Dubai Diaries: The changing face of celebrity
“We have to be a role model for these little girls because who do they have? All they have, literally, is the Kardashians . . . And is that a great message for little girls? A whole family of women that take the faces they were born with as a light suggestion?” Say what you want about comedian Amy Schumer, and for the record I’m still firmly on her side for the pre-Trainwreck diet plan joke alone, she knows how to cut to the heart of an issue. While free to do whatever they want, the Kardashian’s perpetual war of attrition on genetics is perhaps the most high-profile example of what is presumably their mistakenly held view a certain look will sustain popularity. While it cannot be denied surgical enhancement is nothing new in the celebrity world, their particular brand of showbiz: selling every aspect of their personal lives over the past 15 years; makes the alterations all the more obvious. Where we have to disagree with Schumer, however, is the matter only affects one gender.
Obviously the aesthetical pressure on women is undoubtedly higher than anyone else. The scrutiny is intense to a critical degree with entire websites dedicated to charting the changing faces of female performers across the globe. These sites appear to find the unavoidable act of ageing offensive. Yet with the revelation that 33-year-old widely lauded heartthrob Zac Efron has reportedly undergone a face augmentation procedure, it is clear to see this issue is a blight for all.
Yesterday Efron appeared in a video message for Bill Nye’s Earth Day special on Facebook Watch. The 12-minute call for action on climate change, a who’s who jamboree, included Justin Bieber and Gaten Matarazzo though it was the former High School Musical star that had tongues wagging. When he emerged on screen, the Australia-based actor seemed to be sporting a more pronounced jaw line and lip, accompanied by mild swelling. The requisite Internet meltdown ensued followed by major news outlets covering the story. However, the furore only seems to be centred on the fact he may have wandered into a doctor’s office, not why he felt the need to do so. Why do any of them feel pressured into making these choices? Whether it’s Effron or the Kardashians, they have already “made it”. Combined with their youth, what possible reason could there be to tamper with what has previously been praised? Unfortunately this column does not possess sufficient space to go into deep-seated psychological discussion, so we’ll point the finger at the major culprit: us. We click on those sites, the clicks mean the operators want to give us more of the same content, the celebrity targets warp themselves into the idea of youthful perfection they assume we demand. It’s a trend I shan’t be keeping up with.