If you ever needed an example of Hollywood going too far with its obsession with perfection, Julia Roberts recently revealed that a director once asked her to have her ‘dirty’ freckles removed! She declined obviously, by how many young and impressionable actresses would do as asked?

Julia Roberts

The Oscar-winning actress, 46, was once advised to have her natural facial markings removed ahead of a potential film role. “One director wanted me to have two freckles taken off because he said it made my face look dirty,” she said.

The presence of two freckles is a deal breaker in Hollywood? Wow. While she declined to name the film which she was working on at the time, she certainly has strong opinions about the “cultural obsession” with surgical perfection. Namely that it shouldn’t even be an issue, because ageing is unrelated to acting.

“I don’t spend a lot of time in the mirror,” she said. “I’m pretty efficient in terms of looking at myself and, to be honest, I don’t think what you’re talking about is a business demand – it’s a cultural obsession. I definitely think some of my older female peer group are deeply beautiful women. They have this thing that radiates from them. It’s coming from this deep place of understanding who they are and what their purpose is. It creates a light.”

While it’s great that Julia doesn’t allow opinions about her physical appearance to bother or pressure her into obsessing over ageing, these days, younger and more impressionable actresses are likely to fall victim to attitudes similar to this elusive director.

I myself have an abundance of freckles, ones my mother told me were a sign of beauty which give my face character. It’s disheartening to discover that at least one Hollywood director disagrees entirely with my mother’s assessment, and would go as far as to pressure one of the world’s most beautiful women into removing hers entirely.

Still, you live and you learn. Roberts is currently starring alongside Meryl Streep, another lady who is ageing gracefully, in the forthcoming film August: Osage County. It’s due for release in UK cinemas 24 January 2014.

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