“Hell, darling. That is what is going on in Hollywood right now,” says stylist Cheryl Konteh, referring to the film industry’s preparations for this weekend’s Oscars ceremony. Behind the glitz and easy glamour of the world’s most famous celebrity event, there is an undercurrent of crash diets, last-minute liposuction and underarm botox (to prevent sweating). “High-definition photography and the prevalence of social media means that actors now face having the minute details of every angle of their body and face appear in hundreds of photos online. As a result, the stakes for red-carpet glamour have never been higher.”
What’s the Big Idea?
What most home viewers may not understand about the Oscars is that the ceremony, especially the red carpet parade, is an extension of Hollywood’s business-as-usual. Underpinning the evening is the sense that there is something more at stake than winning the approval of fashion magazine editors. Preparations often come down to money says beauty columnist Sali Hughes: “If an actor has a good Oscars red carpet moment, it paves the way for lucrative advertising campaigns.” Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for best actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook, summed up her experience of the red carpet as “torture”.