I don’t recall the first time I saw Diane Keaton in a movie, but I do recall how unimpressed I was.
Since then, I haven’t seen a movie because Keaton was in it, but rather despite that.
My impression of the characters Keaton has chosen to play include words like shallow. And vacuous. And ditzy. Same character, over and over again.
And inevitably, there would be a scene in the movie – often more than one – where an actor would ask Keaton’s character a simple question, and her response was this or some version of it:
Actor: Do you want a salad?
Keaton: Oh! Well…hmmm. Y-e-s-s, but, uh…Well, I…I…don’t…I…well. You know? I, ah…no, but I…well…maybe if…hmmm? OK. OK! I mean, maybe, unless…I…uh…What?
Pity the poor actor who then had to ask what she wanted for an entrée.
So I didn’t like Keaton’s acting, and…
And what’s with the hats? Are these some sort of trademark? Some reminder to all of Keaton’s…what? Endearing eccentricity? Wonderful sense of whimsy? Forgetting to wash her hair?
I hadn’t seen Keaton in quite awhile – which was fine with me – and then she appeared at my Sunday breakfast table, included with my newspaper on the cover of a recent Parade magazine.
No hat this time, but with her hair looking like it had been styled at the nearby wind farm:
No need to waste time on Keaton’s interview. I’ve seen her interviewed and she’s as shallow and vacuous and ditzy in person as she is on screen.
“Well,” I thought, “I can skip this issue of Parade.”
And I mostly did, except to page through it because I do like to read the weekly Ask Marilyn Q&A by Marilyn vos Savant.
And on my way to Marilyn, something in the upper-right corner of page seven caught my eye.
And gave me yet another reason to dislike Diane Keaton.
Two reasons, actually.
In the Keaton article was a sidebar entitled Keaton Cues, and here was the first “cue”:
Interviewer: “Fashion must-have?”
Keaton: “Turtleneck. My neck is disgusting, and I hate it. But I don’t want to chop it off because I want to stay alive!”
Dislike #1: Keaton has just engaged in…
Body shaming: the action or practice of humiliating someone by making mocking or critical comments about some aspect of their appearance.
Dislike #2: Keaton has just engaged in the worst kind of body shaming:
When Keaton referred to her neck, I assume she’s referring to the fact that as a 76-year-old woman, her neck has transitioned from how it once looked to how it looks now. This is a part of aging for many women:
It’s just a fact of life. We age, our skin ages and can lose elasticity, muscles can weaken, gravity can play a role.
And the neck can be the first, and most noticeable, place it shows.
So Keaton is self-shaming her body for showing signs of aging (Dislike #2) and in a larger sense, suggesting that all women with aging necks should feel likewise (Dislike #1).
What she’s saying is,
“My neck is disgusting and yours is, too, and I hate my neck, and you should hate yours, too.”
Referring to part of her body as “disgusting” instead of…
- Celebrating that she’s had 76 years of life – which many people don’t get to have…
- Appreciating that she’s still appearing in movies – when most actresses her age were discarded by Hollywood long ago…
- Expressing gratitude that she’s rich, and doesn’t have to choose between paying for food or paying for her medications…
Keaton instead felt compelled to share with the Parade magazine readers – an audience that ranges from 50-80 million, depending on what website you’re reading – that her aging neck is “disgusting…”
And your aging neck is, too.
And you should hate it, too.
I suppose that maybe we should applaud Keaton for demonstrating her firm grasp of the obvious with her final sentence:
“But I don’t want to chop it off because I want to stay alive!”
Well done, Diane. You’ve connected the dots and comprehended that chopping off one’s neck is not conducive to staying alive.
But you sure don’t comprehend that an aging body is the privilege of a continuing life.
Not hate worthy.
This really goes against the grain, but I suppose that maybe Keaton deserves a second chance.
Let’s hit the rewind button and ask her again about her “fashion must-have,” and see if she can come up with a better answer.
Me: “Diane, what is your fashion-must have, and this time, without the body shaming of yourself and others?”
Keaton: Oh! Well…hmmm. Y-e-s-s, but, uh…Well, I…I…don’t…I…well. You know? I, ah…no, but I…well…maybe if…hmmm? OK. OK! I mean, maybe, unless…I…uh…