A Middle Aged Woman Laughs at the Golden Globes
By:  Mary Fran Bontempo
Oh Annette.  What were you thinking?
There she was, the lovely and talented Annette Bening, standing on stage Sunday night, holding on to her well-deserved Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Comedy for the film The Kids are All Right, looking from the neck up as though she’d just rolled out of bed.
With her hair poking up wildly all over her head, Bening also sported a pair of thick, black eyeglass frames on her delicate face, making me wonder if she’d grabbed husband Warren Beatty’s specs by mistake on her way out the door to the awards show.
Though Bening’s apparent lack of personal grooming (or more likely, studied attempt at looking unkempt and cool) was fortunately the exception amid a sea of gloriously tressed and attired actors and actresses, she was by no means the only one trying to make a statement by looking as though she didn’t really give a darn about her appearance.
In fact, it seemed like the more respected the performer, the more license to forgo the niceties of combing one’s hair before going out in public.  Witness Al Pacino, who, when not under the constant care of hair and makeup artists, always looks as though he just stuck his finger in an electrical outlet.  Also, when unscripted, he generally sounds like he forgot to take his meds, but luckily, at the Globes, Al actually made sense when accepting his award for You Don’t Know Jack, the story of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
Then there was Robert De Niro, accepting the also well-deserved Cecil B. De Mille Lifetime Achievement Award.  Bob (yes, all his friends all call him “Bob”) sported a shaggy, gray ‘do that was badly in need of a trim.  Of course this is Robert De Niro, and I’m sure no one was about to tell him he need a haircut.  (“You talkin’ to me?”)
The explosive Christian Bale, best supporting actor winner for a drama, looked a bit like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz, while one of my favorite wild guys, Robert Downey, Jr. stayed true to form with an unkempt mane.
So here’s the question: when did looking slovenly translate into anything other than a sign of “slovenliness?”  Why is sloppy suddenly cool?  While the truly cerebral often let their appearance go because of weightier things on their minds, it’s a fairly safe bet that few of our Tinseltown residents suffer from the Einstein effect.  No, the effort that went into looking like no effort went into the look (did you follow that?) was extensive, and for effect.
But here’s the thing—if I dared to so much as venture out of my house (let alone to the Golden Globes, a nationally televised program with countless paparazzi bulbs flashing in my face), with my hair standing on end, looking as though I’d completely shunned not only all of my mirrors, but the bathroom as well, the only effect I’d have on anyone who caught sight of me would be to have them cross to the other side of the street when they saw me coming.  I’m pretty sure no one would hand me an award.   
I’m all for freedom of expression, but please, if you’ve got money coming out of your ears (and especially if some of that money was given to you by us, the movie-going, TV-watching public) have enough respect for your audience to spend some of it on a stylist who will advise you to comb your hair.  Or better yet, call your mother.  She’ll tell you the same thing for free.

What was your “take” on the Golden Globes?  Click on “comments” below, in red, and share!