Nipping, Tucking, Blood Sucking?

lisarinna.jpgI had an epiphany the other day at the gym while watching an in-depth VH1 special called “Hollywood: Nipped and Tucked.” In loving detail, the show explained who nips, who tucks, who plumps, who does what to which body part(s) in pursuit of endless youth and good close-ups.

The images of nipped and tucked celebrities flashing across the screen – Madonna, Meg Ryan, Lisa Rinna, Michael Douglas, Al Pacino – reminded me of something else we’ve been seeing a lot of lately: vampires.

Think about it: all those varieties of facial spackle – restylane, botox, juvederm – are used to create the illusion of eternal youth, which is also the key element of vampirism: vampires don’t age. In the movie “Twilight,” Edward Cullen jokes about a tapestry he and his “siblings” have created from all the various mortarboards and tassels they’ve collected over the years, as they matriculate again and again and again.

In Book Four of the series, Bella Swan finally gets what she’s wanted for three previous books: she’s envamped. As a result of her vampiric transformation, she becomes utterly beautiful: graceful, glossy, completely buff. The whole blood-sucking thing aside, another way to read Bella’s happy ending is that she “has a little work done,” and then gets to waltz off into a gleaming sunset with her equally glossy lover and their immortal child.

Isn’t that what the puffy-lipped among us are hoping for?

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve stared into the mirror while I pulled up my (sagging) jawline and smoothed my (shar-pei’d) forehead – but I’m not ready to join the ranks of the undead quite yet.  I wonder, though: if we were all forced to undergo plastic surgery, ala Scott Westerfeld’s dystopian future world, would the ageless kiss of a vampire still seem so seductive?

Facial spackle? Or immortal sucker of blood? Hard to know.
Thumbnail image for madonna_98_08.jpg

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

3 Responses to Nipping, Tucking, Blood Sucking?

  1. Karen June 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    the other very important ingredient in all of these celebreties’ youthful appearances is airburshing and photoshop. we could all improve our appearance with a gauzy lens and some digital skills (a la that picture of madonna).

  2. KF June 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    I’m curious what you do, in this analogy, with the overworked — the Joan Riverses, at the extreme, but also the Nicole Kidmans — the point at which the desperation and futility involved in avoiding aging begin to show on the surface. I’m wondering now about the mode of undeadness that surfaces in that Meryl Streep movie from the early 90s, Death Becomes Her, in which she and Goldie Hawn are given the gift of eternal youth and beauty, but only as long as they’re safely alive — the catch being that they can’t actually die, but they can rot…

  3. Deborah June 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Isn’t that the myth of the grasshopper? He was beloved of some goddess who wished he could have immortal life, which he was given – but she forgot to ask that he not AGE. So he wizened up and then out of mercy, she turned him into a grasshopper. So maybe that’s where Joan Rivers, Lisa Rinna, et al are headed: insectville. Joyce Wildenstein is another horrific example… You’re exactly right: the smooth skin becomes a silken testament to fear – of aging, of loss of desireability, of individuality.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes