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Sunday, October 11, 2009

What a couple years of partying can do

(Above, Mischa Barton a couple years ago. On right, a picture taken earlier this year, at age 23. )

I am not sure which substances Barton has abused, nor in how much quantity, but she has always been an actress with one of those reputations. Whatever she has done has certainly taken its toll: she once looked like an angel, but now, though the beauty is still evident, she looks more like a vampire.

Barton's "before" picture brings to mind Tolstoy's dictum about how complete the illusion that beauty is goodness. (Note the soulful eyes.) In fact beauty can also convey a (mis)impression of brains: Barton even looks luminously wise. (How could those even features and that gentle but steady gaze hide an IQ of less than 150?) She looks as if she is considering you as a friend, someone she might do a favor for. (Yet another illusion imparted by beauty.)

In the "after" shot, her eyes look dull and lifeless, as if her very soul has been sucked right out of her. Her primary concern appears to be which part of your neck to sink her fangs into.

It's tragic whenever anyone self-destructs. It only seems worse when a great beauty does it.

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