Sherry Hartzler

Standing in a long checkout line at the grocery store, I snatch up one of the tabloids to read while waiting my turn to unload the cart. Most of the so-called celebrities inside the “rags” I don’t recognize. Celebrities I do recognize look strangely familiar, almost creepy with their pumped up lips, stretched cat-like eyes and expressionless, immovable Botox-injected faces. I wonder what it feels like to be mummified and still able to breathe. What pressure older celebrities must feel to put their bodies through such an ordeal? When I saw Kenny Rogers after his facelift, I could only think, Why Kenny? Why?  Kenny was so handsome, and men age so much more gracefully than women, anyway. What possessed him to rearrange his face? The old Kenny was gone, with nary a trace of the ol’ Gambler.

Kenny Rogers

Books, on the other hand, do not age. Good books become classics. Thank goodness copyright laws and the Library of Congress keep people from giving facelifts to the classics, unlike aging movie stars who end up looking like morphed aliens that just broke out of pond pods.  Thank God no one’s thought to make Scarlett O’Hara a vampire, at least, not yet, anyway. Of course, a writer already did that with Lincoln, but, of course, Lincoln wasn’t a fictional character, at least not until Lincoln The Vampire Slayer.

Mickey Rourke
Donatella Versace
Suzanne Somers

Oh yeah, good books might be violated by inverted stories, but the classics remain now as they’ve always been: Classics. However, when celebrities change their appearance in an effort to update and modernize their looks in an effort to stay young, it’s sad to see the results. I would much rather see timeless, classic beauty age naturally.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Ellen DeGeneres, but the snarky remark at the Oscars about Liza Minnelli was a bit too much, but I suppose political correctness does not apply to facelifts undergone by desperate people. Ellen’s remark was too sad on both sides for a lot of reasons.  Or, maybe Ellen did a good thing by what she said, because younger stars might just think twice about having future facelifts. article-0-1BFF2AE000000578-938_634x615 article-2573116-1BFA929800000578-374_634x420When Ellen verbally gut-punched Liza Minnelli at the Oscar ceremonies my own stomach kind of did a sick flip. Ellen pointed at Liza and said “One of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have seen in my entire life.” The camera did a close-up of poor 67 year old Liza. “Just really, seriously,” Ellen added. “Good job, sir.” article-0-1BFAF09100000578-637_634x823Like book classics, maybe aging stars should just consider settling into their looks and not care a twit about what other people think about them. My God, Kim Novak stepped onto the stage with Matthew McConaughey and everyone gasped. Kim is 81 years old with a face that looked, well, not like Kim. I’d much rather see someone age gracefully, not turn into a caricature of the beauty they once were. After all, we are humans, and we do age. Just thinkin’

Sherry Hartzler is the author of Three Moons Over Sedona, Island Passage and Chasing Joe, all available on


14 thoughts on “CLASSIC BOOKS – CLASSY CELEBRITIES By Sherry Hartzler

  1. Sherry, this is a wonderful blog. I gasped and laughed. I too hate that Kenny seems gone. Of course he is 70, but I don’t think his facelift made him look younger, just strange. Glad my husband still resembles the original Kenny Rogers (before facelift-LOL). Good analogy between the classic books and the classic stars. Thanks. Cher’ley


  2. Celebrities aren’t the only ones having face lifts and other procedures to make themselves look younger. My grandmother was apparently obsessed with youth. She tried to keep her visits to the plastic surgeon a secret, but we figured it out.


  3. Sherry this is a “Classic” post. You did a really good job of tying classic celebrities and classic books together. I totally agree with you about the celebrities. Some, in their haste to look younger have made themselves ugly. Beautiful stars with big pumped up lips, sunken cheeks, nose jobs and eye lifts change their looks so drastically that no one even knows how they are any more. How sad that they don’t understand there’s a peace and acceptance to aging that gives that person a certain “glow.” I, too, am glad the Classic Books can’t be changed. It would be such horror!


  4. Sherry,

    Our societal obsession with youth is so sad. Whatever happened with celebrating life. As I get older, I love the idea of knowledge and good genes. I’m lucky, but I have friends who aren’t and they are still beautiful.

    Thought provoking and thank you. Doris


  5. Just thinkin’ … you’re right. They’re desperately hanging onto their vision of their youth, but until medical science actually advances enough to clone hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, etc., death’s still going’ to snatch you. Who knows? Maybe someday the super-rich will have clone-lifts and they’ll implant their brains into a brainless clone allowed to age to 18 … it’ll be advertising as the Cinderella-Clone Technique.


  6. Excellent post, Sherry! I, too, don’t recognize most of the celebrities, either because I don’t know them (not a movie-goer nor a ‘nowadays’ music person) or because I don’t recognize them! WOW, I never would have guessed that was Liza or Kim!! Very sad commentary on Hollywood and our culture. Obsessions of any kind are dangerous, and you point this out so well, while “classically” weaving your point about literature. Very poignant!


  7. Great commentary and insight, Sherry. It’s true the words don’t change without author’s permission… but the covers. Those guys change with the times!


  8. I don’t keep up with those mags or celebrity appearances, but I very much agree with you Sherry, that it’s a shame that people put their lives under the knife in the chase for eternal youth. Those classics in my bookshelves will always be the same inside, as you say, even when the cover is old and worn. Lovely analogy.


  9. Sherry, it is sad that so many celebrities (and others) feel compelled to undergo surgery to live up to our culture’s misguided ideals of youth and beauty. And then to be ridiculed because of it…. I wonder how many of them regret the surgeries after they’ve done them.


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