Khloé Kardashian–thatr’s her on the right— was long the ugly duckling of the Kardashian sisters—taller, chunky, cruder features. Her travails at dieting and her insecurities in comparison to her more glamorous—but equally trivial and useless—sisters Kim and Kourtney was an ongoing theme in the brain-meltingly crude and cretinous reality TV show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” which has been making Americans idiotic for 16 years, enough time for Khloe’s half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner to grow from little girls into professional sluts too.
After yo-yoing on the weight spectrum in full view of America, Khloé found the right combination of cosmetic surgery, exercise and diet to transform into Khloé 2.0:
Well, good for Khloé . Now she fits right in! See?
Somehow this all reminds me of the creepy Twilight Zone episode, “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.”
But I digress. Here’s the scandal:Khloé’s various sexual liaisons are hard to keep up with—she’s partial to NBA players—and the various affairs and infidelities her love life involves are reliable tabloid fodder. Lately a model named Jordyn Woods has become a Kardashian bete noir for her romantic involvement with one of Khloé’s exes, Tristan Thompson of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Continue reading →
Reene Zellweger, the squinty-eyed, chipmunk-cheeked actress who achieved fame in such films as “Jerry Maguire” and “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” emerged from a period of relative seclusion this week looking like someone else entirely. The consensus was that the 45-year-old had undergone radical cosmetic surgery—not the face destroying kind that actresses like Meg Ryan or Priscilla Presley inflicted on themselves, but the “I don’t care if my mother won’t recognize me, at least I don’t look old” kind. When an actor or an actress does this, since their faces are their trademarks, it is bound to make an impression, and it has.
It is a tragic spectacle illustrating the degree to which American culture elevates looks above accomplishments, individuality, integrity and character, especially for women. Zellweger, whom I foolishly assumed was immune to this sickness since she was so unconventional looking, is obviously a victim, but now she is part of a cultural contagion. A fish doesn’t know that it is in water, and culture is like that water, completely constraining our attitudes, culture and choices without our knowledge or control. When celebrities, who have influence far beyond what their wisdom, virtues and value should rightfully support, and who are seen as being experts in the matter of appearance, send the message to the young and contemporaries that even the forfeiture of one’s identity is a fair price to pay to avoid the signs of natural aging, that pollutes our water.
And poisons the other fish. Continue reading →
"But I'm beautiful INside!"
Your ethics quiz today involves the dating site beautifulpeople.com, which is in the news for culling 30,000 applicants from its rolls because they were just too darn ugly for a site that promises qualified members that they can…
- “Connect with beautiful men and women in your local area and from around the world!”
- “Chat live with other beautiful men and women!”
- “Meet REAL beautiful people who actually look in real life as they do online!”
- “Attend exclusive parties and events!”
- “Be discovered!”
- “Be part of the largest most exclusively beautiful community in the world!”
- “Browse beautiful profiles of men and women without sifting through all the riff raff!”
Last month, Beautifulpeople.com suffered a cyber attack in which the Shrek virus, named after the popular animated troll, disabled the software that screens applicants, allowing an invasion of new, troll-like members, or at least members not up to Beautiful People standards. Continue reading →
"Well sure---his inner qualities are much more important to me now that he's so hot!"
I read a lot of advice columns, which often involve ethical issues and very often expose the ethical incompetence of the supposed experts who write them. Some advice columnists are ethically spot-on with regularity, like The Washington Post’s Carolyn Hax. Some, like the past and present”Ethicists” of the New York Times, are off-base almost as often as they are on. Then there are the advice mavins like “Margo,” in the Boston Globe. I don’t know how such people get to be advice columnists, but I suspect it either involves picking names out of a hat or the exchange of sexual favors. [Full disclosure: I give out personal ethics advice myself over at AllExperts.com, when a legitimate questioner can find me—ethics isn’t listed as one of the site’s topics—and when the question isn’t a thinly veiled homework question, which it usually is.]
As an example of ethics malpractice, consider this question posed to Margo. “Sue” wrote that she had broken up with her ex-boyfriend over arguments about his weight and eating habits, which “grossed her out.” Eight months later, he’s fit and fabulous, and has a new girlfriend. “I really would like him back because he’s hot and slim,” Sue writes, plaintively. “How can I step on his witchy new girlfriend so I can get him back?” Continue reading →