Cameron Diaz is beautiful, right? After all, the green-eyed blonde has been a regular on People magazine’s list of the most beautiful people in the world.
However, the magazine’s editors-and most of the Western world-do not have a high-definition TV. If they did, they would see that Diaz’s face is spotted with small pockmarks, the unfortunate consequence of a longtime acne problem….
When seen on film, Diaz’s skin imperfections are not noticeable, thanks to Hollywood’s talented makeup artists. However, with HDTV, the picture is so precise that the acne damage cannot be hidden. In a high-def broadcast of Charlie’s Angels on HBO, Diaz looks like a different person. She’s still very pretty. But to be very frank, I doubt that she would make People’s most beautiful list.
I am writing this not to discount the considerable charms of Cameron Diaz. But the story illustrates the impact that HDTV is having on the Hollywood glamour machine. As stars run for cover-literally-the industry is searching for new makeup techniques that will combat the evils of digital television. With high-def now in fewer than 6 million homes, the problem is under control. But if new solutions aren’t found-and millions more get HDTV, as expected-the technology could change our perception of who’s beautiful and who’s not.
: UPDATE: Ken Layne adds:
I’ve seen the HDTV screens in various sizes, and I have to agree it makes even an attractive person look like a grotesque, makeup-crusted whore on the wrong side of 50. Nobody needs to see anybody that goddamned close up in such perfect detail. I can be nose to nose with a living human and it will never compare to the horror of a three-foot-tall pixel-perfect Mike Wallace face.