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Some Get No Satisfaction from Jagger Closeups in Scorsese Movie

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Message Martha Rosenberg
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Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese's concert documentary about the Rolling Stones doesn't answer the perpetual riddles that swirl about Mick Jagger. How an Englishman can have a US Southern accent. How the same songs, moves and even haircut can be cool for 40 years. How a 64-year-old stays 140 pounds. And of course where the lips come from.

But Shine, shot at New York's 2,800-seater Beacon Theater in October 2006 at a benefit for climate change honoring Bill Clinton's 60th birthday, does answer one question:

Jagger has not been abusing sun screen and moisturizer all these years.

His facial wrinkles suggest he may have even been Smoking Cigarettes!

In women's beauty circles they say after 40 you have to choose between your face and your rear end. If you want a plump and crease-free face you'll have to accept the same fate for other parts of your anatomy. Look at the faces of French women who "didn't get fat" if you want proof.

But here in the US where starlets start facial surgery in their thirties, we aren't used to looking at the true ravages--or should that be ravines--of time. Not in the age of Photoshop.

Sure Jamie Lee Curtis who had demoralized American women in Perfect, revealed her true body--"Squishy in the middle. Chunky in the thighs. Flabby in the back. Thick at the knees and ankles," critiqued the San Francisco Chronicle--in More magazine in 2002.

Jane Fonda allowed the movie-going public to see her aged face in the 2007 Georgia Rule.

And Gloria Steinem treated USA Today readers to a photo captioned, "This is what 70 looks like," in 2005.

Their cosmetic realpolitik probably didn't damage their careers.

But for a nation that considered Bette Davis a Whatever-Happened-to Baby-Jane troll at age 54, no one's opinion about aging was changed.

We'll allow the occasional artist or egghead to have a Georgia O'keeke or W.H. Auden wrinkled visage; but we want our aging rock stars to look like Madonna not Iggy Pop.

So, despite Jagger's hour and a half of nonstop dancing, singing and harmonica and guitar playing in Shine, his smoldering duets with Buddy Guy, Jack White III and Christina Aguilera (who looks zaftig by comparison), despite his unexpected covers of "As Tears Go By," "Girl With the Faraway Eyes" and "Just My Imagination," and peacock strut imitated by every musician and preacher since 1970, Jagger face doesn't pass US muster.

Why doesn't he submit to the pain, cost, risk, vanity, addiction and codependency of wrinkle injections like the rest of us ask commentators?

What does he think: we should judge him on what he does not how he looks?

Other men like Robert Redford, Bob Dylan and Jagger's own compatriot Keith Richards are seen to be in similar noncompliance to Wrinkle-Free Nation--though Richards' mug probably deserves its own article or research project.

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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