Novak's message to her mockers | Deseret News National
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Annie I. Bang, Invision
Culture

Novak's message to her mockers

Kim Novak is no longer silently enduring ridicule.

The 81-year-old actress, whom many people mocked after her appearance at the Oscars because she surgically attempted to look younger, recently wrote a Facebook post explaining why she had gotten plastic surgery and how cruel comments affected her.

Novak, the star of Alfred Hitchcock's film "Vertigo," wrote she had not been courageous enough to confront her tormenters years earlier, so she disappeared from Hollywood. She said she would "no longer hold (herself) back from speaking out against bullies."

Novak said she had facial fat injections because they are "far less invasive than a facelift." "In my opinion, a person has a right to look as good as they can, and I feel better when I look better," she said.

"When I was honored at the Cannes Film Festival last year, I received an overwhelming standing ovation. Yet, in Hollywood, after the Oscars, I was bullied by the press and the public on the Internet and TV," said Novak. "The only difference that night was that I had taken a pill to relax — that I shouldn’t have taken. I had been fasting for three days and it affected my behavior. I regret taking it."

One of Novak's bullies was Donald Trump, who tweeted she should "sue her plastic surgeon" during the Oscars, per People.

Novak revealed these sort of comments threw her "into a tailspin." "For days, I didn't leave the house, and it got to me like it gets kids and teenagers" who are taunted, she said, according to People.

She added remarks spread rapidly online and many people do not understand celebrities see these comments. "It goes over in such a public way now," Novak said.

Katy Waldman at Slate was pleased Novak stood up against bullies, but she wished Novak had not chastised herself throughout her post.

"She criticizes her own lack of 'courage,' insists that fat injections are 'far less invasive than a facelift,' and belittles herself for taking an anti-anxiety pill. This is not to minimize the message of the post, or the bravery it took to write it. But how can Novak fight the snarkers when a part of her seems to agree with them?" Waldman wrote.

But Amanda Hess' Slate article, which was published after Oscar viewers' first reactions to Novak and other older stars' appearances, may explain why Novak was self-critical.

"When Novak entered the industry in the 1950s, studio executives made her cap her teeth, bleach her hair, shrink her body with a strict diet and exercise regime, and perpetually paint her face with the help of a personal makeup artist," wrote Hess. "I wonder where she got the idea that she mattered for her looks? Hollywood made Novak a star, then abandoned her — decades ago."

Hess underscored the importance of looking young in Hollywood. "When it comes down to it, we don’t actually want Hollywood leading ladies to look their age," she said. "Better are middle-aged stars like Sandra Bullock, who is not just celebrated as gorgeous at 49, but especially gorgeous because she doesn’t 'look' 49. Better still to just be 23."

Email: kpolatis@deseretnews.com Twitter: KandraPolatis