By Andrew McCarthy
First, the disclaimer: I’m a man, so I can’t speak first-hand to the pressures women feel to look a certain way. But as an actor, and consequently someone who has made a living based largely on how I look, physical appearance is a topic I consider frequently. In my youth, the idea of cosmetic surgery amused me as something relegated to Beverly Hills dowagers and fading starlets. But as the years have passed, and with the advent of so many new techniques, more and more of my peers have succumbed. The buff and plump, to say nothing of the nip and tuck, have become de rigueur. Yet something about all the peeling and freezing troubles me. I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was—until recently.
It isn’t necessarily the physical effect, though I often find that odd and unnatural-looking. The thing that is so unsettling, so worrisome to me, is the message cosmetic surgery is broadcasting about the person who has had the work done. I know it’s not the signal they want to send.
What got me thinking about this, and how I came to my realization, was learning that a certain (male) rock star—someone whose career I have long followed, whose albums I own and whom I have admired for his seemingly genuine sense of self—admitted to having Botox. Some may praise his courage in coming clean, but this information made me sad. And I wondered why it did. Read more »