lisarinna.jpgI had an epiphany the other day at the gym while watching an in-depth VH1 special called “Hollywood: Nipped and Tucked.” In loving detail, the show explained who nips, who tucks, who plumps, who does what to which body part(s) in pursuit of endless youth and good close-ups.

The images of nipped and tucked celebrities flashing across the screen – Madonna, Meg Ryan, Lisa Rinna, Michael Douglas, Al Pacino – reminded me of something else we’ve been seeing a lot of lately: vampires.

Think about it: all those varieties of facial spackle – restylane, botox, juvederm – are used to create the illusion of eternal youth, which is also the key element of vampirism: vampires don’t age. In the movie “Twilight,” Edward Cullen jokes about a tapestry he and his “siblings” have created from all the various mortarboards and tassels they’ve collected over the years, as they matriculate again and again and again.

In Book Four of the series, Bella Swan finally gets what she’s wanted for three previous books: she’s envamped. As a result of her vampiric transformation, she becomes utterly beautiful: graceful, glossy, completely buff. The whole blood-sucking thing aside, another way to read Bella’s happy ending is that she “has a little work done,” and then gets to waltz off into a gleaming sunset with her equally glossy lover and their immortal child.

Isn’t that what the puffy-lipped among us are hoping for?

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve stared into the mirror while I pulled up my (sagging) jawline and smoothed my (shar-pei’d) forehead – but I’m not ready to join the ranks of the undead quite yet.  I wonder, though: if we were all forced to undergo plastic surgery, ala Scott Westerfeld’s dystopian future world, would the ageless kiss of a vampire still seem so seductive?

Facial spackle? Or immortal sucker of blood? Hard to know.
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