What a way to make a living

The ladies of "9 to 5" hold forth on the evils -- yes, evils! -- of plastic surgery.

Published April 3, 2006 7:28PM (EDT)

Boy, do I love "9 to 5." I own the 1980 film, know the words to the Dolly Parton song, and am fascinated by the movie's stars, including Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. (I have a thing for Dabney Coleman too, but he hasn't joined his costars on their current tour to hype the release of the "9 to 5" DVD.)

Apparently, Parton, Fonda and Tomlin have stayed close lo these 26 years, and I had a hunch that it was going to be fun when all three showed up on Friday's "Today" show to chat with slightly animatronic entertainment reporter Jill Rappaport. The interview was pretty rote: How much do secretaries love the scene where Fonda loses control of the Xerox machine? Will there be a sequel?

Then it took a turn for the sublimely ridiculous. Rappaport announced that these "showbiz legends are willing to open up about one of Hollywood's most taboo subjects: Jane Fonda is speaking out against plastic surgery."


Now, I love me some Jane Fonda, and am aware that historically, she has had some trouble with consistency between message and action. In her autobiography, she admitted that she has not always lived by her own advice. (Like telling women to embrace their bodies while she ignited a national obsession with working out. Or promoting female empowerment while she married a series of controlling jerks.) She also wrote about regretting her own breast augmentation and having her implants removed. But in this context, "speaking out against plastic surgery" seemed more than a little improbable.

Why? Oh, because while I don't know what, if any, work she's had done on her face, it certainly looked as if Fonda's cheekbones were trying to escape their casing and possibly merge with her brow bone. And because she was sharing a couch with Dolly Parton -- or a reasonable facsimile thereof -- a woman who is fond of such aphorisms as "Honey, if it's saggin', baggin', or draggin', I'm gonna have it nipped, tucked, or sucked!"

But Fonda persevered. "I just came back from Scandinavia and France," she said. "And they still have their faces there, you know what I mean? I just thought: Man, somebody's gotta give a face to old age!"

Solemn pause.

"Well, it ain't gonna be me!" shrieked Parton.

Somebody give these women a blog.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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