Celebrity plastic surgery is a topic I have a morbid fascination with, and I realized recently that their deaths are something that I have incidentally studied over the course of my political education as well. And I know I’m not alone in this because observation of this life and death cycle of ruling class avatars is something that is forced upon us through so many types of media now. I avoid a good deal of it “in real time” like anyone can, but it’s an ever present element of american media now.
I don’t think all people who have lived in the spotlight as television and film culture has evolved and developed throughout the 20th century were talentless hacks who became well-known for recording sex tapes or autotune voice enhancement or you-name-the-superficiality specialty niche audiences were created for. And certainly there are still those who remain, who take the arts of theater, film, and musicianship seriously. To me, it’s becoming more difficult to recall those times when actual acting talent was celebrated by the big networks, even, and debuted on their late night shows once meant for an adult audience, and I was just a newborn on the cusp of the disappearance of these more serious attitudes in the mainstream.
In those times, an actor trying to keep an edge might have had the flesh of their neck tucked to maintain an austere profile that was known secondary to their acting ability, an enhancement to their appeal. A breast lift to recover from time off to nurse babies. Innocent and understandable modifications not really spoken of — well, at least not a subgenre of its own as it is now. And at one time, procedures that others not of this class could more easily afford for themselves. Now the ability for the plebs to cosmetically alter themselves for any number of reasons is reality show fodder that can seemingly only be won thanks to the benevolence of the doctors who serve the ruling class.
The beast cannot churn without this milieu of judging replacement body parts and their withering away in grotesque ways along with the person who bought them all, or who was indebted for them, who presumably had what we like to refer to as a soul that made them an exceptional being known as a human from all outward appearances and mannerisms. And that is downright weird when you take a step back from the circus to analyze it.
The liberal spin doctors have transformed the skeptics, the worry worts concerned about where society will end up — and how it exists presently — with this piecemeal reassembling of the human form, into anti-feminist, fun-hating, envious demons. For I have personally been subject to such suspicion when criticizing this phenomenon forced onto impressionable young girls as well, and I have witnessed the heckling of others who’ve expressed their disdain for this mega trend of body alteration, now onto “hacking” in the digital age.
It’s become so irritatingly predictable, the most mediocre series of talking points repackaged as radical thought — well it’s no one’s business but theirs, women are allowed their bodily autonomy, who are you to judge, isn’t it an amazing time where people can reinvent themselves without patriarchal authority (!), and so on and so on. Essentially, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a cowed audience member; sit back, enjoy, and do shut the fuck up already. This is all very fun.
But even if the stars — of which who rate among the ruling class themselves these days — do not reveal their “secrets”, it’s perfectly fine now if they do. One shouldn’t lie to their audience after all.
The super model turned social media-social justice warrior Chrissy Teigen proudly pronounces ‘”Everything about me is fake except my cheeks,” she joked, later clarifying (and admitting) that she did have lipo done on her armpits.’ More interestingly — perhaps solely for the reason of the person stating it — weirdo Iggy Azalea (who became famous for the palest shade of blackface yet performed, to my mind) describes a journey of self discovery:
“Plastic surgery is an emotional journey,” […] “It’s no easy feat to live with your flaws and accept yourself—and it’s no easy feat to change yourself. Either way you look at it, it’s a tough journey. There are things that I didn’t like about myself that I changed through surgery. There are other things I dislike but I’ve learned to accept.”
Perhaps the most definitive example lately of these morbid symptoms as a twitter pal so correctly put it is that of Cardi B whose flippancy with which she proclaims injecting foreign and unknown material into a region that, well, I think should be attractive to others for exactly the opposite of what the idle, boring, and famous do to it to ensure their net worth is just, jarring:
In addition to a breast augmentation, Cardi B admitted in an interview to getting illegal injections in her butt. “In order to get lipo, where they put the fat transfer in your ass and it gets bigger, you need to have fat. I did not have no type of fat,” she said. “But I was desperate to have a bigger ass.”
The most disturbing thing about all of the female examples is how young they all are. What is there to fix or return to a more flexible state? Why can’t women and girls on the outside looking in see women who just turn into older versions of themselves? Why are we so fucking obsessed with ending this process? I’m really supposed to believe this is a reshaping of womanhood that says “fuck you” to the neoliberal patriarchal order?
Because it appears to be exactly the opposite. We now exist in an era of celebrated billionaires crafted into a nearly other-worldly idealized female form who throw a bone to causes they have a passing interest in only to maintain that wealth which is the sole reason for their existence, and too many of the trampled on in western society are willing to defend them. It is a patriarchy-approved feminized form of fascist terrorism that masks even deeper meanings and eugenics programs that remain largely undetected by the public at large.
No one who disapproves and can muster independent thought in this madness should shut the fuck up about it. It’s a problem that’s rarely viewed as a problem now; there’s been an ongoing ideological battle within feminist thought that, as a result, has caused a disconnect of feminist analysis from what should be an ongoing discussion within a larger fight against imperialism and the maintenance of tyrannical empire to end all resistance. Everyone can have a hyphenated feminism now as simply a hobby or for their “personal brand” that, unfortunately, is accompanied by a host of stupefying skin care regimes and cosmetic tutorials in order for one to “slay” in (what goes unspoken) a man’s world where one can only hustle to stay ahead of the game if one is a woman. Halle Berry hits on something more than just the pressure to stay alive in her industry:
“When you see everybody around you doing it, you have those moments when you think, ‘To stay alive in this business, do I need to do the same thing?’ I won’t lie and tell you that those things don’t cross my mind, because somebody is always suggesting it to me,” the actress told Bobbi Brown in an interview for Yahoo! Beauty. “It’s almost like crack that people are trying to push on you. That’s what I feel like. I just have kept reminding myself that beauty really is as beauty does, and it is not so much about my physical self. Aging is natural, and that’s going to happen to all of us … I just want to always look like myself, even if that’s an older version of myself. I think when you do too much of that cosmetic stuff, you become somebody else in a way.”
Girls should not be encouraged to grow up to be living dolls with pouts that work best for blow jobs, not giving expression to the words we who do not buy in can arm them with. There is always a chorus to shout at you about how you are simply blaming the children, that you are simply not thinking with perspective about the times that may be bad, because they’re not really, every generation feels some kind of nostalgia for what was lost, etc etc. This I find to be wholly false, like what will happen if we enable the conditioning of the following generations because we do not speak out about it.
Thompson got candid about her opinion on plastic surgery during an interview with Hello Magazine. “It’s mad,” she opined. “It’s not a normal thing to do, and the culture that we’ve created that says it’s normal, is not normal. Why do people ask persons to cut them open and put things into their body? What is that, what are we doing to ourselves?” The actress added that she’s worried about how cosmetic surgery will affect the future of society: “It’s chronically unhealthy and there’s this very serious side to all of that because we’re going to end up with this sort of ‘super-culture’ that’s going to suggest to young people, girls and boys, that this looks normal. And it’s not normal.”
This is not the same old everything’s the worst, the end times are nigh rhetoric. What if this goes unchecked and does not end — because the technological capabilities are here. What will happen to those who can voice dissenting views if they go unsupported? So much seriousness has disappeared through a very fine encroachment on our sensibilities. The commonly thought of soul is body. It becomes more and more alienated from a joyful, communal form in harmony with others, piece by piece, when this spectacle is not combated.