Kate Winslet and Pals Pooh- Pooh Plastic Surgery, but Will They Pay a Steep Price?

Could Saying 'No' to the Knife Cut Short an Actress's Movie Career?

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Is Kate Winslet waving goodbye to her movie career?
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Is Kate Winslet waving goodbye to her movie career?

Wrinkles are not wrong. That could be the new catch-phrase of a trio of British actresses who have formed what they cleverly call the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League -- a group devoted to speaking out against Hollywood's anti-aging bias.

Along with her fellow Oscarettes, Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz, the "Titanic" actress talks tough about resisting the pressure to medically maintain her youth. "I will never give in," Winslet said. "I am an actress; I don't want to freeze the expression of my face."

Like Winslet, critics of celebrities' obsession with cosmetic surgery have long found it ironic that women and men who are paid to be expressive undergo procedures that give their face a deer-caught-in-headlights look.

Winslet went so far as to say plastic surgery went against her "morals" as well as her notion of natural beauty, a sentiment shared by her tea-drinking mate, Thompson. "We're in this awful youth-driven thing now where everybody needs to look 30 at 60," said the 52-year-old "Nanny McPhee" actress.

The actresses are partly responding to Hollywood's double standard of older, weathered actors cast as studly romantic leads with women half their age -- making the movie industry a metaphorical Playboy mansion in which young hotties and much older men defy cultural age norms. Jeff Bridges, for instance, was linked to a 28-year younger Maggie Gyllenhaal in "Crazy Heart," and Clint Eastwood's last romantic lead was with the 44-year-younger Hilary Swank in "Million Dollar Baby."

Male fantasy much?

For actresses over 30 to take a stand against ageism is a courageous career move, not only because they are already handicapped by the aesthetic view that female perfection wanes once a woman blows out 30 candles on her birthday cake.

As if the exception to prove the rule, Meryl Streep, 62, had not just one, but two men chasing her in "It's Complicated." The Alec Baldwin character even wanted to ditch his much younger bride for her. But that movie was written and directed by 61-year-old Nancy Meyers, a rare peahen in Hollywood's peacock zoo.

Though competing with 20-something actresses for romantic leads is challenging enough for actresses with the audacity to age, plastic surgery is not always a panacea. Meg Ryan is one of the prime examples of an adorable rom-com actress who aged out of her predictable parts.

In a desperate attempt to recapture her cuteness, Ryan, 49, went under the knife and is now a popular example in articles about plastic surgery gone wrong. In one especially poignant piece, a blogger bemoaned the "Sleepless in Seattle" actress's decision to alter her face. "I guess Meg saw plastic surgery as a way to look younger and compete in a very competitive job market," he wrote. "Well now it looks like the only role Meg can really qualify for is the Joker in the Batman series. She has that same frozen evil looking grin the Joker has."

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