina Fey still hadn’t recovered from twenty six old Lena Dunham’s reference in her Golden Globe speech that Ms. Fey’s (42) work (along with fellow nominees Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel ) helped get her through middle school.

On national television Tina Fey's reaction suggested she'd just been slapped in the face with the fact that she was considered old.

In Ms. Fey’s Screen Actor’s Guild acceptance speech for Best Comedy Actress she referred to knowing Amy Poehler since she was "pregnant with Lena Dunham"

Of course Tina got a huge laugh. Leave it to her to turn lemons into comedy gold.

In response to the flood of criticism over her speech, Ms. Dunham replied, "It came from the most earnest place but I'd forgotten that we're in Hollywood, where the rules are that you should not acknowledge that anybody has been around longer than you by more than three years."
When young Jennifer Lawrence won best actress for Silver Lining Playbook over middle aged Naomi Watts’s performance in The Impossible Nicole Kidman (Naomi Watts’ best friend) didn't even try to hide her irritation.

Aging is hard and in Hollywood it can be torture. Literally. By going under the knife actresses like Nicole Kidman and Demi Moore have rendered themselves unrecognizable.

I find it uncomfortable to watch these women because it looks like it is physically painful to have their face. Their faces are a constant reminder of their surgery and it’s impossible to concentrate on their characterization.

The actresses who subject themselves to surgery desire to be watched but render themselves unwatchable.

There seems to be a desperate reluctance on the part of these forty something actresses to let go of their reign as the Hollywood "it" girl.

I am excluding Tina because she has a sense of humor about it as well as her original face.

Back in the day there was a natural progression; a passing of the baton. Actresses didn’t desperately try and stay in the roles they once played. They complained about fewer roles, commiserated or produced their own damn movies. Hail, Hail Goldie Hawn who produced the 1980 hit Private Benjamin and other films in which she starred.

There is so much more pressure on women in Hollywood which of course trickles down to women everywhere.

When Sissy Spacek won the Oscar for Coal Miner's Daughter she wore a black jumpsuit cinched at the waist. Her hairstyle was in a loose bun. I think she looked great. 

Sissy Spacek and Timothy Hutton
A current actress would be eviscerated then sacrificed to the fashion Gods for attempting to wear the same kind of an ensemble to the Oscars.

I imagine I would crumble at the pressure put on celebrities. I am an actress and ending up on a hit show could happen someday. I could end up at an awards ceremony. I could be on the receiving end of some backhanded compliment. I could.

Currently I still have my natural hair color; black. But a few gray hairs have emerged. I shudder when I take a cold hard look at the strand before I yank it out. It is a stark reminder that I am not going to live forever.

Eventually, I'll be need to decide whether or not to dye my hair. When I was in my twenties I use to think I'd let myself go gray. Now I'm not so sure.

I wonder if Kidman and Moore and countless other actresses and women felt the same before age started to change their vision of themselves.

I wonder if these actresses regret their choice to have cosmetic surgery. I wonder if they think they look good or whether they continue to get surgery in order to try and fix the damage done.

I wonder what Tina Fey would say to Lena Dunham if left alone in a room with her.

Now that would be interesting. 

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