Julia Roberts: No Plastic Surgery Is a “Risk”

No facelifts, no problem? The actress is content to be a Pretty Older Woman, whether society accepts it or not

Julia Roberts at 10th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards (Photo by Jim Smeal/BEImages)

Julia Roberts at 10th Annual GLSEN Respect Awards (Photo by Jim Smeal/BEImages)

Julia Roberts seems content to grow old without interventions. But the choice doesn’t come without consequences.

“By Hollywood standards, I guess I’ve already taken a big risk in not having had a facelift,” she told You magazine while promoting her role as spokesperson for beauty brand Lancôme. She doesn’t elaborate on what that big risk is, but I’m assuming she means that her decision could affect the number of roles she gets and/or the likelihood that audiences will pay to see her 46-plus self onscreen.

But is aging naturally really the risk that Roberts thinks it is? Or is succumbing to pressure to appear youthful into middle age ultimately the riskier move? I’m starting to think the latter is true, especially given the fact that our favourite pastime seems to be tormenting actresses who appear to have had work done.

Renée Zellweger can’t hit up Whole Foods without the entirety of Western news media working themselves into a lather about what she’s done to her face, which seems pretty sneaky given the fact that many of those same publications would get equally worked up if she dared to age without Botox or fillers or surgery, or god forbid, if she gained weight. This, after all, is the same group that found Jessica Simpson’s weight gain during pregnancy a compelling storyline.

What’s interesting about the unwholesome attention paid to Zellweger’s appearance, however, is what isn’t being said. No one is engaging in an in-depth conversation about the reality of cosmetic surgery—that it doesn’t always work and/or endure, and often makes people look like people who have had plastic surgery.

Roberts may call her decision not to have a facelift a risk, but in fact by avoiding it she’s dodged a bullet. It’s clear she’s figured out that actresses are damned if they do get surgery and damned if they don’t, and has chosen to go with her gut instinct. Pretty Woman will settle for being a Pretty Older Woman and that’s not a bad deal. In fact, it’s hard not to think she’s made the healthier choice.

Those who spend precious time taunting other actresses for failing to have the same epiphany as Roberts, or perhaps for having it too late, are only perpetuating an all-too-recognizable form of human ugliness. Here’s hoping they have their own epiphany soon, because time is ticking for all of us and there’s nothing more unattractive than age without wisdom.