Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mocking Time

"We're not saying, 'Now you can walk', or 'Now you can breathe'."
"It's more like: 'Has this improved  your appearance in a way you wanted, or has it just changed your appearance in a way that you didn't really expect or want?' Change is not necessarily good."
"They have a very rejuvenated single feature, but they are still hunched over, they still have grey hair or brittle hair or all the other things associated with aging."
Dr. Tom Buonassisi, Vancouver specialist in face surgery

"There's a lot of unhappy clients out there."
"It's financially driven: It's a private, profitable area of surgery. You always want to be on the cutting edge of the industry, and I think that leads to, perhaps, trying out new techniques a bit more aggressively than in other surgical fields."
Jillian Evans, Toronto malpractice lawyer

"They thought they were going to look like Jennifer Aniston and they come out looking somewhat less than they hoped to achieve."
"If you're sold a Maserati, you expect to drive home a Maserati, and sometimes they come out with the Toyota."
Alan Rachlin, Toronto malpractice lawyer

"If you live in one of these rarified environments and you see celebrities all the time and the norm amongst all your friends is that they do look altered, maybe the esthetic standards do change. If .. all your friends have big lips, you start at some point to think 'That's great, that's what I want, too.'"
Dr. Nick Carr, Vancouver surgeon, vice-president, Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Shocking looks: Kim Novak, 81, has had a lot of plastic surgery in recent years
Shocking looks: Kim Novak, 81, has had a lot of plastic surgery in recent years

Dr. Carr has a simple bit of advice for his patients. They should exit cosmetic surgery in such a state that no one should be able to notice they had undergone surgery of any kind; the results of their surgery should look completely natural. Most people would do just about anything to avoid having surgery. Unless that is, it's cosmetic in nature, meant to restore what time and age has taken away from them; youth and the freshness that reflects from it.

We are vain enough and self-centred enough to want to be again as we once were. As though equating the vision of youth with the value of the self. As though the acquisition of experience and knowledge and affirmation of life values all rush away when the elderly -- or the uncool-mature -- regard themselves with horrified fascination in a mirror, unable to recognize themselves, lamenting all physical manifestation of maturity.

Determined to recapture the appearance of themselves at their dewy best, contemplating surgery seems like a sacrifice worth making. And that certainly would represent a compromising of mature values. But self-esteem and pride in oneself lodged in physical appearance seems to trump common sense and comfort in oneself in maturity. Pushing back time becomes the focus and it becomes a need; restoration of youth.

Trouble is, what we imagine in our mind's-eye is not necessarily what will result from cosmetic surgery. And, all too often a frozen, artificial appearance, with detectable signs of alterations serve to confirm to the onlooker that the person they are confronting has a shallow view of life and an inflated view of themselves as vivacious, young and attractive. Nothing much there to admire, or even to particularly like.

Screen star: A portrait of Kim Novak taken in the 50s
Screen star: A portrait of Kim Novak taken in the 50s

Not that cosmetic surgery approached by the young and the early-middle-aged to improve physical features is anything admirable, either. A very recent photograph of a 81-year-old Kim Novak, much admired in the 1950s as a young, attractive actress, certainly goes a long way to belying her true calendar age; a cursory glance convinces one she is in her mid-40s. Fuller-faced than she was at 20, and with a fuller figure by far, but youthful appearing.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImag

So, what has she gained? At 81 years of age it's confounding that a woman cannot be satisfied that she has looked after herself to the point where she remains attractive, mindful of her appearance, and with sufficient self-respect that her pride in self owes nothing to a surgeon's skill of deception-on-demand and at a significant price. But, to each their own.

As though to prove that, many women have become so disenchanted with the outcome of their personal surgeries they sue:
  • A Filipino-Canadian woman won $155,000 in damages for breast-augmentation surgery leaving her breasts "highly visibly asymmetrical", her nipples facing in different directions, suffering the loss of erotic sensitivity;
  • A woman in British Columbia unable to wrinkle the left side of her forehead, left with noticeably uneven eyebrows, after a brow lift;
  • An Ontario woman sued after another surgeon confirmed that an operation to augment her breasts had "deformed" them;
  • A woman from British Columbia sued over lip surgery that failed to alter her mouth downturn, leaving it so tight she found it difficult to "smile, talk and eat";
  • An exotic dancer from Toronto claiming disfiguring liposuction that ended her career.
In self defence surgeons claim many of their patients have impossible expectations, insisting that aggressive means be undertaken to achieve the look they wish to have, with doctors unable to convince them that outcomes cannot always be guaranteed. The aesthetic scale of success being a completely subjective one, the law of averages don't apply here. Women claim they want to look "fresh"; but rebirth is just not something surgeons can provide for them.

Outcomes fall short of high expectations. In no small part is cosmetic surgery marketing innocent in this. The enticing images that sell the product of a young, lithe body and a lovely fresh face prey unscrupulously -- for large profit margins and reputations gaining more cosmetic addicts --on women whose frailty is their self-absorbed failure to accept what they cannot and likely should not wish to change.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet