Whenever I hear that a famous starlet or model has an addiction to cocaine, their nose, their actual, literal apparatus of snorting, becomes a point of fascination for me. Famous cocaine darlings like Kate Moss or Lindsay Lohan come immediately to mind. Who can forget 2005, when Kate Moss, perched on a leather sofa at wan-faced Doherty’s music studio, cut and snorted line after line of cocaine. Nevermind the disorienting fact that she sat on a couch wearing shorts so skimpy, she looked like she was pantless or as they say in England, “in her knickers”. It’s frankly remarkable how much blow her nose vacuumed up. Or is it?
If you do a Google image search of just “Kate Moss Nose” you’ll be treated to some real close ups of her schnozz. Her nose ceases to look like a fastidiously sculptured aspect of her face, but more like a flappy tent at a budget circus. It’s clearly suffering the wear and tear from snorting happy powder up her nasal cavity to her brain, which makes it even more intriguing. Her face, which once seemed like a finely chiseled mask created by an obsessive artist, now seems like a remarkable example of the power of Photoshop and the good graces of touch ups.
Let’s look at a younger hellion, such as Lindsay Lohan, self-admitted cocaine user. If you google “Lindsay Lohan Nose” you’ll not only find close ups of her face and the designated snorting apparatus, but numerous paparazzi shots that have circled one of her nostrils in post, highlighting telltale remnants of her last sniff. According to the thorough research of Google images, her nose is still in pretty good shape; tight, bouncy, and full of springy collagen. It’s much like the Roman Empire, pre-1453, and we can all be spectators of its inevitable decline.
While it’s possible she’ll pull a Robert Downey Jr. and beat addiction, it’s unlikely. Hollywood is a place which grants forgiveness and values redemption; however, it doesn’t seem to extend these graces as often to the ladies of the land. Once a woman had destroyed her pretty face, Hollywood prefers to shake its head and use her personal tragedy as a warning tale to young actresses and another yarn to add to their collection of sad fairy tales.
It’s a fact that cocaine use can erode the upper nasal cavity, a fact which makes it remarkable that these likely vain women would choose to slowly chip away at such a primal feature of their faces. The usage of cocaine by Moss, Lohan and a legion of more discreet starlets is evocative of the absurdism present in the famous short story The Nose by Nikolai Gogol. Just as the main character’s nose has abruptly gone missing, we can play audience members to these women as they slowly destroy their own central features.