By Lesley | January 19, 2011
I have poked fun at Jennifer Aniston around here before, for apparently not knowing what a Cobb Salad is, though I am not as a rule anti-Aniston. I honestly don’t have a horse in that race. I’m pretty sure the only film I’ve ever seen her in was Office Space, which probably says something about my taste in movies. But generally I am apathetic on the Aniston front.
So it’s kind of unfortunate that this other little piece of lady-media daftness should also be connected to Aniston, but you know, some days you just have to laugh at shit. Aniston is on the cover of the February issue of Allure, and also in several partly-clothed pictures inside. This alone would not be of particular interest, except she’s been photoshopped so thoroughly that she looks like a RealDoll. For those in no-clicky environments, RealDolls are wildly expensive sex toys in the shape of full-sized human women, constructed and weighted to feel just like people, except, y’know, for being inanimate. Lest you think I am opposed to RealDolls, I am not. I figure if such a device serves a need, then have at it! But I do think something has gone awry when actual human women can be mistaken for dead-eyed silicone simulacra.
I mean, look:
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT, you guys? Is there a soul in there? Is Jennifer Aniston a heretofore unknown model of Cylon? And what is up with her mouth?
When I first saw these pictures, I honestly thought the photoshoot was supposed to be Real-Doll-themed, which I admit would be an odd choice for Allure, although I could see it happening in an edgier and/or more high-fashion mag. But no, the shoot was purportedly “inspired” by a 1960 photograph of Brigitte Bardot. The info on the Allure website does not specify which photograph, but here’s a picture of Bardot lounging sexily in bed in 1960, and I am not seeing the similarity. For one, Bardot looks like a living human. Let us also remember that Jennifer Aniston is forty-one years old, and yet appears above to have the face — and arm and neck and hand — of a virginal sixteen-year-old. It’s creepy, folks. This is not what people look like. This is certainly not what 41-year-old women look like, and setting this up as a reasonable goal to aspire to is frankly laughable.
The second image available online is even creepier, if that’s possible — and again with the weird mouth! WHAT DOES IT MEAN? — but it is the caption that truly encapsulates why I find so much of what is in women’s magazines and celebrity culture so preposterous:
The actress arrived just after noon and almost immediately requested black coffee with a shot of espresso and a side of steamed skim milk from Starbucks. No wonder she wanted caffeine: She’d flown into New York the night before, directly from the Atlanta set of her upcoming movie Wanderlust.
Y’all, Atlanta is not in Zanzibar. It’s a two-hour flight from New York. Two. Hours. If having arrived on a nonstop two-hour flight the night before and turning up to work past noon the next day demands coffee, I must be in need of a defibrillator. Is this supposed to seem relatable? Am I supposed to go, Oh wow, I totally know how she feels! I hate it when I get a measly ten hours’ sleep after a two-hour flight the evening before a photoshoot!
Please note, Aniston-lovers: I am not bashing Aniston individually. She is just one of the multitudes of celebrities that magazines like Allure edit, polish, placate, mollycoddle and photoshop into character-free oblivion. But I have a hard time passing up on such a golden opportunity to remind us all of how ridiculous our beauty culture is.
Now will SOMEBODY bring me my fucking coffee? And if skim milk has even been in the same room with it at any time, you’re fired.