The Late Lauren Bacall: “Why do middle-aged women want to look 18?”

by Gregory S

Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall recently passed away, leaving behind a legacy of memorable films and quotes. Some of her most colorful quotes were reserved for her disdain for anything phony or fake. “I think your whole life shows in your face. And you should be proud of that," the actress once stated.

In a remarkable report by Heidi Stevens of The Chicago Tribune, the journalist states “Bacall's bias against plastic surgery shouldn't shame actresses pressured to look younger.”

According to Stevens, “While the quote may have had nothing to do with plastic surgery — The Guardian's appreciation says she uttered it in defense of her smoking habit, despite cigarettes' wrinkling agencies — Bacall was famously vocal about her contempt for youth-chasing procedures. ‘Never!’ she told a Scotsman reporter who asked, in 2005, if she ever considered a facelift. ‘Why would I want to look like someone from another generation? Why do middle-aged women want to look 18?’”

A year earlier Bacall asserted her stance even more vehemently, "I have friends who are beautiful women, and they are having liposuction and boob lifts, and I say 'What are you doing to yourselves? Stop it!' I disdain this whole youth sickness thing."

What makes the recent article of Heidi Stevens so remarkable is not that she either cheers or jeers Bacall her comment, but that she empathizes with the celebrities who are pressured into doing it: “I'm with her on the disdain. But I don't wonder why beautiful women do it anyway. Celebrities who choose cosmetic surgery are a byproduct of "youth sickness," not the cause of it. Youth equals opportunity in Hollywood — at least for women.”

So who is to fault for this unremitting circle of events? “I suppose there's a chicken/egg conversation to be had. If more women refused to go under the knife — if more adopted Bacall's approach — maybe Hollywood would be forced to change its ways. Maybe by allowing themselves to be afflicted with ‘youth sickness,’ actresses are playing Hollywood's game, rather than forcing it to change its rules.”

The issues are not clear-cut. Society pressures are contributing to a set standard that is not so easy to define and should not be so easy to criticize. Heidi Stevens ultimately adapts Bacall’s phrase for the modern woman: “I think it's lovely to allow your whole life to show in your face. I think it can also show in your work. And that's just as lovely.”

Plastic surgery is not for everyone, and nobody should feel they have to receive treatments. However, plastic surgery should also remain available for everybody without a person feeling embarrassed or ashamed about receiving consultation and treatment. Contact us today if you are interested in your own procedure!

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