Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Certain Type of Look – Estella Warren

This is the face that launched a hundred websites, and its owner majors in self-esteem. In an interview, Estella Warren speaks of "my beauty" as you or I might speak of "my fingernail." She has unique light-colored irises, the kind of untrammeled eyebrows popularized by Brooke Shields, and, it goes without saying, tousled tawny hair.

But the mouth is weird. The upper lip ascends so far as to be reminiscent of a tragic birth defect. Physicians join up with organizations like Doctors Without Borders and travel to third-world countries, to repair things like this. Especially in the first picture on the left here, there’s definitely something going on with the upper lip, possibly something surgical. Two gigantic teeth show, and it's questionable whether the lip is capable of descending far enough to cover those teeth.

I wish I could find the exact picture that first inspired these thoughts, back in April of 2002. The photos rounded up here kind of convey the idea, but the photo that got me thinking about Estella Warren was probably a magazine cover, and definitely illustrated the point with magnificent clarity. In it, the glint of gloss emanating from the top edge of the upper lip was blindingly luminescent. In fact, her mouth resembled that of a tearful child, with a mucous-sodden upper lip that was also swollen and puffy as if from a backhanded slap. Like Paris Hilton, Estella has eyes that don’t quite match, and one is definitely smaller than the other. This too lends a wounded look. Yes, I know, nobody’s face is perfectly symmetrical. But a woman who’s been knocked around is apt to have features even more asymmetrical than usual.

Recall how Courtney Love seized upon the violated girl-child look, which appeals to unconscious (and conscious) pedophiliac rape fantasies, and made it her personal style. Likewise, Estella Warren seems to have adopted the snotnose look and elevated it to iconic status.

The lower pair of pictures is interesting because they are obviously the same, but the one on the right has been operated on with a graphics program – and it looks like the shininess between nose and lip has been purposely enhanced.

Subliminally, what we have here is a snuffling, whining tot who may have been hit in the face. To what inner masculine urge does this correspond? Does Estella appeal to the inner beast that delights in making a child cry? Or merely to the inner daddy, who longs to take out a handkerchief and wipe that adorable nose?

No comments: