Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Plastic's fantastic! Billy's right about nip 'n' tucks

Easygoing guy: Billy and wife Pamela

He's known as a no-nonsense, down to earth Glasgow man, so you might think Billy Connolly would be pretty scathing about cosmetic surgery.

After all, as 'naturally beautiful' actresses and tough-talking female columnists often tell us, the practice is reserved for vain, shallow women with low self-esteem who live in a cocoon of delusion and denial.

Exactly the kind of people you'd imagine working-class Billy, married to talented, smart comedienne-turned-psychologist Pamela Stephenson, would scoff at. Not a bit of it.

Billy can't see anything wrong with cosmetic surgery at all, saying airily this week that women should be free to do what they like. "I'm all for it," he said. "Get another nose!" No doubt some will roll their eyes and say this is what comes of living in LA. But I find myself heartened by Billy's casual, non-judgmental acceptance of other people's decisions and insecurities. We now live in a time when every tiny thing we say and do is held up to scrutiny and commented upon - usually cattily - on social media. Every sentence uttered, every hat set at a jaunty angle, every chubby ankle exposed by a celebrity in a weak moment is turned into a mocking headline (this week: 'Tieless Paxman sparks complaints!', Anne Hathaway caught in 'dreadful mom jeans!').

Connolly's relaxed attitude suddenly sounds like more than a statement of friendly, sensible tolerance towards those who see and feel the world differently from himself.

These days live and let live is a battle cry. I'm right behind you, Billy.

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