By Drew Mackie
The latest word in celebrity cattiness has come from the well-lipsticked mouth of "Dynasty" star Joan Collins, who proclaimed to British gossip mag Hello! that Angelina Jolie is the only truly beautiful actress working today, while poor little Jennifer Aniston is just "cute." And even though Collins weighing in on the Jolie-Aniston war about five years after the fact is sort of like an old person at the bus stop accosting you and excitedly asking if you've heard about this new thing called the Internet, the blogs are nonetheless reacting to Collins's slight against Aniston and every other celeb with two X chromosomes. Questions to consider: Is Collins right? How exactly is she differentiating between "beautiful" and "cute"? And does Collins realize that she and Jolie kind of look like each other?
Probably because we now no longer fear the 77-year-old Collins in a slap fight, many bloggers have disagreed with her assertion to Hello! that "there aren't that many good-looking actresses around today. I mean, there's Angelina Jolie and there's … Angelina Jolie. … Jennifer Aniston is cute, but I wouldn't call her beautiful." It's entirely possible that Collins has been too busy rolling in her fur coat pile to notice actresses such as the swan-like Keira Knightley, the coolly seductive Halle Berry, the retro-curvy Scarlett Johansson, the bombshell Beyonce or the second coming of Audrey Hepburn that is Natalie Portman. To us, they certainly seem more beautiful than cute -- and, as Celebrity Health & Fitness points out, "At least cute never goes out of style."
RELATED: See our Style Profile of Angelina
It's actually an interesting distinction that Collins makes between "cute" and "beautiful" in the context of two grown women. Where does one draw the line? Is it that cuteness is physical beauty without the sexual attraction? Like, does Collins want to freak Angelina Jolie but would rather dress Jennifer Aniston in doll clothes? MetrowNY posits that Collins is wrongheaded in her use of labels, noting, "Have you ever seen her in 'Office Space' wearing just a T-shirt? Please, Aniston is way more than just cute; she is beautiful." And the Village Voice's Michael Musto goes so far as to say that such a classification is a relic of a bygone Hollywood era in which women weren't much more than their looks. He writes, "Joan, back in your day, women were often used as props, attractive visions to brighten up the otherwise uninspired landscape of rather flat films. That still happens today, of course, but there's also been more of a move towards women who can really act, not just pose around looking slinky." It's a valid point.
And then there's the overdressed, white wine-swilling elephant in the room: Joan Collins is aware that Angelina kind of looks like herself, right? I mean, she can't be so blinded by her own vanity that she doesn't realize her praise of Jolie really just reflects back on herself? While they're not exact doubles to any extent, Joan Collins in her heyday radiates the same sort of beauty that Angelina does today: sultry, slightly imposing, defined features framed by dark hair and even darker eyes. Check the side-by-sides in our gallery to the left and see for yourself. To us, there's definitely enough of a similarity that Collins' comment seems self-serving -- whether intentionally so or not.
Aniston, perhaps revealing her nature as a product of buddy-com "Friends" and not a snipe-fest like "Dynasty," has chosen not to respond to Collins' harsh words -- and wisely so, as E! columnist Ted Casablanca points out. In the end, Aniston will emerge no worse off for this verbal smackdown, which amounts to an Alexis Colby variation on the stereotypical "Things were better when I was young" rant. Yes, Joan Collins and associated other cranky old people: The girls were prettier, the music easier to listen to, and all these buildings used to be farmlands. Complain though you might, it won't ever be the way it once was. When it comes to the beauty of Hollywood's leading ladies, we're fine with their appearance. With all due respect to the stars of the past, our women embody what beauty is today.