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Keeping it real

Yes Keira, your lips are totally real.

Last month, I watched Pride and Prejudice on DVD. I can’t tell you much about it because I was madly distracted by Keira Knightley’s top lip. Huge. Like someone had cut a Floaty in half and glued it to her face. I couldn’t remember noticing that Floaty lip before so I checked with Dr Google and discovered that even though she’d been photographed leaving a plastic surgeon’s office a couple of years ago and despite the fact Stevie Wonder could have spotted the lip inflation and deflation during her career, 23 year old Ms Knightly swears she’s au natural: “I haven’t had my lips done,” she told a reporter. “Can I just say that I haven’t?” Sure Keira, you can say it. But what you say doesn’t reconcile with what we see.

Celebrities are liars.  That’s my bold statement for 08. OK, maybe some celebrities don’t lie. But most do, particularly the ladies. And it’s messing with my head, dammit.

They say “I think botox is creepy, I’d never put a needle in my face.”
They say, “Oh, I hate exercise. I stay fit by breathing deeply.”
They say, “Of course they’re real!”
They say, “Yes I did have a procedure on my nose but only to correct a deviated septum.”
They say, “I’ve never tried drugs, I’m too much of a control freak.”
They say, “The split is totally amicable and we’re still best friends.”
They say, “I’m very low maintenance. A bit of lip gloss and I’m out the door.”
They say “I’m 34”.
They say, “I don’t believe in nannies. I do everything myself.”
They say, “I never really wanted to be famous.” They say, “I was only giving the transsexual prostitute a lift home because it was raining and I’m a Good Samaritan.”
They say “I’m so blessed to have fallen pregnant naturally with twins at 49.”

And why is this a problem for me? Because when I read about celebrities I compare myself. Yes, I know this is pointless and stupid. But hey, I’m a girl and girls compare. It’s our job…”

Mia Freedman wrote a fabulous piece on celebrity liars earlier this month. I have adapted the extract above; it is really worth a look.

And oh yes Mia – I hear you! And yes – although we are smart women, all the lies do feed us as we play the Compare and Despair game. 

Our hunger for all things false seems insatiable- we devour images that are almost all photo shopped and airbrushed. Worse still, we listen entranced to the air brushed words that spill out oh-so-seductively from celebrities mouths.

I thought I would share some very rare recent examples of celebs FINALLY telling it like it really is.

So refreshing. So liberating. So REAL!

“I’ve heard so many actresses say something to the effect that it’s difficult to be beautiful in this business. I am not a violent person but I literally want to strangle them because it’s the most ridiculous thing anyone can say. It’s difficult being overweight in this business, it’s difficult being a minority, it’s difficult having some kind of physical challenge or handicap, but the easiest thing to be is beautiful.”

Actress Eva Mendes, as reported in the Sun Herald, Feb 17th.

“(when I get excited) sometimes a little bit of wee comes out!”   

Ex-model and new mum Chloe Maxwell on channel 7’s It Takes Two.

“I’ve sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women’s bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I’m not upset for me, but for all the girls out there that are struggling with their body image. A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn’t make you beautiful. What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles. To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini – put it on and stay strong.”                               

Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, defending herself after pictures of her in a bikini were published with demeaning headlines such as “We know what you ate this summer, Love – everything!”

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“That’s my natural hair colour…You know, if you don’t consider the character beautiful, that is really me. That poster shows my natural hair colour, and it is me with very little make-up and no prosthetics. That is me.”

Charlize Theron talking to a journalist about the unflattering (by the usual Hollywood standards) images of her used to promote her new film The Valley of Elah.

“The belly is certainly not what it was. The boobs are certainly not what they were. You do think, ‘Oh, God!’ but at the same time, I was playing a mother, and it’s so important to me to have those things look as real as possible. More than ever now, I believe it’s so important to look as real and true to life as possible, because nobody’s perfect. I seem to be on a mission, but I don’t want the next generation, your daughters and mine, growing up thinking that you have to be thin to look beautiful in certain clothes. It’s terrifying right now. It’s out of control. It’s beyond out of control. For a long time being seen as a role model seemed like a huge responsibility, but if I am that to some young women, then that’s great. I’m tremendously flattered to be looked up to in that way, and I feel an enormous responsibility to stay normal and true to myself and not conform and all those things. You know? To be healthy. And normal. And to like to eat cake.”

