Sharon Stone was on "Larry King Live" tonight. She must be in her, what -- late forties? (47.) She still looks great, of course. But she no longer looks like Sharon Stone.
She's gotten that generic, expressionless, off-the-shelf faux-young look that tucked, tugged and tweaked faces get. She appears to have had cheekbone implants, a brow lift, Botox, and a face hike so tight that she can't move her mouth much. Her hair has been held under a Farrah faucet. Who is this beautiful woman? No one in particular, any more.
Nicole Kidman, who is quite a bit younger (38), has already begun looking like someone else. I know I've written about this before, but I swear that Oprah has had some (more) work done; on the cover of her latest magazine, she doesn't quite look like Oprah any more. It's as disorienting as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." The sophisticated new cosmetic-surgery techniques, whatever they are, have created a better-looking imitation of young (though no one would mistake it for the real thing; one admires the surgeon's craft, rather than the woman's beauty), but at the cost of individuality. What does it tell you that women today would rather look young(ish) and anonymous than like themselves, but old?
It's like an evil bargain in a fairy tale: "I will give you eternal . . . well, not youth, but a decent imitation of it. In return, you will become anyone, no one."
If I could get someone to take a good but ruthless photo -- meaning one that I think looks like me at my unretouched best -- I'd like to post it right here on the blog, full-face. I've certainly been tempted by the idea of cosmetic surgery (fortunately, I can't afford it), but offered the choice between looking like myself, old, and somebody (or nobody) else, pseudo-young, I choose myself.