|2014 Critics' Choice Movie Award for the Dallas Buyers Club|
The Christian Bale emaciated role thing seems to be the new "serious" actor proof in Hollywood and I have felt for a while that these beautiful men (it always seems to be beautiful men) are aging themselves prematurely by this practice.
There is a fullness and softness to youthful faces around the eyes, around the mouth, along the sides of the nose, and in the temples. Ask anyone with an older family member who has had an acute illness, there are only so many times you can starve the youthful fullness out of a face before it stops bouncing back. This is why plastic surgery to fight aging involves tightening *and filling*.
So, male actors starve themselves "for their craft" and often start to look kind of terrible afterward. I have always rather fancied Christian Bale and have watched in over the years as he gradually drained the youth from his features, and so this is something that I worked out a while ago. Every time I hear about a new actor undergoing starvation prep for a role my theory seems to bear out.
But here's the connection I NEVER made before... many female actors starve themselves "for their craft" for their ENTIRE CAREERS.
Small wonder why female actors seem to "age out" so much faster than male actors! Even leaving aside the stress of the double standard where the media chastises them one minute for being "fat" and the next minute for being "anorexic" it's a lifestyle practically designed to burn through their youthful beauty.
|Julia Roberts as Anna Scott in Notting Hill (1999 - Universal Pictures)|
This realization has really slammed home some perspective on the limitations of "looking better" through dieting. So much of the beauty message of our society is "be healthier and look better by being skinnier" but that's not the whole story is it? Appealing to people's health doesn't seem to work very well; despite the increasing evidence that crash dieting is unhealthy and doesn't particularly work, eating disorder rates keep increasing and the weird diet industry appears to be thriving.
I feel I have been blessed with some pretty amazing genetics when it comes to aging, but I am getting to a point in my life where I have begun to think about how I will be changing in the years to come and what I can do to help it happen gracefully. Again and again the answer seems to revolve around a balanced and nourishing attitude toward my body, which I am sad to admit I have not always practised.
Still, there is definitely something to be said for better late than never. Now here's hoping I can find that crucial nourishing balance point between treadmill time, yoga, and my undying love of fancy cheese.