Interviewers, take note: There is more to a mature woman than her physical appearance and whether or not she had plastic surgery. Plastic surgery-shaming is certainly not new, but given the fact that it’s not going away, this is a conversation we need to have — again.
The most recent offender is Megyn Kelly on her new NBC show Megyn Kelly Today. She had both Robert Redford, 81, and Jane Fonda, 79, on as guests to talk about their new movie, Our Souls at Night.
The conversation started by talking about Redford’s heartthrob status (no mention of aging or his current appearance), but then quickly pivoted to Fonda.
"You've been an example to everyone in how to age beautifully and with strength and unapologetically," Kelly said, opening with flattery for which Fonda thanked her.
It could have ended there, but Kelly couldn’t help herself, bringing up Fonda’s plastic surgery.
"You admit you've had work done, which I think is to your credit, but I think you look amazing," Kelly continued. "Why did you say... I read that you said you felt you're not proud to admit that you've had work done. Why not?"
As Kelly asked the question, gradually stuffing her feet further into her mouth, Fonda gave her one of the best not-impressed glares ever seen on daytime TV outside the context of soap operas. It was clear she was having none of it.
"We really want to talk about that now?" Fonda replied, making sure Kelly knew that she did not. So Kelly tried to backpedal.
"Well, one of the things people think about when they look at you is how amazing you look," Kelly told Fonda.
"Well, thanks," Fonda said. "Good attitude, good posture, I take care of myself. But let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery."
And with that, Fonda shut it down.
“I grew up so defined by my looks,” Fonda told W. “I was taught to think that if I wanted to be loved, I had to be thin and pretty. That leads to a lot of trouble," she said at the time.
So she’s addressed the plastic surgery issue directly, commented on it and is ready to move on. The problem is, Kelly wasn’t.
The thing is, Kelly is all too familiar with people — including the president — focusing on her physical appearance instead of her work as a journalist and should definitely know better. Here’s hoping Kelly learned her lesson and will keep the questions relevant next time.
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