Impossibly Beautiful

Desperate Housewives Edition: Part Wev in an ongoing and going series

The new campaign advertising the return of the television series Desperate Housewives (which, fyi, I've never seen) is irritating the crap out of me. The centerpiece of the campaign has the five vixens strolling out of a wall of flame in blue gowns, and I know you'll just be shocked and amazed to find out that the images of the female stars have been airbrushed so wantonly that the result is laughable.

[Click to enlarge.]

It goes without saying that their bodies have been slimmed; of course they have, and Eva Longoria's famous curves have all but vanished. But the real joke here is neck-up:

Ages, l-r: Marcia Cross, 45; Nicollette Sheridan, 44 (in Nov); Teri Hatcher, 43 (in Dec); Eva Longoria, 32; Felicity Huffman, 45 (in Dec).

Excluding, naturally, Eva Longoria, who's more than a decade younger than the closest in age, the Desperate Housewives are not allowed to be publicly, shamelessly women in their forties. Like Glamour choosing a plus-size woman for its cover only to make her smaller, the producers of DW have made the rare and wonderful decision to center a show around women who are old enough to vote, drink, rent a car, and legally fuck men (or women) half their age, but then won't let those women appear to be the ages they are.

I, however, will:

Marcia Cross at the BlackBerry Curve Party in June.

Nicollette Sheridan at some signing recently.

Teri celebrating Felicity Huffman's new book in Feb.

Felicity Huffman on the red carpet recently.

Those are beautiful women, all of whom look in real life like they're in their forties. Their faces have lines. Those lines mean a lived life. They mean experience—and wisdom among the best of us. They communicate something lovely and strong, and there are a hell of a lot of people who find them sexy.

Anyway, blah blah. Same old story. It's no wonder American women are so fucked up about their looks and about aging.

[In the middle of writing this post, Shaker Kate forwarded me this article, which has more information on the Desperately Airbrushed campaign. Thanks, Kate!]

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