Heidi Montag has had been broadcast living her daily life on television for several years, photographed innumerable times by celebrity gossip rags, and mocked repeatedly for her attempt at pop music stardom. Now, some of her more extreme fameballing is garnering her comparisons to another famous person suspected of having a beard — Jesus Christ himself.
The Washington Post's Gayle Trotter argues that plastic surgery is the modern day equivalent of bodily mortification undergone by ascetics in the Middle Ages, or, for those more well versed in literature available in airports than the history of Christianity, that creepy albino guy from The DaVinci Code. The ascetics believed in "bodily moritifcation" in order to emulate Jesus's suffering before he was crucified. And Heidi Montag, most recently famous for receiving 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day and emerging looking like Bad Decision Barbie, is perhaps the most devout of the modern-day ascetics who worship at the altar of fame. Trotter writes,
While the ascetics held themselves up against the Suffering Servant, Montag measured herself against actresses like Angelina Jolie. Montag ached for commercial success much in the way ascetics ached for eternal perfection through suffering.
Just as ascetics worshiped God, so too do celebrities worship fame, which boils down to their ability to continually hold our attention. Trotter says that sellf-mutilation in the quest to achieve bodily perfection has become expected practice among the American fame class. With nearly unlimited resources at their disposal and an insatiable public's demands to be entertained, those who choose to be famous must prove their devotion to fame or risk falling out of favor with the general public.
Even so, Heidi Montag's suffering for the people who need her isn't exactly like the big JC's. Trotter makes sure to note that Montag's reward is finite, whereas Jesus and his cronies believed their reward to be infinite.
Countering those who would criticize her actions, Montag stated, "It's what's inside that God cares about." If, as Montag maintained, her body is "just a shell," then self-mutilation could make perfect sense as a good career move. As the ascetics endured bodily torment in search of reward in the eternal realm, Montag endured torturous elective surgery for reward in this life.
I'll believe that fame is as worthy of worship as other deities when the most devout celebrity bloggers begin spontaneously sprouting enormous round breasts like stigmata. But, in the meantime, blessed are those like Heidi Montag, who have not seen (that people no longer care), but still believe (that they're fabulous and talented).
Is Plastic Surgery Spiritual? [WaPo]
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