Kate Winslet discussing her feelings about filming a nude scene in her film Little Children.

May the truth set us free. We have all fallen victim to the beauty myth. We all wee, bloat, flop, bulge and just do the best we can on any given day.

And we all deserve to eat cake …those of us who can still move our lips around a piece anyway.

Published inBody ImageMediaPlastic SurgeryWomen and Film

8 Comments

  1. Claire Clements

    Kate Winslet is wonderful. I love her talent for acting, I love her gorgeous face, I love her hair, and I love her curves. She is what a poster girl should look like in my opinion.

  2. Claire Clements

    Actually, I’d like to put up a point of contention just for the sake of discussion. Keira Knightley is often criticised for her flat chest. So, if she was going to have any work done, would she not have had her breasts enlarged rather than her lips? I agree her lips do look different in the above pictures and I don’t know enough about her to be arguing for either side of has she or hasn’t she but I believe there are lipsticks and tricks that can make the lips look bigger now, without having work done, but I could be wrong. I’m happy to be contested on this view.

  3. Lisa Porter

    I think the reason Keira hasn’t had her breasts enlarged is because pictures of her (the Chanel ads, for example, not the ones in magazines criticising her – hypocritically – for being rake thin) are often digitally enhanced anyway, so why go through all that pain and expense?! I think she was quoted as saying something along the lines of, “What are they? They’re not mine,” when she saw the final Chanel ads.

    I quite like Keira’s boisterous characters in “Bend it Like Beckham” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films so sort of don’t want to believe that she’s given into the pressure and had work done. I have seen a couple of products advertised as “non-surgical lip enhancers” – glosses and balms with something in them (God knows what?!) to puff up the lips and give the “floaty” look described above. Come on, we put enough chemicals in and on our bodies – through food, air pollution etc – without smearing on something that has the same effect as an allergic reaction (gives whole new meaning to the term “beestung lips”!).

    Thanks so much for including those quotes from some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Kate Winslet especially – what a woman!!

  4. katiemcneill

    I hate always being compared to celebrities, especially celebs like Keira who claim they have had no work done! Am i supposed to believe that your lips plumped up over night? Yeah right. And the worst part about it, is my lips get compared to your fake ones. People say, “why don’t you have big lips like Keira or Angelina..who claim that theirs are natural?” First of all, there is no way that there’s are natural, and second of all, I dont have big lips like them because i refuse to pay $500 for lips that look like a bee stung them multiple times and left them with a perma-pouty look. We know their not real Keira–stop lying.

  5. jocelyn

    I do not particularly care if they lie or not because it is not really our business whether they have had plastic surgery or anything else going on in their lives. Because they are stars everyone feels they are owed an explanation which I do not believe is neccessary unless it affects the rest of the world. If it were a regular person as you and I and everyone were to ask if we have had plastic surgery done we might not be so anxious to respond because it is not something we feel the whole world has to know. Besides most of the time we already know the answer so why even waste our breath asking?

  6. Jocelyn Brown

    I do not think that it is really any of our business whether they admit to having plastic surgery or anything else. I feel that we are so curious about celebrities that we get so upset when they do lie about certain things. We want to find some fault with a celebrity so we can bring them down to our level of being just a regular person, but when they do admit to making mistakes or having surgery we then criticize them. I feel it is a lose/lose situation because as a society we will always find something wrong. But in reference to the plastic surgery…would we be so quick to let the whole world know we had a plastic surgery? It is highly unlikely because it is not for the whole world to know.

  7. Claire Clements

    In response to Katie McNeil’s post – it worries me that people are asking why someone doesn’t have big lips like Keira or Angelina’s. I hope the answer there is “Because I was born with THESE lips!” What a question! If we have people asking questions like that then the world is a little more scary than I thought. :S

  8. Samantha

    I’m pretty sure that Miss Knightley’s lips are 100% natural. The pictures in which her top lip seems tiny are ones in which she is smiling; the ones in which it seems like an imitation of Angelina Jolie are ones in which she has a relaxed mouth. I’ve just finished watching the film and her lip looks small whenever she smiles, and large whenever she isn’t. It’s something that happens when every person smiles; my own top lip practically disappears when I grin, and it’s normally quite large.

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