British actress Kate Winslet has long been an outspoken advocate for more realistic portrayals of women’s bodies in the media. She got famously upset at GQ for whittling down her legs to twin sticks on their cover in 2003, and as she’s grown older (“older” being a relative term in Hollywood), she’s spoken in various interviews about how much it bothers her when re-touchers make her face look artificially smooth. Now, she’s gone so far as to start a “league” with pals Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson against cosmetic surgery. It’s called the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League. And they are for serious.
What do they do at the meetings of this league? They don’t get plastic surgery, that’s for damn sure. I’m guessing they sit around eating healthy, reasonably sized meals while applying organic face cream and trading mean stories about Gwyneth Paltrow, who is not allowed in. (“I still refuse to use silicone, Botox or any other of those gimmicks of pure vanity, but a breast correction after breast feeding – why not?” Paltrow told the London Telegraph. “There’s actually nothing else to restore the original condition, is there?” How is it that Gwyneth even manages to sound snobby when copping to wanting plastic surgery?)
Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it’s great to encourage people to be comfortable with who they are. On the other, it seems a bit unfair for someone as naturally (conventionally) gorgeous as Kate Winslet to tell the general public that they shouldn’t get plastic surgery. How many people saw her nude scene in Titanic and ran straight to the plastic surgeon saying “give me the breasts of Rose DeWitt Bukater”? I was 12 when I saw that movie, and I think I prayed to the boob fairy that very night, once I had finished crying.
Basically, I don’t feel comfortable judging a fellow normal person for getting plastic surgery. It’s really not my business. But when it comes to famous people who can actually influence culture, there’s something to be said for a movement towards modeling better body image. We might not all look like Kate, but if even she’s not perfect enough without surgery, what does that say about the rest of us? So I am all for this “league,” so long as it stays mainly about Hollywood. At the very least, it might save a few actresses from caving to the pressure and messing with their faces. Please, won’t somebody think of the actresses?