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September 18, 2010 / scherstuhl

More comfortable with the freakishly fake than the real OR: Celeb “Bags” & Katherine Heigl Photoshop Fail!

Friday night, after I caught the daft and hilarious Kristen Schaal reading from The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex at Book Soup, Los Angeles coughed up two glittering examples of the west’s absurd/insane relationship with the female body — examples both as weird as Schaal’s sex advice and taint monologues.

First, at Melrose and La Brea, I gaped at this billboard for some new Katherine Heigl movie.

Exposure to cosmic rays have left Katherine Heigl with a superhuman capacity for stretching, just not as an actress.

Apparently, she plays Plastic Man. Seriously, look at those endless, noodley arms, just the thing to lure the fetishist audience who hoped to see Richard Dreyfuss hook up with that one spindly alien at the end of Close Encounters. If she were to clasp those Aresnio fingers of hers, she could jump rope with her own body.

Except for these cases when Photoshop fails, we accept such manipulations of the female form: always longer, straighter, more willowy than nature. It’s like every actress and model is run over with a digital rolling-pin. This is so common that buzzy media folks freak the fuck out about bodies that resist this processing.

Back at Book Soup, I likewise gaped at the sneaky headlines on this British magazine:

Check out Christina Hendricks‘ AMAZING AUTUMN BAGS!

Her burst of autumnal cleavage is followed by breathless amazement that a beautiful woman with such measurements might possibly achieve Hollywood success. But the “bags” bit seems to me goofier even than the editors taking such a public guess at her bra size. The impulse to sex up every single phrase on magazine covers hasn’t struck me this funny/sad since Cosmo‘s “How to Blow a Job Interview.

And if that covert headline looks like an accident to you, check the words just beneath the proud jut of Jennifer Aniston‘s tanktop: “Jen Bags Hot 29 Year -Old Millionaire!”

“Bags,” of course, lines right up with ’em.

So, this is an official term is in the stylebook, now? Does this mean the men stuck in Hollywood’s shopping palaces might at last join the women in giggling over whose bags are originals and whose are knockoffs?

[Weird L.A. moment: While snapping shots of the Heigl billboard, two different sets of people stopped to ask if I was in the movie or something.]

— Alan Scherstuhl

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