Idly flicking through a magazine this morning, I was once more confronted by a beauteous image of perfection sporting the ‘au-naturel’ look. Of course, far from looking ‘naturel’, the poor girl looked completely ‘unnaturel’. Not one line, laughter or otherwise, marred her airbrushed and Botox’d creamy complexion. Not a mole, not a freckle, not an acne scar, not an expression of any sort, just the blankness of a death mask. Now, I don’t care what anyone says, that’s just plain spooky. As human beings, we are designed to communicate with so much more than mere words and gestures. Our faces and ability to contort them is all essential to conveying our emotions. Here are some I prepared earlier.
1. A massive scowl when the alarm clock went off two hours earlier than intended because I still can’t get to grips with its convoluted buttony things. After two years!
2. A hefty eye-roll, combined with a repeat of massive scowl, when husband had the cheek to complain about No. 1.
3. A ‘blaagh’ overall contorting of the face when confronted with my morning bowl of prunes. The ‘blaagh’ is regular too.
4. A trembling bottom lip over a sad story about a dead dog in the newspaper.
5. A series of nose wrinkling manoeuvres prior to hay-fever induced series of ground shaking sneezes.
The above list forms but a small part of the rigorous facial workout already indulged in this morning and, believe me, no witness would have been left in any doubt as to what message each frown, scowl, contortion, curled lip conveyed. And that’s the way I like it, because then everyone is clear on what needs to be done to make me a happy, smiley, shiny person.
Quid pro quo, I too like to be able to decipher the facial expressions of those around me and not just immediate friends and families, but people in general, and especially those invited into my living room via the wonderful medium of television to entertain me. Repeat, entertain me! And not through my puzzling over how many cosmetic procedures they’ve had and awarding myself ten points for every box checked. Botox? Tick. Fillers? Tick. Collagen? Tick. Etc. Etc. Tick.
When an actor stands over the body they’ve just murdered, I want to see what they’re feeling, whether that be triumph, horror, malice, glee or whatever. These days the only emotion conveyed seems to be one of permanent frozen shock.
Imagine a Romeo and Juliette where the principal actors have succumbed to the lure of the needle.
A. Romeo: (sans Botox or fillers). What light through yonder window breaks?
Here, Romeo is romantic, yearning, poetic. His face moves, whether in mysterious or non-mysterious ways is unimportant. The key thing here is that his face actually moves. We totally get him and, more importantly, so does Juliette.
B. Romeo: ( Botox’d to the hilt). What light through yonder window breaks?
Here, Romeo is shocked rigid. This light through yonder window – what could it be? A bolt of lightning? A terrorist attack? Wisely, Juliette has left the balcony.
Marlon Brando (sans Botox) – I coudda beena contenda.
Imagine the phrase spoken through a faceful of frozen stuff. The stuff of Movie Lore? Not a chance.
One last, because I can’t resist.
Rhett Butler (sans Botox) – Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Said forcefully with passion and lashings of throw-me-over-the-shoulder testosterone.
Now, try the new unimproved death-masked version. See? It just doesn’t work. Scarlett would have punched his lights out and run up them up as curtains.
(Tip: Why not pick out your own favourite movie lines and try it for yourself. Hours of cheap and innocent fun for all the family!)
Anyway, to wrap it up, if you’ve managed to read this far and are still unclear as to what my take on this whole cosmetic procedures (for vanity) lark is, it may be because the Botox has now reached your brain. You might like to think about your epitaph.
If you are eye-rolling and screwing up your face, in agreement or otherwise, congratulations, I salute your freedom of expression.
That’s it; I’m off to try out some more movie lines.
Clint (sans Botox) – You feelin lucky punk?
Clint (Botx’d) – You feelin lucky punk?
Oops, no change there.