When Will Everyone Stop Talking About Courteney Cox’s Face?

The Friends star has been criticised for having surgery and looking bored during interviews all within the space of a week.

Courteney Cox

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott |
Updated on

Courteney Cox can’t seem to do anything right at the moment. Last week when she made an appearance on the Graham Norton show to promote her new film Scream, the tabloids claimed she looked ‘disassociated’ and the internet readily agreed.

‘Anyone else think Courtney Cox looks really fed up?’ asked one Twitter user. ‘Courteney Cox looks bored. Such a shame,’ added another. ‘She wants to be somewhere else,’ echoed a third. And, just days later, she was accused of looking similarly ‘unimpressed’ on the John Bishop Show.

This onslaught of comments clearly plays into the gendered trope of ‘resting bitch face’ and the tendency to tell women to ‘cheer up’. And the barrage of criticism that Cox looked bored quickly turned into an opportunity for people to make observations about the actress’ age and appearance.

When the tabloids called Cox stony-faced in follow up coverage of her Scream interviews days later, readers online explained: ‘She can’t move her face after all the plastic surgery. #botox’.

Soon, Google searches for ‘Courteney Cox without makeup’ began to climb. Everyone wanted to know what her face ‘really’ looked like without products or tweakments. Comments began to appear that she ‘used to be so pretty’—a savage and thoughtless remark whether someone has had surgery or not (filler doesn’t give you an ego of steel).

Cox has been open and honest about the procedures she’s had done to her face. ‘What would end up happening is that you go to a doctor who would say “You look great, but what would help is a little injection here of filler there,”’she told New Beauty{ =nofollow}. ‘Before you know it, you’re layered and layered.’

But Cox is in an industry that bases value on youth and ignoring the instinct to strive for smooth skin and plump cheeks forever is evidently extremely hard. ‘Getting older is just hard in general,’ she explained. ‘I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life…But Hollywood – this business – makes it harder.

‘I grew up thinking that appearance was the most important thing,’ she added. ‘That’s kind of sad because it got me in trouble. I was trying so hard to keep up and I actually made things worse.’

While Cox's ridicule for having surgery is problematic and wrong, the perpetuated narrative that she’s either miserable during interviews or her face is frozen from surgery is similarly ridiculous and insulting. No woman owes the world a beaming smile every minute of every day. Passive facial expressions are normal and don’t necessarily indicate someone’s internal mood.

From a cursory glance at Cox’s interview you can see that she’s engaged, polite, often smiling (although she doesn’t have to) and joking with the Graham Norton about putting a raw turkey on her head at thanksgiving to re-create that scene from Friends.

But really it wouldn’t matter how Cox behaved because female celebrities have very little control over how they’re perceived. If they’re not smiling, they’re ‘bored’ and ‘bitter’. If they’re stood near a man, they’re ‘loved up’ or ‘smitten’. Clearly, we need to stop taking women’s moods (literally) at face value and listen to the words and stories they’re telling in their interviews instead.

READ MORE: Why Do We Only Ever Criticise Women For Looking 'Bored'?

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