It's 2009, and race still matters. Especially if you're in front of the cameras and realize that in these enlightened times audiences like racial diversity as long as, you know, everyone looks sort of white.
Here are five celebrities who found fame and fortune thanks largely to an extensive ethnic makeover.
Cindy Margolis was born a gorgeous, brunette, Jewish girl. She continued being all three of those things in the 80s, when she was making okay money as a model. Her biggest credit was "Ribcage Girl" in a video called Shape up for Sensational Sex.
She needed to take that next step to stardom, and she knew that here in America we like a certain type of girl.
This type. This is the type.
A. Nose job. She had them thin the bridge of the nose. Now it makes us sound like dicks to say she did it to make herself look "less Jewish" but the truth is, the procedure is depressingly very common for that exact reason. The first nose job ever performed was on a Jewish patient, in an era when it wasn't done out of vanity, but because of the terrible things that tended to happen to Jews in those days. So our society has advanced, but only to the point that you still have to do the procedure if you want to sell a certain number of bikini posters.
B. Cheek implants. Fuller, higher cheeks give her a more "All-American" or Midwestern look.
C. Eye lift. Notice the complete re-sculpting of the area around her "ethnically" bushy eyebrows.
Umm, how about this for starters:
After making the change to wholesome blonde, Margolis's bikini pics became a sensation in 1995, on some newfangled device called "the World Wide Web." She soon became a modeling phenomenon, advertised as "The Sexiest Woman Online."
However, this life of extreme fame and fortune, just for laying around, is eclipsed by her greatest achievement: Her own reality show where douchebags line up to win her affections.
So surgery or not, that appears to be the ceiling for Cindy.
4Jackie Chan and Lindsay Price
Jackie Chan has been doing action movies since before a lot of you were born; doing stunt work in the early 70s for action movies in Hong Kong, then becoming an international movie star in the late 70s and early 80s. He spent the next 30 years beating the shit out of hapless opponents in hilarious ways.
Lindsay Price, meanwhile, saw her career sputter after her role as Janet on 90210 was through. Her roles were limited to guest parts and horrible, tanking TV shows. Of course, tough times can usually be expected from someone whose mom and dad are adopted siblings.
A. Both Lindsay--whose father was Korean--and Jackie had blepharoplasty, more commonly known as an eyelid tuck. This is a hugely popular surgery among Asians, where the eyelids are given an extra forced fold to appear more open and "Western." Jackie Chan supposedly had his done back in 1976, knowing that being a movie star meant getting a foot in the door in Hollywood, where the attitude was that stars of kung fu movies should look Asian, but not that Asian.
B. Lindsay also had a chin implant, which gives the jaw a rounder, more Caucasian look. Interestingly, these implants are traditionally done with silicone, which explains the common desire to motorboat Lindsay's chin.
Lindsay Price's IMDB page says it all. Notice the distinctly Asian names of characters she plays until 2007:
Kimmy Kim, Dr. Honda, Michael Lai, the list goes on.
Then, in 2007, the character names distinctly change:
Joanna Frankel, Nikki Wickersham and the "big" role that's kept her paid: Victory Ford in Lipstick Jungle.
What's most intriguing is Lindsay's chameleon-like ability to flip on command:
Maybe we should just shut up about Ms. Price and her aggressive mutant powers.