Some people seem to get better looking with age. I have an acquaintance who looks decades younger than her 50-something: the smooth forehead, taught eyelids and that pout. But behind the glossy facades, there is beauty advice that makes me see red. At what point do you tell a friend to stop “fixing” and try to get used to the idea of getting older?
Even as my acquaintance’s face started reminding me of the late pop icon Michael Jackson. She has the same peculiarly small, perfectly sculptured nose. We all find it easier to say nothing and keep the peace. But when she told me her surgeon (she has a surgeon like some people have a cleaner) had encouraged her to have yet another operation, I spoke up.
Surgery on the Jawline – for a Fee…
My friend at the time pointed at an almost invisible bump near her chin and said. “He said my jawline is not completely even and that he could remove this bump to make it look perfect.”
I’m not sure anyone other than she herself and the surgeon had ever noticed the bump. And it seemed to me the only person who would benefit from the operation would be the surgeon.
My friend was obsessed with looking pretty and young. And in my view he was exploiting that for his own financial gain.
As a former beauty student myself in the 1980s at a top beauty college in London’s Mayfair, I and my fellow students were taught how to help people look their best and the word surgery was never mentioned.
Not once in four months of study did our tutors discuss syringes or scalpels.
Beauty was achieved by using cremes, massages, staying hydrated and eating healthily. Rule number one was to cleanse one’s face thoroughly before going to bed.
Today that sounds old-fashioned and naive, but it’s still the best way to look good and young for longer. Something has gone awfully wrong in the beauty industry in the last three decades.
So what has changed, and why? What makes even attractive people gamble with their looks, their health and even their finances in a vain bid to halt the ageing process?
What is it that makes perfectly healthy people lie down, go to sleep, let someone take a knife to their face and wake up bandadged, hoping for the best?
Many people do it every day and go back for even more operations which makes the plastic surgery industry so lucrative. They must be happy with the result. But are they, though?
Linda Evangelista – plastic surgery lesson #1
One of the biggest mysteries atm is why 90s supermodel Linda Evangelista panicked and went for a CoolSculpting “procedure” and ended up looking…well, not bad for a woman in her 50s.
But she now feels “brutally disfigured”. She has told her story to People magazine in a piece titled “My Cosmetic Procedure Nightmare”. In that piece she says her CoolSculpting operation failed to help her slim and instead made her look bigger.
But you might ask, perhaps unkindly given her torment: What on earth was she thinking?
Beauty advice that makes me see Red – Taking Responsibilty
There are probably many different answers to why women subject themselves to surgery with all the risks to physical and mental health it carries.
In the case of Linda Evangelista, even though she did speak to People magazine, we may have to wait for her memoirs before we hear exactly why she took such a gamble with her looks. Surely there’s a book in this or a film even.
As for my friend, it was fear of not looking cute and attractive and of loosing the power good looks can provide.
But to me it seemed that her surgeon exploited her insecurities for his own financial gain. He gave her beauty advice that makes me see red.
Perhaps we women should also take some responsibility for this youth craze and obsession with perfection.
Magazines and TV commercial, not to mention online, are full of seductive ads promising ‘tratment’ and ‘discretion’ in luxurious surroundings.
No matter how much money we throw at the “problem” – time is something nobody can stop.
We should be grateful for the opportunity to grow old and find a way to look our best and healthiest with each advancing year.