I know the title of this post is kind of weird, but I wasn't sure what else to call it (I almost named it "The Last Bastion of the Flat-Chested," but changed my mind). You see, while I watched the Olympics during half of February, part of what caught my eye wasn't the dazzling rhinestones on the skaters' costumes or the stunning accuracy of the shooting during the biathlon. It wasn't even my amazement that curling is apparently popular enough to be broadcast round-the-clock while so many of the other sports had hit or miss coverage. It had to do with the faces beneath the ski hats and the bodies in the Lycra outfits and my thrill at realizing the women actually looked like humans. Granted, they looked like uber-fit humans, but still...I didn't notice a single Pam Anderson among them.
So many celebrities these days have surgically altered faces and bodies that I'd pretty much gotten used to seeing females on-screen that resemble full-sized Barbie dolls. While at the doctor's office recently, I read the People magazine with "The Hills" reality star Heidi Montag on the cover, and I couldn't help but wince and whisper, "You poor, messed-up girl" under my breath as I learned about her Christmas head-to-toe makeover that had her under anesthesia for something like two days (okay, it was more like seven or eight hours, which sounds bad enough). Heidi had previously undergone a nose job and chin job, according to reports, before this latest Frankenstein-esque reconstruction that included Botox to multiple areas of her face, another nose job, cheek implants, chin chiseling, ear pinning, breast enhancement, liposuction, and God knows what else. The girl is only 23. Yet, she looks like a very well-preserved 40 year old porn star.
And the scariest part of all? (And, no, it's not the fact that her mother didn't even recognize her when she returned home to Colorado with a camera crew from "The Hills" tagging along.) It's that she doesn't think her newly-built DD boobs are big enough. She wants to go back for more. Gulp.
I am seriously afraid for girls today, thinking they're not worthy unless their chest sticks out so far that they can set a tray from Sonic atop it and comfortably eat. I heard just the other day that breast augmentation has surpassed rhinoplasties as the number one surgery. Something like 335,000 boob jobs were done last year, and it keeps going up. Every time I watch an awards show or a sitcom, for Pete's sake, all I see is cleavage. If aliens can get Us Weekly and People online, or if their satellites pick up "The Girls Next Store," "Dr. 90210," "The Bachelor," or any number of TV programs (or beer commercials), they'd think our gender was comprised of an army of plastic fem-bots.
I'd hate to be growing up now when there are such unrealistic body images. When I was in junior high in the mid-'70s, my feminine ideals were the stars of "Charlie's Angels"--Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and Farrah Fawcett--who looked gorgeous and different from each other and natural, if you know what I mean. But today...geez, I can't think of an actress off the top of my head, other than Meryl Streep, who hasn't altered her face, breasts, or other body parts in some way. How sad is that?
Which is why the Olympics were so great. Not that female athletes look anything close to average (I would kill to have a figure skater's legs!); but they look strong and fit and, best of all, real. Not like they were taken apart and reassembled on a Beverly Hills surgeon's table.
My hope is that young girls who watched Olympics' coverage will see what I saw and will not only be convinced that women should come in various shapes and sizes; but that character and determination are even more important than large bazoombas and zero cellulite. Maybe they'll put up posters of Joannie Rochette, who won a bronze in figure skating days after her beloved mother died of a heart attack. Now there's real.