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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/14/09

Plastic Surgery for Dummies

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Whoever said beauty is in the eye of the beholder must not be aware that the beholder is some stalker on basically the media and the board of plastic of surgeons. They have taken our pocketbooks egos hostage. Magazines and the film industry and those who rule over our general vanity and stupidity the super market checkout counter, love to take every opportunity to remind us how we don't measure up to some idiotic and unrealistic standard of beauty that I'm not interested in maintaining. Wait until January when they exploit our guilt over holiday weight gain with New Year's resolutions and tell us how much we need to steal from ourselves we should look in 2010.

I couldn't help but wonder if art is imitating life or vice-versa as I stepped into the ladies room the other day and heard women already complaining about their looks even though lunch hadn't even been served yet. Nobody was that ugly or grotesque. Not even me.

In all its turmoil and precarious financial condition, America is still obsessed with "beauty" and people are still buying into it. Week after week, we watch the cosmetic industry churn out clones of Hollywood's image of perfection. Very little changes. The ideal continues to be a skinny, large-breasted, porcelain veneered, (preferably blond) girl who resembles Donald Trump's idea of what his next future ex-wife should look like. We of course, witness all this from the comfort of our living rooms or beds while wearing sweat pants without any stretch left in them eating Haagen Dazs ice cream straight from the container. Don't ask me how I know this for a fact. I do it all the time My friends tell me so.

It's not that I have anything against beauty, but the manufactured kind just creeps me out, it's just that everyone is starting to look the same to me. I don't recognize half my friends anymore because they have bought into this notion that "a little work" has nothing to do with gainful employment can't do any harm. Really? Can someone please explain to me how Lisa Kudrow breathes or Nicole Kidman still manages to smile? Is Meg Ryan secretly trying to look like Cesar Romero? Gah.

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How many cookie cutter noses, foreheads that don't move and inflated lips does it take to change a light bulb? It seems that tweaks, nips and tucks are as commonplace as going grocery shopping. I for one am terrified of breast implants that can be used as flotation devices in the event of a water landing. Mark my words. The results of these gruesome experiments that people insist on conducting with themselves are one day going to rear their ugly heads in eventual reality TV lawsuits that will play out on a local listing near you. Especially if naturally round women who age gracefully with wrinkles of wisdom just like myself suddenly become stylish and "beautiful" once again. I'm hoping it will happen before menopause is finally over I decide to get my cankles fixed.

America was once such a beautiful melting pot of various shapes, colors and sizes. We are getting dangerously close to becoming a planet of wax dummies that look exactly alike. Nobody wants to resemble anything close to the age that is represented by the number of candles on a cake. I don't want to end up melting or forgetting what I really look like by the time I get married again embalmed. I'll leave that job to the mortician. I hope he performs liposuction.


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Patricia A. Smith is a writer and artist (and sometimes both at the same time). A former columnist, restaurant critic and cruise line executive, Smith has lived in London, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Egypt, Costa Rica and France. She returned (more...)
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