by Vivien Lash
Never has there been as fat a lie as the one about beauty being on the inside. Unless it’s the one about fashion magazines making their readers anorexic. Glossies don’t start trends, they follow them. And someone at Conde Nast has a sense of humor, judging by the funny-lookin’ ladies they’ve been hiring since last century. Diana Vreeland offset her unconventional appearance by playing up her eccentricity, while Anna Wintour's crash-helmet bob is more iconic than a Disney character. And what of her addiction to Chanel, which makes everyone look like a frosted cupcake? Tina Brown was allowed to keep her nose, but she’s intelligent and from England, where nobody cares what they look like.
Everyone knows that fashion magazines are about the pictures, but every now and then they get intellectual and fall flat on their liposuctioned asses. The dialogue they're aiming for is not so much with the reader as with each other. No sooner had US Vogue profiled the bland, blonde wife of Syrian President Assad, the tyrant going after the Devil of the Desert trophy once reserved for Muammar Gaddafi, than UK Vogue hitched a ride on the camel with a piece about Libya that’s about as interesting as a plate of undercooked falafel. Libyan women wore make-up while civil war raged in Tripoli? You don't say.
They could have saved the story by sneaking in a few shots of young Colonel Gaddafi before he’d had Botox and started his long, slow audition to take over for Pete Burns. Who can deny how glamorous Muammar looked in 1969, when he came to power wearing sunglasses and a mysterious smile, with no tent dresses in his wardrobe yet. Like all good anti-heroes, the Colonel came to a bad end, and tragically on a bad hair day. If dead Colonels could talk, I’m sure he’d agree that beauty is skin deep.
It used to be as simple as making sure you didn’t have any blackheads. The most complicated is got was Marilyn Monroe visiting Madame Renna on Sunset Boulevard every day at noon for a facial, then having an enema prepared by her creepy housekeeper to keep her skin glowing. But fashions have changed and now celebrities are buying faces that look so much like bums that you worry a poo will appear when they open their mouths.
Failing eyesight is a friend to the aging celebrity. And a good photographer, not a bad surgeon, is a vain bitch’s soul mate. Instead of failing to look the same in the mirror, you can look perfect in old pictures. Just don’t go spoiling it by being seen in public.
The moral of this story, obvs, is don’t buy a new face just because you can afford it.