Feet broken in two. Necks stretched beyond recognition. Lips as big as saucers.
All this, in the name of beauty.
We visited Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Hollywood earlier this week during our family vacation. We went there just because we all love seeing freaky stuff, but I didn’t expect the “Odditorium” to give a haunting, historical view of the beauty tortures women have endured since the beginning of time. As I looked at these old torture treatments, I realized our newer inventions such as botox, and lipo are no different – just another version of the same old bullshit.
Hollywood, and generally Los Angeles as a whole, is about pushing, pulling, and squeezing your God given normal body and face into the oddest shapes and sizes, in order to fit the in at Freak Zone Central.
Promos for The Oscars covered the elegant facades of historical buildings throughout the town. Lisa Rinna glanced down upon us from billboards plastered with her ballooned out lips and frozen features, glossed up to stir male hormones into a tizzy. I guess this chick has some sort of sex appeal, is a sci-fi kind of way, but even my teenage nephews couldn’t quite grasp what her deal was. Her look is so totally foreign to us Midwesterners (seriously, seeing a young woman with a boob job in our town is relatively rare occurrence, so lips like hers are hard to ignore).
Lisa Rinna post and pre lip injection
Why in the name of God is it attractive to squirt so much collagen, or fat, or botox, or whatever the hell she had needled into her naturally elegant, simply gorgeous doll like face? This face no longer resembles a human one, but some sort of twisted soul exposed until it cracks. And trust me, it’s gonna crack. It probably already has, we just don’t see that side of the story.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally dig this stuff. I’m not trying to rip this poor woman to shreads, it’s just so totally over the top to me, that I have to share.
To observe this beauty chase in action will always fascinate me. Knowing that I was one of the privileged few granted the chance to be part of this glam world, and having enough sense to walk away before it ate me alive, is quite satisfying.
It seems a lifetime ago, but I remember, taking it, and running with it, as any sane 16 year old would. But then, I opted to get out alive, unpimped, and
plastic-fied. What I didn’t expect is this decision would grant me a ticket to freedom.
It’s the Golden Ticket. Let the wrinkles come I say, bring on the sag. I can take it, because trust me, it ain’t no picnic on the other side and there is no way I am ever going back to that hell hole that it seems everyone is determined to head down into.
Onto Rodeo Drive. The most famous alley of smoke and mirrors in the US of A. Master marketers spend every waking moment creating their shop displays designed of glitter, greed, and pure narcissism, guaranteed to drive in the weary in droves. Crisp, slick bills are peeled from the palms of their rich & famous clientele, as the perfectly orchestrated mirages of beauty unfold inside, where the pitch is the ever allusive promise of self worth and esteem.
We didn’t even bother to park, just a drive by was in order for this place. As we gawked out the windows of our mini-van, huge, gleaming logos of Chanel, Jimmy Choo, and St. John’s whizzed past and perfectly polished shops caught our attention as they stood eerily empty, untouched; waiting for the bell to be rung.
This is where Jessica Simpson purchased an $800 pair of underwear. A multitude of movie stars are regularly spotted darting in and out of their Towncars, in search of some piece of everyday fabric, dressed up to be the end all be all of happiness, promised to bring them eternal youth in this hell city of vultures just waiting to suck their self esteem dry.
Tick tock goes the clock.
Back at the hotel, I sat back and to read LA Magazine, only to be further absorbed in this culture of who’s hot and who’s not. I stumbled on an article about little girl’s birthday parties, that frankly, didn’t even surprise me. Modeling “themed” extravaganzas are all the rage for LA’s finest 2nd and 3rd graders, where loving parents fork over up to $40 grand to allow their princesses to walk the catwalk for their girlfriends.
Don’t have a big issue with this really, since I do believe it is quite natural to want to have your 15 minutes of fame, even at age 9. But $40K? C’mon, that’s an annual income for a lot of folks where I come from, the level of greed is kind of over the top don’t you think?
We wrapped up our trip, but inadvertently crashing a private party at the new Burton shop on Melrose. We were just sort of shopping, no one kicked us out, so we figured we may as well enjoy it. My nephews scored a bag of freebies for their girlfriends, I hung out and played Guitar Hero amongst our new LA hip and trendies, and the kids filled up goodie bags filled with pixie sticks.
From there we spotted the paparazzi stalking some Candies sponsored event, so my daughter and I hiked it in the rain to catch a glimpse of the action. Turned out the stars from Heroes were arriving, don’t watch the show, but it was fun to see them get the star treatment, or get snubbed, even by the paparazzi if they are currently not a recognizable face.
HOME SWEET HOME
We are all on the plane now, headed back to good ole’ Milwaukee. Sore feet, tired out, and ready to be home in our own beds, in our cozy home, on our big lot, safe and sound.
My nephews are all pumped to live out in LA in the near future. I hope they both go for it. I have no doubt my worldly travels totally prepared me for the real world. The world where not everyone likes you, nor cares, nor pretends to care.
That life lesson is somehow easier to swallow when you’ve been rejected multiple times for daring to have a pimple on your face.