The switch to High-Def is creating a Hollywood arms race, with plastic surgeons and make-up artists working feverishly to upgrade their arsenals:
The high-def format’s merciless gaze isn’t solely a matter of screen resolution. Color is a factor, too. For years, government standards have limited the range of colors available to broadcasters, based on the technological limits of the time. With high-def, more colors can be used, including some formerly forbidden shades of red — which means that blotches, zits and tiny nose-veins can be presented with the brutal clarity of a surgery textbook.
This will probably put an ever-higher premium on genuinely natural beauty — those lucky few people who require virtually no touch-up. Indeed, high-def fans say that some stars look better in the new medium: Anna Kournikova, George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones glow like supernovas, and, Vogel says, ”in high-def, Halle Berry’s skin is so beautiful and flawless, she’s almost a genetic freak.”