Monday, November 8, 2010

Change is Spare for Celebs

"The only constant in the universe is change." So said Heraclitus of Ephesus and his words have been repeated for 2,500 years. If he were around today, he may have to modify this aphorism. There is one thing that never changes and that is the hairstyles of the stars.

I just skimmed an article at on Tom Selleck, complete with a photo of the superannuated hunk still sporting his 1970s moustache. If you squint, you can imagine that you're looking at Thomas Magnum taking a break from chasing bad guys (who curiously get up to no good despite being in Paradise).

Okay, I get that it's a "signature" feature, but really, it's a style more than three decades out of date. Surprisingly, the article tiptoes up to the question of why he doesn't shave the darn thing off, saying that throughout his career "Selleck's moustache has been a mainstay and a topic of relentless interest among the press." I'm guessing that the author really did ask, because Selleck is quoted as saying "I've gotten to the point where I'm saying, 'The moustache has its own publicist—call him.'"

I saw Selleck in a made-for-TV movie called "Ike: Countdown to D-Day" in which the 'stache was gone, as well as most of his hair. Naturally, playing Eisenhower, he had to look the part. And yes, he still looked good (Mamie only wished Ike had looked like that.) So I know that Selleck would not suddenly lose all his charisma, Samson-like, if he were clean-shaven.

If it were only Tom, then I'd say, "It's just Tom." But it's almost all celebrities with significant mileage on the career odometers. Early in their ascent to stardom, they decide on a look and they never change it. Leon Russell's flowing blond locks are flowing snow-white locks, but he apparently never gave in to the urge to stop the flow. Sally Field is shilling for osteoporosis medicine, yet she is still sporting the same hairstyle that she surfed with in Gidget. And when I caught Dyan Cannon in a Lifetime movie, I was so appalled that I lost the thread of the tissue-thin plot. There were those signature long, long curls attached to a scary crone who has had one two many "procedures." I still shudder at the memory.

I don't get it. I've had dozens of hairstyles in those years. Of course, I've never achieved fame, so maybe I can't understand what that does to the mind. Is it superstition, like a baseball player's lucky socks? Is it denial-on-steroids? "I'm still young, really. I can carry off this outdated style. I don't look ridiculous at all."

Whatever it is that prompts celebs to preserve their "look," as opposed to their "looks," in amber, I'm glad I don't have it. Change is good. A new look is refreshing. Besides, old Heraclitus knew what he was talking about. I'll bet he shaved off the beard every now and then, just to keep things interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Great observations! I thought the very same thing when I stared at Tom on the cover of Parade for w-a-y too long. I have noticed there are a couple of things that date all folks and neither the hair on their heads or their chinny-chin- chins can deny. Necks and hands will give you away every time!