Reading a snippet from a recent GQ interview with Charlize Theron reminds me of that old commercial. You know the one, where the woman says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Yeah, that commercial always irked me.
Well, decades have passed, and here is Theron, doing just that - lamenting the impact her ravishing beauty has had on her acting career.
“Jobs with real gravitas go to people that are physically right for them and that’s the end of the story," says Theron in the interview. "How many roles are out there for the gorgeous, fucking, gown-wearing eight-foot model? When meaty roles come through, I’ve been in the room and pretty people get turned away first.”
Her words come at a time when Hollywood's casting methods are under intense scrutiny. Women of colour, as well as women over a certain age, particularly struggle to land parts at all.
So it comes off as rich for someone like Theron, an Oscar-winner, to complain. Yet in her own way she has rallied against being typecast as the pretty girl.
Though hugely successful as Theron has been, you can't help but notice the parts that have brought her the most recognition have also been the parts that involved the most radical physical transformation.
A shaved head in Mad Max: Fury Road. An extra thirty pounds in Monster. Prosthetics in both cases.
The point is, she still managed to beat out other actresses to bag those roles. She went on to be nominated - and win - prestigious awards.
"We live in a society where women wilt and men age like fine wine. And, for a long time, women accepted it," says Theron."We were waiting for society to change, but now we're taking leadership. It would be a lie to say there is less worry for women as they get older than there is for men...It feels there's this unrealistic standard of what a woman is supposed to look like when she's over 40."
That double standard is ingrained in all of society, I'd argue, not just within the confines of glittery Hollywood. Maggie Gyllenhaal knows all about that.
Beauty has no doubt served Theron well in her modelling and advertising career for Dior. It's interesting to think that in Hollywood at least, while beauty may initially open doors for "pretty girls" like Theron, in the long run it turned out to be her Achilles heel.