What the Hell Happened to You?
I was watching that horrible show Celebrity Duets the other night and, as I was trying desperately to continue looking at the screen as the awkward contestants got chastised by the likes of Marie Osmond and Little Richard, they call Chaka Kahn to the stage. My first thought was, “Damn, how did they get Chaka Kahn to perform on this tragic show?” but once she appeared on stage my thought shifted to “Damn how did they get Chaka Kahn ONTO the stage?” She strolled out looking more like Ghengis Kahn, and I was afraid that she may just eat the person she was doing the duet with. I mean, GOOD GOD SHE’S BIG. Granted, she was never a petite flower, but when in God’s name did she decide that she could let herself go like that? Chaka, honey, gravy is not a beverage!
Then I started thinking about my recent 10-year high school reunion (yes, I am old, just shut up), and how all the people I had been friends with for so long had completely given up on taking care of themselves. The guys I played ball with all had beer bellies and greasy unkempt hair, and the girls looked like they hadn’t seen the inside of a MAC makeup counter in years. Yes, some of them have children and therefore, have completely lost any self-awareness as most parents do, but we aren’t even 30 yet and you’re just gonna give up? So I decided I would do some research on celebrities who were all the rage in their day and then let themselves go, making the public wonder, “What the hell happened to you?” I came across some interesting stars and I started to form some theories about just when it is acceptable to let yourself go.
In the ’70s, the music charts were primarily dominated by male rock bands, but the sexy Wilson sisters of Heart forged ahead with their powerful sounds and made a name for women in rock. Through the ’80s, with a ton of shoulder pads and crazy mall hair, the sisters began to transform and, if you’ll remember back to the videos, Ann was always shot in the weird squeezed screen image that would make her appear thinner. A few years back, I went to a concert and was mesmerized when they called the women to the stage – I couldn’t believe Ann Wilson was weighing close to 250 pounds. Some people say that weight gain comes from genetics, but Nancy Wilson looked 10 years younger and 120 pounds lighter than her sister. I just don’t see how a person so in the spotlight could not see that she was becoming so huge.
On the opposite end of the scale, so to speak, would be the young Hollywood glam girls of today who can barely keep bracelets around their wrists because they are so thin. Nicole Richie, Keira Knightley, and Lindsay Lohan come to mind when I think about girls who seem to have lost all sense of what their bodies look like. Yes, I understand that the camera adds 10 pounds and you don’t want to be called chubby and, yes, I understand that drugs can cause crazy weight loss (Lindsay), but isn’t there that moment when you see yourself and think “Jesus Christ, I look like shit!” I mean, even if you have body issues, I would think that you would want to look crazy good, not like an extra from Land of the Dead. Oh, and another tip for women like Melanie Griffith and Meg Ryan…there is such a thing as too much plastic surgery.
And speaking of plastic surgery, I haven’t forgotten about the men, who in some ways are even more pathetic when it comes to letting themselves go. Mickey Rourke was the sexy star of movies like Angel Heart and Nine½ Weeks. Yeah, the movies sucked, but he was an attractive guy. Seeing him recently, all I can say is “LAY OFF THE DRUGS, MAN.” He looks like an 80-year-old homeless person or Sloth from Goonies, and I know he can still afford a stylist or something even if he can’t dress himself. Another example is in this picture, Courtney Cox is the one who is pregnant, but I think we can all agree that David Arquette is the one who is doing the eating for two. What the hell happened? In his heyday, Marlon Brando was friggin’ hot. He could have competed with dudes like James Dean and Montgomery Clift when it came to great bodies and sexy looks. At some point in his life he must have decided that the scenery was not the only thing he should be chewing because by the end of his life he was pushing 400 pounds. Why?
Maybe it sounds shallow of me to want people to stay looking great and go gracefully into maturity. Johnny Depp, Susan Sarandon, Brad Pitt, and Tina Turner are stars that look better the older they get. If they can do it, doesn’t it make sense that others could as well? So I guess my question is, What is it in life that tells us we can now let ourselves go? I’m not advocating that youth and beauty are so important that we should all kill ourselves striving to achieve a goal; in fact, I am saying just the opposite. As we get older we should learn to appreciate the beauty of aging gracefully without completely forgetting that our appearance is something that is not just for ourselves, but is for the rest of the world to see and judge us by. BLOG HARD! (Oh, and exercise.)
It’s always a business doing pleasure with you!
– Dylan Vox