The Pledge

Have you heard about the Pledge? You know, the pledge taken by the actresses who founded the "British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League," to never cosmetically alter their faces. Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson have bravely vowed to not have synthetic fillers shot into their faces, nor shall they endure lip plumping and cheek implanting. They have pledged to never let a surgeon peel their faces back over their scalps, or inject their lips until they become fat pink sausages. This is apparently such a stark departure from what is considered normal in Hollywood (and not just Hollywood, these days) that it requires a public pledge.

Those three women have all got extremely successful careers -- and it would surely offend the gods if any of them surgically messed with their beautiful faces -- so it seems like a no-brainer that they would want to avoid painful surgery that will end up making them look only vaguely like themselves. We have all seen Hollywood plastic surgery go terribly, terribly wrong, and I imagine even those most desperately dissatisfied with their looks don't really want to look like their own alien wax twin.

I know, I know, the toll that age takes upon our bodies, the youth-obsessed culture in which we live, the unbearable pressure to look toned and chiseled, blah blah, because apparently in order for an actress to continue working (and for a woman to age successfully) she must make herself nearly unrecognizable. I suppose it's natural for women of a certain age to want to reinvent themselves; it's just that now they are just reinventing their lips and eyes and cheeks and the shapes of their faces, too.

But it's that thing that we keep forgetting, ladies (and a few Botoxed gents), but when we obsess about those one or two areas of our faces (bags, crow's feet and jowls, oh my) -- when we become fixated with those tiny bits that we perceive are going to the dogs, we forget that we are animated, thinking creatures. Our faces are meant to move with feeling and expression, we are meant to smile, which will coincidentally erase a host of lines and worries. People generally don't focus on those little wrinkles around our eyes, they are usually looking into our eyes. They are noticing the way the corners of your mouth turn up in that adorable way (yes, I'm talking to you), and that nice crinkly look you get when you're laughing, or the way your forehead gets all bunched up when you're saying something really interesting. They are taking in the whole big, lively picture, as you would a painting.

So I would like to join the brave ladies of the BACS League, mostly because I would like Emma Thomson and Kate Winslet to ask me out to lunch. I will take this difficult stand and I will pledge, even if no one will really notice. I hereby pledge to not shoot botulism toxin into my forehead two inches from where my brain is housed. I will solemnly pledge to not have chunks of plastic inserted under the skin of my cheekbones and my chin. It might take a will of steel, but I pledge to never let a surgeon pull the skin off my face so he can rearrange and tighten my features.

I will also pledge to resist sticking needles in my eyes. And I will pledge to never, ever bang my head repeatedly against a brick wall. I promise! Call me a rebel.