Celebs & Money: Jennifer Aniston's $56,792 haircut

In the heyday of Friends, Jennifer Aniston's hair-do was all anyone talked about. It was all about layers, and she had a lot of them. I wasn't immune: I brought the photo into my hair cutter and asked for "The Rachel." She wasn't quite so skilled, and I ended up looking more like Florence Henderson, a la Brady Bunch. I was totally laughed at in school, and rightly so. That's what I got for trying to copy a star.

That was a long time ago, and Jennifer's hair hasn't changed much in the interim. So why is her head back in the news again? This time its because the Daily Mail revealed she recently spent £40,000 (about $56,792 at current conversion rates) on styling for the London Marley & Me premiere.
These days, Aniston's blowout and ironed locks are something your average British stylist has mastered. Yet the star insisted on having her hairdresser, Chris McMillan, fly first class to the London premiere and accompany her all week. With the costs of top hotels, his daily fee for master tress-treasing, and another private jet flight with her for the Paris premiere, the bills kept on racking up.

Having worked for years in film, I constantly dealt with unreasonable demands. An A-list actress once wanted $10,000 for makeup for a premiere, when the total PR budget was $25,000. This was an indie film, and when it comes to indie, actors are more likely to back down and negotiate for the sake of promoting the film, especially if it's something they believe in. She caved and did her own makeup.

Now granted, to date, Marley & Me has brought in $166,449,430 worldwide. It's a box office success. Fox is thanking its lucky stars it has a hit, and would not blink an eye at a $56,792 hair bill. Movie companies know they have to appease A-list talent, because ultimately they bring in the money. If they ask Aniston to explain her receipts, they know they're not going to get her to sign on so easily to their next picture.

But symbolically it's deplorable. This is a recession, and Aniston has no right spending tens of thousands of dollars for a week of hairstyles when our country is hungry and unemployed. Even the moguls like Steven Spielberg and Sumner Redstone are fighting to stay in the black. It's wrong to keep living as if nothing were going on. Perhaps she needs to start balancing out her karma points with some public service work. And next time Jen, seriously, just pack a flatiron.

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