Monday, April 26, 2010

Old-In Young-Out

It has always been a challenge to keep up with the constantly changing dos and don'ts of life. Who can forget when eating anything non-fat was all the rage, giving all of America a false sense of how to stay slim regardless of portion size. Did we really think eating the ENTIRE one pound bag of twizzlers was going to be good for our waistline? So America gets fat and what's the solution...low-carb! Overnight being within 10 feet of a piece of bread would up you a size.

It has been the same with exercise over the years. I remember a time when fitness experts everywhere promoted cardio until you were literally blue in the face. Then all of a sudden if you weren't lifting weights to build muscle mass you didn't stand a chance of losing weight. First it was heavy weights and now it's light weights at high repetition. How is one supposed to keep up? Which changes are based on scientific breakthroughs and which to avoid moderation (something Americans seem to do at all costs)

As presented in a great article in the New York Times Styles section yesterday, the latest society 180 is that celebrities should be 'less tucked' than the current crop of Hollywood actresses. Casting directors have grown frustrated with actresses auditioning for the part of a middle aged woman when they look 30. The same goes for the young sector when someone with Heidi Montag's breast size shows up to play a character in a period piece. Breast implants didn't even exist before the 20th century! One casting director is replacing the old fashioned head shot with required bathing suit shots, regardless of what the role calls for the actress to wear. This helps avoid any surprises in the bust area after casting is complete. Movie producers want their movies to be an escape from life for a few hours, however they also want their actors to be believable in the roles they play.

I sympathize with the women of Hollywood...well most of them anyway. For years they have been told to stay looking young or they would be washed up before their 35th birthday. Women didn't want to wait 20 years for their next role as somebody's mother so they fought back with needles and scalpels. Some of the results we've seen have been better than others, but for the first time there are lots and lots of leading roles going to women over the age of 40. A generation ago this was unheard of. Of course just like with anything else, moderation has become a problem (remember that bag of Twizzlers?). The people of Hollywood have had a hard time stopping after the right amount of "tucks" and plastic surgery restrictions are now being placed by casting agents. Women who have had work done are being sent away without roles they would've otherwise been given, and often times are not told the reason why. The word is now getting out and it will be interesting to see how Hollywood reacts. I mean, is Meryl Streep really going to stop getting Botox? Not a chance.

My theory is that we will start to see fluctuations in age on and off the big screen just like we do with weight. Actors and actresses temporarily gain and lose weight for roles all the time. Renee Zellweger didn't exactly decide to keep the weight on when she was done playing Bridget Jones. She must of gone straight to the gym after the wrap party because she was back to a size 2 in no time. I think we will see the same pattern in the Botox department. Actresses will time their injections to be worn off by the time shooting begins. If you want Susan Sarandon to look like a Grandma then so be it, but you better believe she will be at her plastic surgeon's office the second her last line is delivered. As always, Hollywood will conform to get the role, but being skinny and young will always be required outside the editing room. Hopefully one day societal standards will be more attainable, but I won't be giving up my gym membership in the hopes of this happening anytime soon.

Until we can sit down and eat a handful of chips, request a "Full B" at a breast augmentation consult, and not use the whole vial of Botox at one visit, we will be faced with rule changes without warning. I guess it will keep us on our toes...doesn't that at least burn calories?

*To read the New York Times article I am talking about click on the title of my blog. Feel free to comment with your opinions on the subject!

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