WHAT are we thinking?

from liz to angelinaI was looking at this ad here for People Magazine and all I could think was WHAT has happened to our standards of female beauty?

Look at Liz with those creamy shoulders and collarbones that just barely show under that satiny drape of flesh.

Then look at Angelina whose whole rotator cuff is on display, never mind just her clavicles.

Look at the difference in their upper arms!

I don’t know about you but I’ll be happy when the pendulum swings the OTHER way a bit.

Here is Angelina in evening wear. You could slice cheese with the blade of that humerus – right through her skin!

skinny arms on angelinaAnd here is Liz dressed the same way. Who looks better to you, hmmm? And who would you rather get a hug from?

liz taylor zaftig

Crib Fun

  • I don’t know what you guys would do with two weeks of forced rest but I:
  • Lay in the bed for 40 minutes on awakening, just like babies do, practicing their vowel sounds and conducting invisible orchestras.a
  • Got a facial which is another way of saying “had my mustache snatched off” and this for the first time in like three years. (Normally I’d just Jolen the little critter; it’s only a light little suggestion of a mustache, kind of like the one Justin Bieber has.)

I also:

  • Had my hair cut, and begged Ronaldo to cut my bangs more. With such a high forehead as I have I look like Cousin It if the bangs get too long. (Alas he’ll never do it; he says if he does I’ll look like I just got out of ‘ze men-tal HOS-pital’ – only he says it in his nicely accented English so it’s just sweetly funny and not offensive in a targeting-the-mentally- challenged sort of way. Anyway how bad would it BE to look like the star of Girl Interrupted? Short bangs yeah but look at that mouth God gave her!)

And speaking of mental hospitals I also

  • Read this history of McLean Hospital, the onetime refuge of poet Robert Lowell, James Taylor, Sylvia Plath and Susanna Kaysen who wrote Girl Interrupted as well as many many more. Gracefully Insane it’s called, and I plowed through quite a few other books too, all at the same time which is how I like to do . 

And finally I 

  • Went and got worked on by a body worker specializing in myofascial release.

This is myofascial release here, the unwinding part of it anyway. There is more to be said about it and this video I realize looks like a combination snake charmer and strip club manual but I am here to tell you this technique feels great. At the end of my own time as a massage therapist I used it on clients for at least some portion of the hour, and – well, watch the clip and see if it doesn’t make YOU feel like you’re in your crib again and just waking from a dandy little nap.


Makeup or No Makeup

It’s probably best to let yourself be photographed warts and forget all vanity. My Sixth Grade school picture showed me with such a bad case of chapped lips I looked like a circus clown. I didn’t care. I had just gotten a dog  and that dog was all I thought about.

I think of Martin Schoeller who does these outsized close-ups of people, using none of the tricks photographers usually use to soften the blunt facts of the human face. They’re fascinating. Take a look at Christopher Walken here. The key to so many of his roles has to be that upper lip that Nature hiked up crookedly on him.

And was Bill Murray actually trying to be funny in all his movies or did we laugh because of the odd mixture of that tentative smile and a certain hapless look signaled by the tilt of his eyebrows?

I put Martin Schoeller’s photo of Brad Pitt up here a few days ago and now here’s his lady:

Look at that face! She is one beautiful woman and kind too, as I hear (and to  those people who nastily suggest  say she is working out old issues in rearing six children under ten I say  what is anyone doing but exactly that?) As a child she wasn’t all that pretty as you can see . It just goes to show you: by the time you’re a grownup you really DO have the face you deserve.

Can’t Be Too Rich or Too Thin? Really?

It always shocks me to see how skinny rich chicks can be; rich older chicks I mean because the young ones still have enough of that collagen padding in their faces to look sort of normal (I point to that Olsen twin at her thinnest. I point to Angelina Jolie who bodywise may look like a little toy kite made of rice paper and bamboo sticks but who gets away with it with those big old puffy lips.

No I’m talking about your older gals, like the ones I saw at this very large charity ball  the other night. Sure maybe some of them have had the extra flesh under their necks hacked away by the nip-and-tuck man but really I think they’re just thin – anyway they all had skeleton jaw.

And  then there was this really pretty one who looked like Kristen Scott Thomas and was maybe 50 and had a world of pearls filling her chest so you couldn’t SEE how skinny she was there….But when she shrugged off her coat and turned toward the bar? The sight made me gasp: a spine like the tail of a horseshoe crab and two scapula so bladelike you could shave your legs with them.

Not that I’m the perfect person of course; I’m thinking of having a little work done myself, especially around the nose area, but hey tell ya one thing: I do enjoy pointing the finger at others!

Goodbye Again to Marilyn

Today is the anniversary of Marilyn’s death who was so pretty with that wavy dark hair before the studios made it into yellow cotton candy. She was darling as a child, darling as a young wife, inexpressibly lovely in her years as a star, especially in those unguarded moments like this one when some  photographer captured her in repose, maybe just relieved about being up and functioning, the uppers having finally kicked in to bring her out of the deep sleep brought on by the downers that might as well have been roofies for how thoroughly they smothered her.

I looked on YouTube just now on the off-chance I could see more of her, doubting I’d find anything, but what miraculous times we live in for here she is again. Not dead Marilyn with the blood pooling in her face when, for hours she lay where she died, but this luminous girl about the same age as Angelina Jolie, our current icon of female beauty.

Here’s to you Marilyn; and here’s to you too Sarah McLachlan, for writing that haunting ‘pulled from the wreckage’ line in the song that accompanies it.