Why you should care
Because athletes aren’t the only performers doing whatever it takes to get ahead.
From Lance Armstrong to Jamaican sprinters to baseball’s latest black list, performance-enhancing drugs have re-entered the sporting media’s bloodstream with a vengeance in 2013. But while much was made about Armstrong’s confession to Oprah that he used PEDs during his cycling career, few have paid much attention to the substances that many other celebrities routinely use to help bolster their own performances and careers.
No one knows how to give their bodies, performances, and careers a boost better than entertainers.
For example, does anyone care that Simon Cowell puts ovine afterbirth on his face?
That’s right, the 54-year old television star uses sheep placenta facials to help delay aging and prolong his career. Suddenly Lance injecting himself with his own blood seems a little less creepy. And while we’re on that subject, here’s a question one never hears asked of Pope Francis: if one believes in transubstantiation, then isn’t the act of communion just a form of celestial blood doping? Something to think about.
But back to Cowell, who is in good company in Hollywood — at least when it comes to using performance-enhancing substances. The varied concoctions applied in that town are a veritable cocktail of competitive advantage: for skin-care alone they reportedly range from sturgeon eggs (Angelina Jolie) to nightingale feces (Victoria and David Beckham) to bee venom (Duchess Kate) to snake venom (Gwyneth Paltrow) to leeches (Demi Moore) to the androstenedione of the acting world, Botox (which Kelly Ripa even applies to her armpits). Then you add in plastic surgery and all of the nose jobs, liposuction, butt augmentations, chin reductions and breast enhancements — and that’s just Heidi Montag.
Is it time we asked the cast of Desperate Housewives to appear before a special session of Congress?
It’s clear that no one knows how to give their bodies, performances, and careers a boost better than entertainers. Yet, unlike with athletes, we don’t seem to mind juiced stars so much. But does the botox-infused, surgery-enhanced celebrity really set that much better of an example for our children than the PED-fueled professional athlete? While facelifts and feces may not improve one’s acting ability, if you look at the bigger picture — why athletes and entertainers opt for performance enhancers in the first place — the two groups are remarkably similar.
In baseball, for example, although the allegations against superstar sluggers like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire garner the headlines, steroids are most attractive to minor league ballplayers (especially prospects from more impoverished nations like the Dominican Republic) and aging veterans — namely, those most eager to break into the professional ranks or to stay there.
Hollywood, too, is rife with such strivers willing to do almost anything to catch their big break or to cling to that last minute of fame. And, in some cases it works: just consider Bruce and Kris Jenner and their age-defying quest to keep up with the Kardashians (and keep their own careers going and paychecks coming).
So is it time we asked the cast of Desperate Housewives to appear before a special session of Congress? Should Simon Cowell sit down with Oprah? After all, if Roger Clemens had used sheep placentas, it wouldn’t have taken a scalpel to raise the eyebrows of most sportswriters.