Celebrities are liars. That’s my bold statement for 08. OK, maybe some celebrities don’t lie. But most do, particularly the ladies. And it’s messing with my head, dammit.
They say “I think botox is creepy, I’d never put a needle in my face.”
They say, “Oh, I hate exercise. I stay fit by breathing deeply.”
They say, “Of course they’re real!”
They say, “Yes I did have a procedure on my nose but only to correct a deviated septum.”
They say, “I’ve never tried drugs, I’m too much of a control freak.”
They say, “The split is totally amicable and we’re still best friends.”
They say, “I’m very low maintenance. A bit of lip gloss and I’m out the door.”
They say “I’m 34”.
They say, “I don’t believe in nannies. I do everything myself.”
They say, “I never really wanted to be famous.” They say, “I was only giving the transsexual prostitute a lift home because it was raining and I’m a Good Samaritan.”
They say “I’m so blessed to have fallen pregnant naturally with twins at 49.”
And why is this a problem for me? Because when I read about celebrities
I compare myself. Yes, I know this is pointless and stupid. But hey,
I’m a girl and girls compare. It’s our job.
Often we don’t even realise we’re sizing ourselves up against Nicole or Reese or Cate or Heidi, or Victoria or Madonna or Julia. It’s barely a conscious choice. All the inane details we learn in celebrity interviews simply implant in our subconscious, ready to pop out and slap us every time we feel inadequate.
‘How come she looks ten years younger than me when the only thing she’s done to her face is apply sunscreen?’ ‘How come she can juggle an award-winning career, perfect husband, three kids and a macrobiotic kitchen when I have no awards, no kids, I haven’t managed to open my mail in three weeks and my roots are growing out?’
Of course this is precisely why they lie: to make their lives appear effortlessly, impossibly perfect. To hide the blood, sweat, sacrifice, deprivation, pain, indignity, surgery and tears required to look young, thin and hot for a living.
Because effort isn’t chic, dahling. Nor enviable. Why look like a try-hard when you can pretend you’re genetically gifted?
Once I read an interview with a personal trainer who had completed a six-month intensive program with a famous actress. She’d just had a baby and needed to overhaul her body for an action movie. They’d worked out for five hours a day, six days a week and she’d been placed on a severely restricted diet. Lipo was involved.
No wonder he was a little bitter when she shrugged off reporters’ questions about her full body makeover with a blasé "oh, I love my food too much to diet and I hate gyms. I just meditated and drank lots of water and the baby weight fell off.”
No doubt when she said that, she was wolfing down a cheeseburger. It’s a rule: the thinner the star, the more she will ostentatiously eat during an interview.
Surgery lies are virtually compulsory in you’re female and famous. I can’t think of many stars who’ve admitted to having work. And yet they all look about 22. Even Sophia Loren. Last month, I watched Pride and Prejudice on DVD. I can’t tell you much about it because I was madly distracted by Keira Knightley’s top lip. Huge. Like someone had cut a Floaty in half and glued it to her face. I couldn’t remember noticing that Floaty lip before so I checked with Dr Google and discovered that even though she’d been photographed leaving a plastic surgeon’s office a couple of years ago and despite the fact Stevie Wonder could have spotted the lip inflation and deflation during her career, 23 year old Ms Knightly swears she’s au natural: "I haven’t had my lips done,” she told a reporter. “Can I just say that I haven’t?" Sure Keira, you can say it. But what you say doesn’t reconcile with what we see.
Victoria Beckham has been caught lying about a couple of things. Those things are called her boobs. Prepare to be shocked but early in her career, Posh got implants. Not the subtle B-cup ones favoured by so many celebrities but big honking grapefruits. And then she insisted her new chest was due to a ‘magic bra’. "I’m completely natural, except for my fingernails" she declared in 2003. But in a libel suit against a British tabloid, her own lawyers were forced to admit Victoria "had in fact undergone breast enhancement surgery and had lied about it".
More insidious to me was the lifestyle lie Victoria told for years about how she and David didn’t employ a nanny. This was, naturally, bollocks. In a breach-of-contract court case several years ago, non-existent nanny Abbie Gibson described how Victoria made her walk several metres behind the family in public to keep up the no-nanny illusion when paparazzi were around. Crafty.
But the most irresponsible celebrity lies are the ones about fertility. It’s legal and easy to buy donor eggs in America and according to gynaecologists, that’s virtually the only way possible to be pregnant in your mid to late forties (Disclaimer: yes, yes, there are exceptional cases of women conceiving naturally in their forties but they are an extremely rare minority). So by trying to portray themselves as Natural Miracle Mums, these stars continue to mislead a generation of women who assume they too have years – heck, decades! - up their fertility sleeve.
Which is a whole lot more serious than just wondering why some actress’s “natural” boobs still point skywards after two kids while yours look like, well, windsocks.
So next time you hear a celebrity gushing about her perfect life and her low-maintenance looks, remember this: pants on fire.