While I was falling asleep watching the Oscars, there were three mind-blowing moments. No, not the brilliantly heartfelt speech by Lupita Nyong’o, or the lovely tribute to Alice Herz Sommer by the director of The Lady in Number 6, or Alfonso Cuaron referring to the powers-that-be at Warner Brothers as “wise guys.”

It was the sight of three ladies whose plastic surgeons and/or cosmetic dermatologists need a new pair of eyeglasses—or to lose their licenses, or to stop indulging the pleas of ladies of a certain age who beg them for more, more, and more.

All Lurchers know how hard it is to grow older. We all fear losing our looks, hair, brains, smooth skin, flat bellies, and perky butts. But there comes a time, even for women once known as lovely and gorgeous, when you’ve got to accept the inevitable and do so with grace and restraint.

Becoming so plastic you can barely speak doesn’t make you look younger.

It makes you look like this.


Kim Novak, blonde goddess. I loved her implacable cool, her coif just so, her slim figure, her deliciously sensual singing of “My Funny Valentine” in Pal Joey, her nose perfectly proportioned in a way that mine would never be. She’s going to be 80 next year, bless her gorgeous heart.

But then I saw these photos of her at a recent event where she was honored on Hollywood Boulevard, and I was shocked. Her cheeks were so plump a chipmunk could store a winter’s worth of nuts in them, and her mouth had been completely distorted at the edges by what seems to have been an overzealous facelift, making her look like Batman’s Joker.

Kim will always be beautiful, but she no longer looks like herself

Now, I am all for plastic surgery, injectibles, or other procedures if you want them—as long as you aren’t a 20-year-old demanding Botox or you aren’t crossing the line from looking refreshed to looking freakish. I was lucky enough to have had injectibles done for free by some of the best of the best thanks to stories I was working on, and they made me look great. Any woman of a certain age who wants to look better is entitled to do whatever she wants.

But it’s just so depressing when a woman who was one of the loveliest in the world has such a distorted sense of how to stave off the inevitable that she tries to turn back the clock to a point where it should never be turned. I’ve written books with some of the most well-known plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists in the business, and the one thing the great medical practitioners always say is, “You have to be able to say no. A patient who is determined to have procedures done will always be able to find someone to give them what they think they want. I won’t let that be me.”

Or maybe it’s not what she asked for, and some overzealous quack overfilled and overplumped. Whatever happened, it’s just sad.