Shannen Doherty: it’s hard to relate to female characters with Botox, plastic surgery


Shannen Doherty, 50, recently posted about something that I’ve been thinking about for a while – the fact that it’s sometimes hard to see female characters on film who have obvious Botox and plastic surgery. She posted a makeup free selfie and this caption:

Watching movies tonight and noticed there were few female characters I could relate to. You know, women without fillers, without Botox, without a facelift. Women who embraced their face and all the experience it showed. I have lived. I love that I’ve lived and that my face reflects my life. I survived a lot yes cancer but more than that. I embrace me now. Finally. Done with the perception magazines and Hollywood try to make us in to. I want to see women like me. Women like us.

I’ve been watching 911, I just finished the first season, and Connie Britton, 54, looks completely natural. It makes me feel better about myself, honestly. Angela Bassett is 62 freaking years old and while she’s had a little something, which she freely admits to, she looks realistic for that show and the fact that it’s set in modern day LA. Kate Winslet looked completely the part in Mare of Easttown and it was refreshing. However I don’t mind seeing someone on screen with work done if they’re playing a rich person and it’s set in the last ten to fifteen years. It’s only jarring to me to see obvious facial work when the show is a period piece or the character is supposed to live in a rural area. The story is how I relate to the characters, not their appearance unless it’s inconsistent.

Now I want to know what Shannen was watching! I know she used the plural “movies” but I’m guessing it was one in particular and she’s not going to spill the actress’s name. Perhaps it rhymes with Nicole Kidman. Oh and the first time I remember seeing a movie where the actress looked obviously altered was Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. It was especially noticeable on the big screen. There was no way I could relate to that character regardless.

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50 Responses to “Shannen Doherty: it’s hard to relate to female characters with Botox, plastic surgery”

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  1. ooshpick says:

    Lol. Women! I find it hard to relate to women who dye their hair when I let my natural grey show. Oh wait…that’s many women. Stop being so sanctimonious, lady…

    • PrincessMe says:

      I’ll sit right here with you. There are lots of things that I don’t do that people in my age range do in movies (and in life, really) – like wear makeup, get my nails done, etc. It’s good to see people we relate to, of course, but sometimes we can be a little too judgmental of other people’s choices.

    • PixiePaperdroll says:

      I’m laughing at her saying that without a single grey hair to be seen. She’s several years older than I am. Nope, not buying.

  2. LightPurple says:

    I’m laughing so hard because this appeared on my screen next to the article with the picture of the woman whose face can’t move to cry.

  3. Noki says:

    Nicole Kidman needs an intervention. Fillers dissolve right? I dont even think hers can even if she stopped. Amazing actress but now she cant even move her face.

    • Nyro says:

      Her face has been frozen for a long time. Her modern botoxed face ruined Cold Mountain for me. It was bad back then, but now? She looks like she’s wearing a mask. It’s sad, imo.

      • Ann says:

        She had already had it in Cold Mountain? How old was she then? I didn’t notice actually because I felt like Ada was supposed to be a bit more refined than the other women, she hadn’t had it as hard as Ruby etc., so her skin would be smoother.

    • milliemollie says:

      All I could focus on while watching the Undoing was her face and the fear that her skin would burst. It makes me uncomfortable to watch her these days.

      • Stellainnh says:

        Me,too! I really have a hard time with a frozen face. I will not be watching the ionic on Lucille Ball because she cannot be Lucy with that face.

    • AMJ says:

      Nicole’s facial movement (or lack of thereof) ruined “The Undoing” for me. I literally couldn’t focus with her face on screen.

    • Christine says:

      I am getting vibes of Ted Casablanca calling Nicole Kidman “Granny Freeze”, fully two decades ago. I miss you, Ted!

  4. Delight_ says:

    I think about this a lot when I see anything Jennifer Aniston is in. I’m not against plastic surgery or fillers or botox, but when it just overtakes a person’s natural features I find it so odd. There’s a lot of posts on IG with Jennifer Aniston where they put pictures from 2000, 2010 and 2020 next to each other and it’s really jarring how full of plastic she looks, it makes me kind of sad. Of course she’s not the only actress that looks like this, but since she pops up so much on my feed it’s the first one that jumps into my head.

    • Lola says:

      What’s weird to me is that for the longest time, she didn’t seem to be messing with her face at all, while Courteney Cox was doing THE MOST, and ended up looking like the cat lady by her own admission. Many people made comparisons between the two of them at that time judging Jennifer much more favorably, and I’m sure she was aware of that. So I wonder why she ended up going down the same stuffed sausage path when she could see firsthand how it looks from a 3rd person’s perspective.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think Jen looked really good until recently….like you knew she was having some work done, but it was pretty natural overall and wasn’t overkill (as compared to Courtney Cox, who really did THE MOST like you said lol)….but then at some point maybe about 2 years ago or so it seems like she started kicking it into high gear (maybe when she turned 50?) – like looking back at pics, even in 2018 she looked good – again obviously some work was done, but pretty good work. I think at some point she started messing with her lips and then it went downhill from there.

