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Oscar nominations announced

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So conservative were the frocks on display, in fact, that I would not have been surprised if they had been wearing corsets – some of them looked poured into the dresses.
I understand that you are probably thinking of the kind of outfits worn in the past by Cher, for example, but I would not call the backless gowns of Jennifer Garner and Melanie Griffiths, and the reveal almost-all, in-your-face cleavage of many others, conservative. Maybe I'm showing my age, and the word "conservative" certainly is a relative term, but, as currently stylish as these stunning gowns were, the only thing they left to the imagination were the shape of the actress's legs!

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And sometimes, not even that. :wacko:

Well, Norma Shearer wore some pretty startling backless numbers back in 1932, although of course the ladies didn’t go quite so far then. I didn’t see Griffiths’ dress, but I used “conservative” in the sense that actresses and their stylists are staying very close to a certain template: solid colors, bias cut, very similar bodices, etc.

I don’t think you don’t have to look like Cher, Geena Davis, or Bjork to be daring or unusual. It seems to me, though, that in recent years the actresses are dressing not so much to excite comment as to avoid it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

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I remember "Let's Make a Deal". At least we can be grateful they didn't make those "unimportant" winners try to quess which door their Oscar was behind!

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Zellweger is shorter than many of the other actresses - so she comes off looking tiny whereas a Nicole Kidman or a Joely Richardson look statuesque.

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The gowns seem to be more and more similar these days

There were at least 3 women who wore similar strapless, red gowns (Zellweger, Sandra Oh, Emmy Rossum).

I can't say I like the fact that all these actresses are uber-thin nowadays, but it seems to be a necessary sacrifice for their "art." Is it healthy for actors to put on weight for certain roles (or lose weight) and then quickly shed off those pounds? I can't imagine that it does them any good, but that just comes with the work they do.

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Old Fashioned, it isn’t so much a health issue, I’d suggest, as a double standard where looks are concerned. The women tend to be kept to a rail-thin ideal (except for huge breasts and lips, which are encouraged), while men like Travolta and Tom Hanks heedlessly sport their double chins, and others display crow’s feet and gray hair without self-consciousness.

Also, men’s foreheads still move. (They replayed Halle Berry’s hyper-emotional acceptance speech, and while the rest of her face was working, all activity ceased at her eyebrows. It was really odd to see.)

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That's pretty much what I'm talking about. But look at the ballet world- dancers are kept to an even stricter standard. How is it any different? Rarely do I hear of someone complaining of a dancer being too thin, but one displays even the teensiest extra amount of flesh, they're considered not having the correct body type.

Poor actresses. They are criticized for being too thin (yes, this does occur quite often actually. Think Lara Flynn Boyle) and too fat.

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Is it necessary for a woman to achieve the Lara Flynn Boyle standard before she's considered too thin? That's pretty extreme! I often see dancers (of both sexes) whom I'd love to feed a big dinner. The ultra-starved aesthetic is totally out of whack. I'm rather appalled by how readily the women (and some men, too, but generally at a later age) subject themselves to the knife in the name of stopping time. Isn't Joan Rivers a pathetic joke??? So much silicone in her lips, she could barely enunciate!

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I think the current ration of female vs. male plastic surgery is something like 80%-20%. It’s rising for men, but not that much. As for the lips thing, it’s is really getting out of hand, I think. And actresses who don’t have the requisite sofalips blow their own up to troutlike proportions, like Meg Ryan and Melanie Griffiths.

At her recent UC Berkeley lecture (link available in the Anything Goes thread), Joan Acocella responded to a question about dancers and weight by saying, in effect, “Thin is better for dancing. Sorry.” And she's right -- thin is better and that's absolutely true as far as it goes, but. Sure, it’s better to be thin – but after stipulating that, the issue gets much dicier.

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Thinner is better, but I find it absurd when a dancer like Suzanne Farrell had to be told to lose weight (so what if she had some baby fat in her cheeks?). As long as one's weight does not hinder the ability to execute steps correctly and at a proper speed, I don't think it should be as large of an issue as it is. The problem is we've trained our eyes to become accustomed to the "ideal" form and we pick out the dancers who don't mold to it.

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