I came across this article while reading The Huffington Post. In this article, Giulia Rozzi talks about being in an acting class where she was not judged on how she performanced, but how she looked:
While the other students received comments regarding their acting skills, I was called out of the room to get some private notes beginning with, “What are we going to do about your face?”
She made the following suggestions:
Get collagen injections: She pointed to my upper lip and said, “Now what are you doing about this?” I said, “I get it waxed.” She said, “That’s not the problem, it’s your thin lip.” So as long as I have fat wax-looking lips, it’s totally cool for me to have a goatee.
Fix that gummy smile: She recommended I “put an old-fashioned match under the top lip to hold it down and cover the gums.” Cool, is this the same match I should use to set her office on fire?
Get a nose job: She said, “In Hollywood you need a more mainstream nose.” Ah yes, the biz is not about who you know, but about who you nose.
Get a chin lift: “If you really want to go all out,” she said “also get your chin nice and tight.” Ya know, go all out with my extra $30,000 to waste.
This all after the teacher asked, “What roles do you usually play?”
“Funny friend or ethnic, like European, Latin, sometimes Middle Eastern,” I replied.
She interrupted, “Nope, you only can play Jewish or maybe Italian.”
Um, I think I know what I’ve played, but I was polite and said, “Well I am Italian.”
“Yeah, you really look it. I mean you’re gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but it’s really hard to get work when you’re too Jewish-looking. Your look is strong, and it needs to be more soft.”
And that’s when she insisted I needed surgery.
In the Hollywood world, minorities are not often seen on screen. Though this is changing, Caucasian actors are still the norm in Hollywood cinema. Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans are slowly filling in the roles in our favorite TV show or movie, but they are still considered minor roles as oppose to many of the lead actors, many of whom are Caucasian. This ties back to one of the earlier blog post regarding the show Person of Interest.
We are aware that Hollywood is very critical on looks, making botox and plastic surgery very popular among many celebrities, but to get it to change your ethnicity? That’s something that was surprising to me. As Rozzi mentioned in her article, she was outraged that this acting teacher had the nerves to tell her she needed surgery for being “too Jewish-looking” like it was something that was okay to say. As she said,
I doubt this teacher would ever say to someone “You look too black, fix your skin” or “You look too Asian, fix your eyes.” But since I’m Caucasian-ish, it’s apparently cool to say racist things about my appearance.
But in our post-modern media influenced world, is this something that will eventually happen? People are already getting surgery to fix and alter every part of their body, but is plastic surgery to change one’s race/ethnicity going to be the next big trend in Hollywood?