    • Meg says:

      doing those things to yourself you can’t move 100% of your face so watching Courtney and Jennifer cry in the reunion, their faces looked painful, Courtney more so IMO.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I don’t mind if actresses have some work done even though obviously it can skew our perspectives of what aging looks like. But I get that Hollywood is a tough world and it gets tougher as people age etc.

    But I do mind when they have so much work done that their faces don’t move. Like my problem with Nicole Kidman isnt whether or not I can “relate” to her in terms of should her character have had work done or not (like taking into account money, status etc), but that she no longer has any emotion on her face. it’s so distracting and it bothers me because I’ve always thought she was a really good actress, and in the Undoing all I could see was how her face never.ever.moved.

  6. Maureen says:

    I don’t really find it being something like I can’t relate to the characters/have a harder time identifying with the characters. I find it’s more that it makes the show/film seem incredibly fake, it makes it impossible for the brain to forget that what I’m watching isn’t real and takes away from the experience.

    For tons of characters botox, fillers, lifts and lasers make sense (male and female) and I can connect with the film.

    Angelina Jolie in “Those Who Wish Me Dear” completely made it impossible for you to think it was real when she was on the screen. She was playing an experienced fire jumper without a single wrinkle, no loss of volume under her eyes and with a perfectly even complexion. It was more jarring because of the weathered men playing opposite of her. If they looked like Ken dolls, the mind could forget that it wasn’t realistic.

    The facial work was great, but it was totally inappropriate for the role.

  7. Jules says:

    We have a long way to go but I think it’s great she is speaking out about this. She has had genuine health concerns and it must have changed her perspective on what is important in life. I also see extreme cosmetic plastic surgery as connected to transhumanism, I find it all very disturbing.

    • Eleonor says:

      I think it’s a huge American problem as a European I can tell when series, or movies, are American only looking at the cast: veneers beyond white, hair, and women painfully thin and botoxed who don’t look a day beyond 30, even when they are in their 60′s.

      • Léna says:

        This so much! And I find that, when I watch UK TV Shows, the actors look more natural looking. The veeners and botox are completely disturbing to me

  8. Jayna says:

    Meh. I get what she means for overbotoxed, overfilled, fish lipped actresses. BUT most actresses on screen by a certain age have done a little something-something. I have no problem with that and get it, as long as they still have some lines and character in their face, not pulled and tightened and plumped and botoxed to the uncomfortable point of watching them as their face doesn’t move, can’t show emotion, and are almost unrecognizable.

    Sharon Stone has had minor work done and looks fantastic. Susan Sarandon the same. And there’s knowing wrong with tightening your jaw line a bit as long as it isn’t tightened so much that it looks odd. There’s plenty out there getting very minor work done in some way or another and we don’t know because they look natural and still have lines.

    Less is more. Now, some before 50 probably haven’t had work yet and look great as a more mature actress, not quite the same as they looked in their late 30s, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t do some minor freshening up in their 50s and 60s. Kate Winslet is 45 and loved how she allowed herself to look in that Mare TV show. Imagine how ruined that show would have been by Nicole Kidman playing the part because of her immovable, line-free face.

  9. questsions says:

    Good plastic surgery doesn’t bother me. It’s the bad plastic surgery where I go “why”?

    I don’t think I can relate to plastic surgery in general as a beauty treatment but the good plastic surgery doesn’t look distracting on film. If J-Lo has done something, I have no idea. Her face doesn’t look distracting, just good.

    I figure Shannon Doherty is talking about the bad plastic surgery — and maybe she has a better ability to spot when it’s done than someone like me. For her, that probably is distracting. Also, I think the distracting plastic surgery is probably what most people don’t want to get. When I see someone with bad plastic surgery, even if it’s like a bad nose job, I know I can feel sanctimonious about it.

    • Chaine says:

      ITA, it’s not that they’ve had something done, it’s that what they’ve had done is unnatural enough it’s distracting. A while back i saw a Sandra Bullock movie where she had obviously had her lips overly injected–it looked so unnatural and frankly as if her lips were in pain when she spoke. Totally ruined the movie for me because I couldn’t not see them.

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I say let all of them look like bloated wide-mouth bass if they want to. It doesn’t offend me in the slightest. It actually makes me feel better lol!

  11. Lily P says:

    I get what she’s saying but the quote comes off a little holier than thou. Anyway I think the criticism should lie not with the individual women but with our beauty expectations, societal pressures, and casting directors not wanting to embrace female ageing. Especially when we “allow” and celebrate ageing in men but wouldn’t dare afford the same luxury to women.

    • Hannah says:

      I agree. I can’t imagine the pressure on Nicole Kidman to look a certain way for powerful directors and producers who have an unattainable ideal in their heads.

  12. Jordana says:

    I’m not a dermatologist, and I’ve never had any work done like fillers or botox, but the most frightening thing I heard is that fillers do not “dissolve”. They just spread elsewhere, take a trip, shift around etc. “Heard” that from a woman who’s father is a dermatologist and told her to never get fillers for this reason.
    I’m 43, and the changes I’ve seen in my face, don’t thrill me, but I’m less thrilled with the idea of doing fillers and looking “filled”, and then dealing with the after affects, whatever those may be.

