Last night, my Beloved MSW and I enjoyed watching The 86th Annual Academy Awards program. Counting the 90 minute Oscar “pre-game show,” we sat through more than FIVE HOURS of visual stimulation, often punctuated by inane chatter. Since we had only seen one of the nine Best Picture nominees, I wasn’t as emotionally invested in the program as I have been in years past. I did think, overall, that it was an enjoyable evening and we had a lot of fun watching the program together.
All other events of the evening aside, I must say that the appearance by Kim Novak shocked me back to consciousness. (I had been getting a little drowsy around that point – the show was LONG and it was getting late). Anyway, when they announced Kim Novak, I guess in my head I expected to see this stunning woman:or maybe this beautiful actress – talk about being stop-traffic gorgeous!!!Instead, the woman that appeared on stage seemed an aged, distorted version of Kim Novak – sort of like someone who had admired a star so much they sought out plastic surgery to help them “look” more like their idol. Please do not think me a cruel or malicious person – far from it. I do believe, however, that Kim Novak’s appearance is a cautionary tale about our culture’s obsession not only with youth but with perfection. A once stunning woman, who should have “aged gracefully,” somehow managed to do this to herself (this image is not by me – a friend posted it on her Facebook wall today – nine “Kim’s” through nine filters):While Ms. Novak’s charm, charisma and poise still shone brightly on the stage, it was hard to take them all in as I stared at the screen, trying to imagine if it was Botox, surgery or both that had rendered her devoid of expression and almost slurring as she spoke. It actually made my heart heavy to see her like this, probably forced by society – and an industry – to perpetuate her youthful beauty for as long as she could, by any means possible. I was glad to see that the beautiful woman that is at her core still is visible on the stage. Kim Novak will always be beautiful to me.
I hope that society is finally coming to grips with aging. As a man in my mid fifties, I have less and less hair daily, and the hair I do have is turning more gray every day. I can still see my feet but my 32″ waist is a long-distant memory. I think I might have to finally break down and get glasses this year; I wear readers more and more often (but usually when no one is looking). As a man, I know that my gender supposedly gets more handsome and distinguished as we get older. Poor ladies – they just get old. And that makes me sad. And that is wrong. And I wish men and women alike would stop torturing themselves to look younger and just keep a youthful spirit and energy. And Kim Novak? If you happen upon this blog somehow, please know that I am one of your biggest fans and that I will always see you as a beautiful woman, no matter how you look. Please stop trying to look different than you are intended to – we must all believe we are beautiful at every age, right?