Sunday, 5 July 2009

Extreme Beauty

After I wrote my piece about Men and Makeup, I asked a few men whether they would sooner have plastic surgery than reach for some foundation and lippy, and they all seemed to agree that surgery was less embarrassing than having a makeup bag. As has often been noted, plastic surgery amongst men has been rising. But if my last blog entry posited the theory that truth and beauty are counterparts, then where does plastic surgery fit in? There is no doubt that plastic surgery done well can heighten beauty, and for anti-aging, often surgery is the only effective solution. Nowadays we are surrounded by TV Makeover shows and magazine and newspaper adverts proclaiming the wonders of plastic surgery for the everyman. Price plans are on hand; Big Brother advocates are featured on the websites to reassure you that yes, it feels great!!

Well this is a tired subject, and I'm sure most people can easily decide for themselves whether invasive surgery is going to enhance their lives. I have a friend who was so miserable about her nose that she pretended to have a perpetual cold so that a tissue could serve as a useful hiding device. Now, after a nose job, she has amazing confidence. But the reason this subject has been playing on my mind is of course the recent passing of Michael Jackson. It strikes me that once again (Heath Ledger comes to mind) people are putting too much faith in prescription medication; believing that if something is 'natural' and equally - if not more so, if something has been processed and approved in a Lab, it's not the equivalent of a street drug. Yet sleeping pills and anti-depressants are serious stuff, they can be fatal! Just like surgery, there is a casual attitude to these instant remedies. Doctors are not always noble enough to draw a distinction between those who are genuinely in need and those who are merely dependent. I have friends who openly admit that they went into the profession for the money, so the naive impression of doctors as saintly saviours is unfortunately often too generous a view.

Michael Jackson clearly had a crippling image problem, which, shocking to see, was indulged in by various surgeons. It is nothing short of heartbreaking to see his metamorphosis. When money is no object, how far would you go to improve? It is hardly surprising that once one 'flaw' is dealt with, others introduce themselves. And once the fear of surgery has been surmounted, how easy it must be to return to the operating table, be put to sleep, and wake up as if in a dreamland, where suddenly you are not yourself.


  1. Yet again a very thought provoking and well written piece! Is it just me or do these cases of painkiller addiction seem more common in the USA? Perhaps the NHS with all its rules and guidelines helps reduce this? As someone who deals with antidepressants and sleeping pills regularly at work, I wanted t mention that although they are often thought of as a quick fix, anti-depressants take about 4-6 weeks to take effect in most people. Sleeping tablets do kick in quickly, but I very very rarely see them being prescribed for longer than 1 week.
    I also think that the fact we can't buy strong pain killers (which are the ones a lot of people seem to get addicted to) are harder to get - they can be bought over the counter in the USA, but have to be prescribed here...

  2. @Mizzworthy

    Oh very interesting! That's a good thing, if NHS rules and overwrought paperwork has effectively limited the harm. Thanks so much for sharing your insider knowledge! I'm not sure if it's more a US thing, they do have a bigger country so it's hard to gauge? I can imagine these pills inevitably have an addictive quality to them, how scary that anyone could buy them over the counter! (Let alone that dr.s can prescribe them under cloak and dagger...) Gosh what a horrible situation, I am so upset by all this....

    Thank you for the compliment, Kylie ;) xx

  3. Pain killers are highly regulated here in the US as well. You cannot buy them over the counter.The only things you can get over the counter are acetomenephin, ibuprofin, naproxen etc.I think like you said Gail, it is a larger country and there are alot more of people doing any one given thing than in the UK. Sometimes it is hard to get the medicine when you need it even. It is sad those that abuse the system ruin it for those who dont.


    Hi Erryn! Oh that's a relief, I found it difficult to believe that you'd have such a loose system out there! But like I said, I suspect that when money etc enables you, unscrupulous Dr.s come out of the woodwork and brazenly help you destroy yourself. So sad. I'll be watching his funeral later today, along with a 100 million others. I hope the truth will out. Thanks for your comment xx

  5. Honestly think about the dr's who willingly did plastic surgery after plastic surgery on MJ until his nose looked as though a good wind would blow it off! I guess if you have enough money, you can get anything done or pay off any dr. The dr's here are being closed one after another due to the raise in insurance premeiums for physicians. The drs are almost afraid to loose patients and they get pushed around so abuse is prevalent.

  6. I thought, somewhat dimly, that the painkillers they referred to were regular Paracetomol etc and couldn't really understand why everyone stateside was so addicted to them. However, I understand now that these 'prescription painkillers' actually have a similar component to addictive hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine. No wonder they get so addicted. They are little more than legal drugs.

  7. @BritishBeautyBlogger

    Yes, exactly: these drugs are just as bad as illegal street drugs that notoriously wreck lives. But, their official 'clean' look belies this fact, unfortunately.