In 2010, a spotlight-obsessed woman we all sort-of felt badly for already decided to blow the minds of young twenty-something girls everywhere and get a new face.
Heidi Montag – AKA the one on The Hills who ditched her girlfriends for her borderline emotionally-abusive boyfriend — showed up after being MIA for an abnormal amount of time and presented to the world an entire new self. Quite literally, the reality TV star traded in her old look for one of plastic. According to the star, she had no less than ten look-altering procedures done.
Was she happier? Probably initially — but with a pair of pop-up size E breasts, who wouldn’t be happy for at least a day?
Montag changed the shape of her chin, of her nose, of her cheeks and then capped it off by working out and going blonder. She was no longer the woman who she felt wasn’t accepted by the media — she was plastic.
We the audience continued to tune in. For a bit, anyway. We wanted to see the end of the show, because we all loved Lauren Conrad a lot, but Heidi was too much to handle. She made me angry, she was borderline pathetic and always sad, and her new face ruined the taste of my popcorn/M&M combo.
What type of person just goes and gets a new face?
When Renee Zelleweger debuted a new, fresher, more emotionally stable and less pointy face this week, my first thought was of Heidi. It was one thing for a twenty-year-old girl to feel insecure and blow a few hundred thousand dollars on superficial therapy, but for Bridget Jones to do that? For a woman who has seemingly-successfully maneuvered her way through the corridors of Hollywood for years without selling herself out or selling herself short, how could she be so silly?
The wannabe feminist in me screams, “You go girl! Do what makes you happy I guess!” But how far is too far? I mean, I’ve been considering ombre for my hair this fall, is that the same thing? My nails are totally acrylic and often my eyelashes are fake — is that in the same boat? One of the most empowered women I know has lips that look like a puffer fish.
Where do we draw the line between wanting to look like our best selves and wanting to look like someone else entirely — is it a matter of procedure or a crisis of confidence?
When I look at a woman like the late Joan Rivers — plastic surgery queen — I think to myself Gosh, Joan, you’re so weird. I love it. When I look at Renee Zellweger I think Oh, Renee, what did you do to yourself.
When it comes to looking like your best self, the oldest beauty trick in the book is happiness — hold your head high, walk tall, smile — people know when you’re in a good space and they will see that above your crow’s feet and rosacea. Alternatively, they’ll witness that happiness above your Botox and tattooed-on eyebrows as well.
Yet, as much as we might think so when we’re driving in rush hour, people aren’t stupid. Unhappiness shines through every wrinkle, every laser removed hair follicle, every blemish and every single fake breast.
“When anyone does that then they’re obviously unhappy with something,” Montag told reporters later this week, “I hope they find their happiness.”
Here’s what I do when I’m unhappy: eat pie and buy shoes and cry a lot. In fact, it’s all very Bridget Jones.
Renee Zellwegger once convinced me there were still women in Hollywood willing to portray themselves as true women — and now she’s gone and got a new face.
— Andria is a twenty-something blogger from Kamloops.