An embarrassing incident at a bar, the hiccups, the betrayal, the breakup: they are all normal, albeit imperfect, experiences. But when the event occurs in adulthood, when one’s personal behaviors have implications for your professional life, the emotional toll is often greater. For celebrities, celebrity executives, and other familiar public figures, having overgrown pimples or just not having been so fortunate to have gone through puberty as a teenager can alter your level of authority — or your ability to create it. Here are three famous young adults whose unseemly facial structures echoed to their careers:
Sarah Michelle Gellar (who gave birth to her daughter, Charlotte, when she was a teen)
Elizabeth Taylor’s love-interest in Cleopatra and who earned an Oscar for her performance is, aside from directing, already the most famous film actress of all time. And, equally famous for her curves and fragility, she famously went through two breast augmentations, right at the peak of her career. So she was perhaps the first celebrity starlet to know the impact of having a giant face: it can take a toll on your confidence, body image, and ability to rise to a bigger, more commanding authority. In 2010, the day before she completed a double mastectomy, she tweeted: “Mastectomy cancer- I decided I would tell my story in hopes that others might not be afraid to go for a checkup.”
Before he became the greatest Latino actor in the English-speaking world, Ricky Martin was a child actor on TV in Puerto Rico. At the tender age of 13, he shaved his head to play the titular character of Pink Panther II and, by the time he had finished, he was known as a wunderkind. When he hit the big time as a pop star, “The Queen of Salsa” didn’t attend their world premiere in New York City. In a performance, he protested that, unlike pop stars of previous generations, he wanted to be taken seriously. He said, “I want to be taken seriously as an artist, because that is what this song is about — my time to speak.” While he succeeded in morphing into a sophisticated and ambitious actor, his facial profile has become something of a punchline — by 2012, he was letting fans see the results of his bleached pixie-cut beauty pampering regimen on Instagram and on stage. Now he is an advocate for certain segments of his generation to resist going under the knife, standing firm in his belief that others should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own looks.
Courtesy of stylebridge
Caroline Manzo, the series star of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” has had over 30 weddings over the course of her long love life, but none are immortal. At the age of 27, after her ninth marriage, a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and Manzo felt the need to take action. In a recent episode of the show, she tweeted that the conversation that occurred between her and her first husband, Albert, was: “‘Caroline, you and Albert, if you had a kid now, would you abort him and let the doctor cut a little slice of your skin down to his heart?’ I was like, ‘No, no, no, no. That is not the point. The point is, I support my friend that is fighting for her life.’” By the time the show ended, Manzo had breast implants and a bandage around her body.
The Emotional Toll of Adult Maladies
Over the course of their careers, adults who have grown up with acne or hiccups have been handed the keys to their own power. As the hands of authority in a field that perhaps might seem trivial to most youth, they probably have learned to distrust you in equal measure. If adulthood is all about coming to terms with your personal vulnerabilities, then adding a face full of pharyngitis can take a tremendous toll on confidence, self-image, and even attractiveness. In some cases, the overgrown imperfections also reflect an unconscious lack of self-control, said Beverly Reiss, a psychotherapist who co-founded the Curvy Model Network. “You might have been so beautiful in your younger years that you wanted to look like that forever.” As we are all prone to overexaggerating (or simply not noticing) physical features, Reiss calls the attention to Malign Visibility Syndrome, “a vicious cycle of narcissism.”