Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.
There’s a lot of talk about loving what you are born with when it comes to your physical appearance, but in my line of work, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
You see, they are grooming me to be a performer—that means I know how to act, sing, and dance. I have been doing a few singing gigs lately and was even able to bag a couple of low-key advertising projects. But my management is still not happy, they say that in order for me to bag bigger roles, bigger projects, and bigger shows, I have to tweak something—and that’s my nose.
They say it doesn’t register well on-camera and that after a few sessions with a plastic surgeon, I can look the best that I can possibly be. I am not ready for this or perhaps, I am torn. Should I really do this so that my career would finally take off? Or should I stand my ground and keep what I have?
I need your help, Poppy. I’m really not sure if I should pursue it!
Holy sh*t, Irina.
That’s unREAL. First off, um, how dare they? But also: why the f*ck not? It’s binary—ones and zeros, it’s either you do it or you’re not. Then again, I’m not surprised that they want to Belo you up for the camera. You probablY KNEW this from the very start, the way you know the imperfections on your face. Going inside the world of being on-cam is something similar to how Dante described the eighth circle of hell (known as Malebolge, or that word that made your male classmates giggle).
You smear an inch of fraud cream on top of all that thick layer of makeup before you wash it all away after a hard day’s work.
Are you watching unREAL, Irina? It’s the only thing that I can digest right now because it’s hilarious, sad, and scarily feminist. The show’s co-creator Marti Noxon sat down with a bunch of important TV people for The Hollywood Reporter, she described the show as something that “is about women who are not necessarily likable, doing a job that is despicable, and we are not going to be afraid of that.” The show is built upon a fake The Bachelor-type of reality show and the cunning, conniving people that create the illusion of real love on television. It won a Peabody last year. It’s terrific and it’s exactly what Lifetime network needed to keep up with Peak TV.
If you’re not aware of it, Peak TV is all around you, honey. Catapulted by the cable geniuses from HBO and pushed further by online giants like Netflix and Amazon, Peak TV is upon us. You have your Game of Thrones, your Transparent, the Black-ish, Mr. Robots, House of Cards, and Breaking Bad. Now, Lifetime is like the tita channel. They make TV movies with scandalous loglines, but are really squeaky clean PG fluff. Recently, they jumped in on the Peak TV bandwagon by creating scandalous unauthorized biopics that are nothing but clickbaits. But then they came up with unREAL, a serialized show about women in power.
Sarah Shapiro, the other creator of the show knew this from the get-go after years of working on The Bachelor, as in the actual thing. A note in her pitch read: “When women set out to hurt each other, they usually wind up hurting themselves.” This is why The New Yorker calls Shapiro a “savagely clever feminist.”
In a way, Lifetime’s pairing of Shapiro (a newbie showrunner) and Noxon (helped with unpopular shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mad Men) resulted in a balance. The fresh combined with the seasoned. The show is subversive, like how the first shot is of Shiri Appleby lying on a limo, wearing a t-shirt that said “This is what a feminist looks like.” It’s endlessly watchable as it manipulates the viewers and tickles our voyeuristic tendencies.
Lifetime took a risk and made something that earned them a Peabody. They embraced change just like Shiri Appleby took on this role to rid herself of Roswell. She’s now directing an episode of unREAL. Irina, it takes a lot of time and patience and courage to rank up. Often, you’d have to do things that may place you outside of your element.
All I’m saying is that there’s no easy way up. You can take the free nose job and be more camera-ready, or you can put your foot down and tell them that maybe they could just layer the footage with a Snapchat-esque filter to make your nose look better. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to get a really good make-up artist to contour your nose a little better? I worked and recently got off from countless nights on set and I have witnessed and objected to our make-up artist’s insistence to paint my face or do my hair whenever we’re on a downtime. She’s really persistent so I’ve mostly been watching her make chika and do make up on anyone who’s willing. So yeah, she can probably make your nose look better because I’ve seen her fix way more shit.
I’m hella familiar with the superficiality of everything. Like how you have to put on a mask in order to make things work. Like, you don’t know me. How can you be so sure that I’m an anatomically correct female, or that Poppy is my real name? We do these things because we want to make our lives just a bit better.
Now, should you get a nose job? If I were in your position, I’d probably go for it. Because I’m all about the fame and glory, ‘ya dig? It’s true though. But that’s just how I operate. Again, binary. Ones and zeros. You’re either in or out. If you’re in, then make sure your new nose is going to be fantastic. Not really into it, then deal with the consequences. I mean, that’s how these companies operate. They’re big, but they want to grow more. It should be aspirational, but I see it as shallow.
Truth or dare: are you on fire? If so, how do you know? If not, do you burn to be? Irina, if you do go under the knife, you know naman that you’re still you no matter what.
Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to email@example.com or post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Dorothy Guya