Country music star Carrie Underwood will do something astounding Sunday night, and it has nothing to do with her new album, "Cry Pretty."
Underwood will unveil her face after a "gruesome" injury that required 40-50 stitches. And, in her own words, she "might look a bit different."
I don't know what to expect. A new jawline? Jagged scars? A horrible disfigurement?
I hope Underwood is as beautiful as ever when she unveils her new face, but I frankly don't care, as long as her beautiful voice is intact.
There's something ghoulish about this whole face thing. When a Washington Post headline screams, "Carrie Underwood's face: A complete guide to an enduring mystery," in a time of great political strife, you know we are living in a nation obsessed with beauty. Google "Carrie Underwood face," and you get close to half a million hits.
Is the chance of beauty one notch less luminous all that devastating? If you are an American woman, you bet.
Sadly, we are weaned on the perverted notion that a beautiful woman can achieve untold glory without the benefit of talent or brains.
A few years ago, I talked with Ellen Pollack, who wrote, "The Only Woman in the Room; Why Science Is Still a Boy's Club." Pollack was one of the first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics from Yale University. And she wasn't speaking to me from the grave, but from the here and now. Why is it, she wondered, when girls reach the age of six, brains take a back seat to beauty even if they have both?
The answer lies under the scarf still hiding Carrie Underwood's scars, and it's vividly detailed in an article on New York Magazine's The Cut, titled, "What it's like to go through life as a really beautiful woman."
The author -- who chose to remain anonymous -- writes that beauty is both heaven and hell. "One of the worst things about being beautiful is that other women absolutely despise you. Women have made me cry my whole life."
She admits her looks got her jobs and dates, but she "got bored easily and moved on." She writes, "I should have taken the good ones more seriously. I can see now that they would have been good husbands, fathers, and providers but I'd just drift away on to the next and stop returning their calls."
What did her looks do for her? She is past 40 now and miserable. "It doesn't matter how beautiful you were in your youth," she writes, "when you age you become invisible. You could still look fabulous but ... who cares? Nobody is looking."
For the fabulously talented Underwood it appears that fear is real at the age of 35. I can't figure out any other reason for her ominous warnings about what she looks like after a bad fall.
I'll be watching the country music awards this Sunday to see Underwood's "new face." I am certain the audience will cheer when she unveils a still-gorgeous face, but I won't.
This woman will close her eyes and savor the sound of Underwood's voice.
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