Tuesday, March 9, 2010

* Potempkin Pusses

Meryl Streep, Yale Drama School '76

Porcelyn Physiognomies

Face or Facade?

Thank God for Meryl Streep's real face.

Actual, wrinkles, slightly softening cheeks sliding into jowels-----she is a natural human being, not one of the porcelyn faces which have blighted American celebrity for decades.

I recall seeing Pat Nixon on the New Haven Green when Dick was running against JFK in 1960. She must have been 45 or perhaps 48 at the time. I was shocked at the make-up and coiffeur. She looked like a moritician had painted her face---and frozen it in the process.

I always thought of her as "Porcelyn Pat" after that.

Then comes Joan Rivers who over the decades has outdone even Midas by chiselling her face into a kind of frozen marble facade, a Midatic Potempkin Puss which . has turned her television ads for gadgets, giszmos, and gaggles into pure gold. (N.B. There is only a two-letter difference between "Face" and "Facade": AD)

And now one of the superficial sirens from Sex in the City is selling a face save which abolishes wrinkles.

It is the Great Facial Emancipator: throw off the chains of age and be free!

(In case you haven't noticed,the chains are on the INSIDE of the flesh, not the OUTSIDE.)

Are we really as neurotic as all this desperate flesh sculpturing suggests?

Does anyone besides me see the "beauty of the fields" in Meryl Streep's sweetly aging face?

No comments: