Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Saving Face

The author

After just one complimentary session with Michael Jackson’s personal face artist the author came out feeling and looking years younger

Ain’t it just dandy when the time of year comes for the entertainment world’s greatest luvvies to scrounge the zingiest frocks and blag the glitziest bling from fashion designers and jewellers to the international kleptocracy for a series of self-congratulatory evenings.

I’m talking about awards ceremonies. Those annual kneesups where hordes of has-beens and wannabes from the dreamworlds of blockbuster flicks and chartbuster toons generate enough sincerity to power a bike lamp. And where row upon row of the best dazzling white ivories the science of chemical dentistry can devise, spend so much time smiling they suffer jaw lock for the following fortnight.

With top media pundits and lickspittles fawning and grovelling before them, we’re treated to some the most, nauseatingly false, backslapping glibfests of the year. Yet it must be glaringly obvious to even the most mentally challenged, however polished and painted they may seem, the claws and fangs can barely be retracted for the entire length of even one of the farces. I don’t know about you, but I always keep a fairly healthy supply of sick bags handy, just for the newsclips repeated endlessly on TV. If I tried to watch one of the things from beginning to end, I think I’d end up spewing my intestines all over the telly. There’s less hamming in a Chicago pork processing plant, and fewer crocodile tears at a crocodile funeral after a crocodile massacre than can be seen in Hollywood on Oscar night. It must be Kleenex’s best day of the year round Beverly Hills way.

Of course, these days, it’s possible to have smiles sewn onto your face, which some stars appear to have done. Plastic surgery – or should one say cosmetic, or even aesthetic, surgery – has become an art in its own right. I use the term ‘art’ loosely, of course, as the results of the scalpel are usually far from artistic.

The practitioners of this…this…well, practice seems the appropriate word, as most of its exponents seem rarely to get beyond the stage of practising (on other people’s faces, of course). Their main objective appears to consist of trying to rearrange every client’s features into a style that can be instantly recognised as their own. Once that’s achieved they slap that same face onto the front of as many famous heads as they can. A bit like the way secondhand car dealers get their faces slapped up on as many billboards as possible. You might just as well have your forehead branded with the name of the surgeon along with a phone number.

And there’s plenty doing something like that these days with growing numbers of the style-challenged sporting more tattoos on their mugs than virgin skin. Not satisfied with actual individual faces, they tell you they’re symbols of individuality. Tooth quacks, grafattooists, cosmetic butchers, they’ll do your bum, your lips, your pecs, your tits, your private bits and whatever else God gave you that doesn’t live up to expectations long enough.

But as far as messing about with your face is concerned, thinking of myself as reasonably normal – though the normal section of the population seems to have shrunk so much as to have become the new abnormal – I’d have thought the whole point of facial rearrangement was to be as subtle as possible, so that people wouldn’t notice you’d had your face done. Apart from saying you looked younger, somehow, or how nice you look today, because of a couple of wrinkles less. One thing is certain, a few less gins and a lot less crystal meth can have the same effect.

Yet apparently I’m wrong. People have to know you’ve had your face vandalised. The whole point seems to be to show how much money you’ve got to spend. So much, your cosmetic surgeon lives in a New York penthouse, has a five storey house in London’s Belgravia, a private jet, drives a Ferrari, and owns a string of chateaux in the Dordogne.

Yet it’s bleedin’ obvious not one of these aesthetes has ever bothered to study, or even look at, proper sculptures by real sculptors. If they ever had they might’ve noticed it’s possible to shape materials, even as hard as rock, into very human-looking faces. That being the case, one would assume it’d be even easier using the actual materials human faces are made of, like bone, flesh and skin, the very materials these Frankenstein clones get to work with.

Apparently not, it’s only possible to make them look like an alien species of humanoid incapable expressing real feelings. The advantage to the rest of us is that very quality – when added to the complete removal of any sign of personality the process produces – means they can no longer fool us. Which just goes to show there’s a positive side to everything. You only have to look for it.

Well that’s my bitter grumble of the week done with.

Don’t it make you want to spit!

Copyright © 2014 Bryan Hemming

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2 comments on “Saving Face

  1. evelyneholingue
    March 6, 2014

    The latest book by the French author who wrote French Women Don’t Get Fat is called French Women Don’t Get Facelifts.
    Half true. Some do. The majority doesn’t. But Hollywood is another planet, which provides great entertaining in terms of movies and …faces.

    Like

    • Bryan Hemming
      March 7, 2014

      Here in Spain, a hell of a lot of women have facelifts, some are reasonable and some are monstrous. Men also seem to be going that way. I just feel a little bit sad that people have become so afraid of growing old gracefully, and the effects of old age have become associated with ugliness.

      As you say, Hollywood really is another planet, nevertheless, for some that planet is very real.

      Thanks for the input, Evelyn.

      Like

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This entry was posted on March 6, 2014 by in Articles, Humour and tagged , , , , , .

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