Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

A friend of mine posted an article about Anita Ekberg, who died at 83 last week, and comments were made that she hadn’t aged well.

The photo shows her to be 80 or so, with all the lines on her face, a frown rather than a smile, yellow hair that was supposed to be blonde.

On the right side was a black and white movie promotion photo of her in her 20s. It was professionally taken, and she looked very – hot.

She was a top-tier actress in Hollywood, and actors and actresses don’t get to that level unless they are good, and appeal to the opposite sex.

Movie stars are stars because they have something that the rest of us lack. They work very hard at it, hoping to make it into the big-time, so they can start running from the paparazzi.

And then, they all get old.

“As Frank Sinatra said on the occasion of his 75th birthday, ‘The golden years can kiss my a..!’” posted the friend.

“Better than the alternative,” I replied.

“In Ekberg’s case, there is no alternative,” the friendly banter continued.

“She was a knockout. The alternative is unavoidable. The key is to delay it, regardless of appearance,” I put in my two-cents’ worth.

“Absolutely. I’m pedaling as hard as I can,” he replied.

He is pedaling very hard, I give him credit, and looks great for his age. He’ll probably live way past 83.

That’s not all that old anymore, come to think of it, now that I’m no spring chicken myself.

A little makeup, blurring at the right places, a nice smile, and the right lighting could have made Anita Ekberg a very good-looking octogenarian – if that’s what she wanted to do.

Remember Mary Tyler Moore, how good she looked on TV? Then, when I saw a candid magazine photo of her, she was all wrinkled. A face lift can fix that right up.

Sylvester Stallone had to have a few face lifts. He now looks like some cartoon character. His face is so stretched out that if he smiled too hard, it would come apart at the seams.

Stallone is going to leave a good looking corpse behind. He may still be making movies at age 120 or so. He looks a lot younger.

Anita Ekberg could have looked like that. Not all stretched out, but otherwise – maybe a little Botox at the right places. It works for John Kerry.

I was watching an elderly couple in a nearby resort city restaurant this past summer. They had to be in their 70s or 80s. The woman dressed in a strapless sundress. They sat at a table by the window, taking in the sunshine and the water view. She was saying something. He was looking at her. Who knows what he saw? Memories can shape reality to one’s liking.

I’m thinking that Ekberg had enough memories, making reality secondary.

She does look bad in that recent photo, and it may be because she didn’t care all that much. She is probably talking to a reporter about her past, her career, and in her mind’s eye, still saw herself as that young movie star in “La Dolce Vita.”

And, in the movie, she was – hot.