Ron Rosenbaum

The Tragedy of Nicole Kidman's Forehead

Having just seen Austrailia I’m afraid I have to say that the tragedy of Nicole Kidman’s forehead–boxtoxed into the vast broad trackless emptiness of the Austrialian outback, shining in the sun– is really our tragedy. The tragedy of our society’s values. The tragedy in particular of male/ female relations, the tragedy of the way the pharmaceutical industry exploits women’s fears and creates monsters.

Because Nicole Kidnman once was a beautiful woman. Now she looks half-alien, like someone kidnapped–Kidman-napped?–by aliens and implanted with an unconvincing humanoid silicone-like expanse of flesh above her brows that no longer seems either beautiful or human. She could/should be the star of a move called Changeling

How did she let this happen? It’s just shocking being exposed to it for a long movie, that is absolutely ruined by the fact that you can’t stop staring at this forehead implant. As off-utting if silicone implants–another cultural tragedy–were affixed to the outside of a woman’s breasts, it’s just that weird.

And she was so natually beautiful. She could have been Katherine Hepburn, she might have been Audrey Hepburn, now it’s like she makes you think of a fleshburn and the artificial skin graft that burn victims have to cover up their scars.

I feel terrible saying this, I’m no one to be commenting on people’s looks, and try never to do so, but these aren’t her looks, not any more. Why won’t anyone speak out about this abuse inflicted on this poor woman. Run the Botoxer who did it out of town on a rail? except in all likelihood she did it herself and has been conditioned by our stupid values to think it’s worthwhile.

I don’t know of a single straight guy in the world who would, glimpsing some lines on Nicole Kidman’s brow think, “nah, not gonna hit that” (like they’d be so lucky). But now there’s something terribly off-putting, anti-sexual–scary even–about her facial physiognomy. It’s like a metaphor for all the worst excesses of all plastic surgery. (But at least with Botox–or whatever brand of venom she used, it’s reversable–I think). Reverse, Nicole, reverse!

Who is it then who convinced her that she had to have this vast featureless desert above her eyes, this blank moonscape, that, alas, makes the word, “moonfaced” come to mind when looking at her–and not in a good way.

Can we hold her manager or Hollywood producers responsible for this plastic malpractice? Don’t theyrealize what it’s done, how increasingly ridiculous she’ll become, if it’s possible to look more ridiculous. It’s an insult to women to make it seem as if lines on their forehead make them less attractive (when sometimes the reverse is true). It’s an insult to men to think they demand plastiscene flawlessness. No it’s self-mutilation in the guise of self beautification.

Perhaps someday the films of this period will be looked back upon as instances of a stunningly stupid, barbaric practice, long since abandoned. Let the abandonment start now.