Kelly Ripa has just come out and said it: "I get Botox injected right here, right into my forehead as much as possible!"
Her candor during a recent In Touch interview was refreshing, but the fact that she's filled with fillers wasn't surprising.
Kelly is a 41-year-old working mother of three who looks like she just returned from beach volleyball camp. "Good genes" is not really what's behind this ability to reverse nature. With a reported $20 million contract with ABC, keeping her promise to remain "perky and blond" means signs of aging are treated like infectious diseases.
And for women on TV, especially on the morning circuit, wrinkles and grays left untreated could kill their careers.
"I've decided not to buy into the idea that I want to stop aging," Ann Curry prophetically told Ladies Home Journal, in an interview she gave moments before she was replaced on The Today Show by a woman 15 years younger. "My wrinkles connect me to my family, to my ancestors and to my future. This is how my father looked when he was my age."
Lack of chemistry with Matt Lauer (more evident during their icy reunion at the Olympics on Thursday) and her cerebral delivery better suited for evening news, was the ostensible reason for her departure. But then there's this: "I've got gray hair because I won't dye it."
Fellow former couch colleague Meredith Vieira had gone gray too, but she got the requisite youthful color makeover when she started as host of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
When she landed that job, Vieira claims she was told: "We don't want you coming in with gray hair, we want you to look polished and color your hair." So she did. By the time she was hosting The Today Show she was neck deep in hair dye. "I want to think that if I weren't doing these two jobs I'd let it grow out, because it's a pain in the neck," she confessed in an interview with Ladies Home Journal before she handed her couch seat to Curry. Vieira also felt subtle pressure on the job to get cosmetic surgery, which she ultimately avoided.
Meanwhile, Today Show's fourth hour co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb do it all, and on camera. Earlier this year they got Botox, eyebrow lifts, and a slew of other medical treatments all on an episode of the show. For them, unlike Katie Couric who long evaded the question of her personal anti-aging regimen, transparency is in. It's okay for women on TV admit to hair color and Botox as long as they're getting it done.
The opposite is true for men. Anderson Cooper's premature graying gave him gravitas as a young reporter. And Matt Lauer's receding salt and pepper buzz-cut partnered with his crows feet helps to enhance his anchor credibility. But as his age continues to show, Lauer's couch-mates get markedly younger, blonder and 'perkier' (a favored descriptor of women on morning shows).
For now Curry's replacement, 40-year-old Savannah Guthrie, is keeping her beauty secrets to herself. But there's no hiding TV's dirty little secret.
When male anchors show their age, they get a younger female co-host. When female anchors show their age, they get replaced.
More women in their 20's get Botox. Too early?