2021年12月16日 星期四

The Art of Botox 肉毒桿菌素的藝術

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2021/12/17 第363期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 The Art of Botox 肉毒桿菌素的藝術
Holmes's Fall Converted Media Into Tech Skeptics 霍姆斯案讓媒體不再一味吹捧矽谷
The Art of Botox 肉毒桿菌素的藝術
文/Amanda Hess


Last spring, Botox rolled out a series of ads directed by filmmaker Errol Morris. Styled like very short documentary films, the ads featured Botox users — a widower, a single mother, a drag performer — telling touching, sad, ultimately redemptive anecdotes. In 2019, a typical Botox commercial pitched the product as a girlboss tonic that could infuse fantasy women with pluck as they slunk from boardroom to bar stool. Now it was being recast as a kind of truth serum, a tool of deep personal introspection. The mother gazed upon nostalgic photographs. The widower recalled his husband's eyes and wept. Though the subjects did not mention Botox, the camera regarded their restful foreheads with sympathy and implied that the procedure had a profound therapeutic effect. The tagline was: "Still you."


Botulinum toxin is a poison that by some macabre coincidence both causes botulism and cures wrinkles. When injected at low doses into a crinkled forehead, it blocks nerve signals to muscles and smooths the skin atop them. Though there are several competing brands, Botox is the Kleenex of the category. It presents the kind of bargain one might strike with a nefarious sea witch: She will grant you eternal youth, but at the price of being able to move your face.


There was a moment when this trend was seen as a bad thing — for acting, for society, and especially, for women. A Botoxed face used to strike viewers as an uncanny spectacle, but uncanny spectacles fuel reality television and internet culture, and thanks to those ascendant forms, Botox has accumulated a gloss of campy pageantry, helping disarm cultural fears around its use.


Botox once suggested vanity, delusion and self-consciousness, but now it has fresh associations: with confidence, resilience, even authenticity, as the idea of "having work done" has come to be seen as a legitimate form of work.


It strikes me that wrinkles on women are not only stigmatized because they make them seem old but because they make them look angry, sad, surprised, distressed — they make them look alive. Even as Botox has become a way station for women at risk of being catapulted from Hollywood, it presents as a vivid reminder of what has been lost. Female movie stars are no longer buried after a certain age; instead they are embalmed. The new Botox tagline is "Still you," but it could be "Still here."


Holmes's Fall Converted Media Into Tech Skeptics 霍姆斯案讓媒體不再一味吹捧矽谷
文/Erin Griffith and Erin Woo


At the height of her acclaim in 2015, Elizabeth Holmes, the entrepreneur who founded the blood testing startup Theranos, was named Glamour's "Woman of the Year." Time put her on its list of 100 luminaries. And she graced the covers of Fortune, Forbes, Inc. and T Magazine.


Theranos collapsed in scandal three years later, failing in its mission to revolutionize the health care industry. But it did change the world in another way: It helped sour the media on Silicon Valley.


That point was brought home when Roger Parloff, a journalist who penned the Fortune cover story on Holmes and Theranos in 2014, testified in a federal courtroom in San Jose, California, where Holmes is on trial for 12 counts of fraud. Parloff said Holmes had made misrepresentations to him, including the volume and types of tests that Theranos could do, as well as its work with the military and pharmaceutical companies.


The discovery that Holmes, the tech industry's most celebrated female entrepreneur, was misdirecting the world about her company marked a turning point in the tech press, ending a decadelong run of largely positive coverage. Reporters cringed over glowing articles they had written about tech companies that turned out to have stretched the truth, glossed over the negative consequences of their products or generally abused the trust they had enjoyed with the public.


"Holmes just becomes this fable of 'You can't just buy what they're selling,' " said Margaret O'Mara, a professor at the University of Washington and a historian of Silicon Valley. " 'This was not what it purported to be, and we fell for it.' "


After The Wall Street Journal published exposés in 2015 and 2016 showing that Theranos was not what it appeared to be, coverage of tech companies generally became more probing.


Reporters dug into Facebook's role in the 2016 presidential election, as well as scandals at Uber and a series of #MeToo accusations and labor uprisings at tech companies. The shift happened alongside the realization that the tech industry was no longer the niche realm of idealist computer geeks. It had become the dominant force in the global economy and needed to be held more to account.




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