    I agree with the writer, I can’t watch a period drama with an actress with a filled face and not be pulled out of the movie story. To me it’s distracting.

    • Catt Berlin-George says:

      Fillers dissolve. What you heard is a myth.

      • Ash says:

        It’s absolutely not a myth. Fillers do not naturally dissolve, they simply migrate. An MRI study was done recently on the topic, I’d encourage you to read up a bit more on it.

      • Laura says:

        Fillers dissolve with a filler dissolver. A patient would have to have it done. Otherwise, they do just kind of spread out over the area, migrate, whatever you call it. It might seem like they dissolve on their own since they dissipate over an area but they are still there. I am not an expert, but just follow some experts and this is what they say. Check it out on youtube.

  13. Marigold says:

    I don’t mind plastic surgery and fillers so much. But I’m of a certain age. What I hate are filters. I can’t stand them. They create an unattainable look. I mean, we can all go Botox our face until it doesn’t move, but we can’t match a filter. 😂😂😂

    • It’sJustBlanche says:

      Yes, some folks photoshop their faces until they look like gigantic eggs!

  14. Haapa says:

    I don’t think it’s only about them being unrelatable, it’s about the fact that it’s hard to get into a movie/show where the characters can’t register emotion on their face. It literally interferes with the thing they are being paid to do! How do you act when you can’t emote??

  15. tempest prognosticator says:

    Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, and all the other men and women who have gone way too far with their faces have made it impossible to stay immersed in a film’s storytelling. I just can’t NOT notice what the actors have done to their faces. If I were casting, I would not hire anyone who’s had extreme work done. It’s distracting. The film and the audience deserve better.

  16. Delphine says:

    I’m close to her age and haven’t done anything. I wear bangs to cover up my forehead lines. Which works pretty well unless it’s windy.

  17. teecee says:

    The industry and the public demand most actresses remain unrealistically thin AND sexy AND young in order to work. Then when the same actresses get plastic surgery to replace some of the facial volume or body curves lost in the quest for skinniness, we blast them for looking fake. Of course they look fake! The standard of what’s “acceptable” for these women is impossible to reach without some fakery.

  18. megs283 says:

    Oh, actresses on screen aren’t relatable? A belated welcome to our world, Shannen Doherty. :-)

    • It’sJustBlanche says:

      Right? I mean, it’s easy for her to say, she’s always had great cheekbones. The whole quote comes off sort of mean spirited, as she’s always been rumored to be.

  19. Merricat says:

    I’ve said this before–I think it’s heartbreaking and sexist that women are not allowed to age. I’m all for people doing whatever they need to feel good about themselves. It’s not for me, and I wish people didn’t feel it was necessary. Lip fillers never look natural. And that’s all I have to say about it.

  20. iconoclast59 says:

    I’m just happy to see Shannen posting, period. She’s fighting an uphill battle with cancer, and if she’s on SM it means she’s having a relatively good day. And how great a friend is Sarah Michelle Gellar? She’s been there for both Shannen and Selma Blair.

    • Christine says:

      Same. I graduated from high school in 1993, which makes 90210 the only show that was exactly at my age level. I adore Shannen, and when she goes silent, for very long, I start praying, even though I am not remotely religious. Honestly, I would be here for her talking about her favorite brand of tissues, and I would also buy them.

  21. Willow says:

    Seeing people who are the same age as me, who I watched grow up on the screen, never age, it’s just weird, because they are frozen in time, while I am not. The ones who have good work actually freak me out more. How does she still look like the same as when I was in high school? It’s jarring. I have to try to ignore their real age.
    And I really can’t watch any actors my age in action movies because even though their faces say they can do those crazy stunts, I know for sure their bodies can’t, and it’s just throws me out of the story.

  22. Tiffany :) says:

    I strongly reacted in a positive way to Kate Winslet’s natural face in Mare of Easttown, and it made me realize how much I crave seeing mature women with natural faces. It’s not so much that I hate on those with work done, but my heart soars when I see a face like Frances McDormand, or Olivia Colman, or Annette Bening.

  23. Mel says:

    I have nothing against a little nip or tuck but fillers are no ones friend. People have their cheeks stuffed with it until they have cat cheeks and their lips look like pillows. When you no longer resemble a person but a balloon animal, you’ve gone too far.

  24. Juniper says:

    I think it’s a slam on Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling too. I follow Shannen on Instagram and noticed none of the pictures she posted during the reunion show included those two. With more and more coming out about how Jennie and Tori were rude to the other women, I’m wondering if all the Shannen stuff was exaggerated.

  25. The Recluse says:

    Thank goodness for those who haven’t done that or gone overboard: the afore-mentioned Angela Bassett, Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Rita Moreno….

  26. Beelzebubba says:

    Notice that she doesn’t mention breast implants. Maybe it’s because she had that sort of plastic surgery in the early 90’s.