A Star Is Born intermingled harsh realities with far-fetched fantasies so seamlessly that viewers were both transported and reminded of themselves – and Meryl Streep is no exception. At a fundraiser for Montclair Film, a film and arts organization in New Jersey, Streep returned to her home state and got real with Stephen Colbert about a moment in the film that resonated with her.
In the film, one of Lady Gaga’s character Allie’s biggest insecurities was her nose. She had been told that she didn’t have the right “look,” which is code for “doesn’t meet our hyper-specific beauty specifications.” Ally’s experience is one that Lady Gaga had herself, one of many Bradley Cooper incorporated into the fourth rendition of A Star Is Born. According to Glamour, before Gaga became the pop icon we know her as today, someone advised her to get a nose job and she rejected the idea.
The award-winning actress explained that her deep desire to understand people and master the craft are what lead her to her career, but she confessed that she never thought she would act anywhere but onstage. "There was no way I was gonna be a film actor, never... that wasn't even an option,” she said. "Because my nose was too big...I've just seen A Star is Born and I so related to that...it's so true."
Streep told Colbert that she avoids watching her early movies because it brings back memories of what she thought of herself back then. “I’ll come upon a movie I’m in, and I’m very young and very beautiful. But I was so unhappy. I thought my nose was too big, I thought I was fat. Because these are things that people tell you,” she said.
As body positive as pop culture is becoming, it comes as no surprise that it wasn’t always that way. It also hasn’t progressed as much as we might assume. Streep may have started her career decades ago, but Gaga really only became a household name 10 years ago. For every time we see hopeful glimpses of progress, we still see women held to unrealistic and narrow standards in order to be considered “beautiful.”