Cut It Out


A Photo Gallery of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery and breast implants are fine for people who want that, if it makes them feel better about who they are.
But, it makes these people, actors especially, fantasy figures for a fantasy world.
Acting is about being real, being honest.

- Kate Winslet

I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso.

- Rita Rudner

I did have a link up to a page that allowed you to use your own photo to see how different plastic surgery procedures would affect you.  However, that link is no longer active - and now I think I see why.  Apparently, selling you software that allows you to do the same thing is another way for plastic surgeons to augment their income so they can better afford their malpractice insurance.  Here is one such site that sells software.  It might be worth the investment if you're serious about surgery...

In the photo on the right, I used Photoshop to remove extra skin on Helen Thomas' jawline and neck - and nothing else.  A big improvement, no?

The Completed Look

According to People magazine, cosmetic surgeons say the most requested body parts - the ones people most want - are Nicole Kidman's nose, Sophia Loren's cheekbones, Courtney Cox's chin, Carmen Electra's eyes and Angelina Jolie's lips.  Which, if you add them together, is the formula for Cher.

- Jay Leno

Most Requested Features

  Women Men
Nose Nicole Kidman
Reese Witherspoon
Diane Lane
Ben Affleck
Edward Burns
Jude Law
Hair Jennifer Aniston
Debra Messing
Sarah Jessica Parker
Pierce Brosnan
Richard Gere
Hugh Grant
Eyes Halle Berry
Cameron Diaz
Brad Pitt
Ralph Fiennes
Lips Liv Tyler
Uma Thurman
Renée Zellweger
Brad Pitt
Matt Damon
Benicio Del Toro
Jawline/Chin Salma Hayek
Julianne Moore
Kim Cattrall
Johnny Depp (jawline)
Matthew McConaughey (jawline)
Russell Crowe (chin)
Kiefer Sutherland (chin)
Matt LeBlanc (chin)
Cheeks J-Lo
Halle Berry
Jennifer Garner
Leonardo DiCaprio
George Clooney
John Corbett
Sculpting Angelina Jolie
Britney Spears
Tom Cruise
Benjamin Bratt
Matt Damon
Skin Michelle Pfeiffer
Gwyneth Paltrow
Sandra Bullock
Ethan Hawke
Hayden Christensen
Ryan Phillippe

Source: 18 January 2004

Just in Case You Thought Angelina Jolie Had Had Collagen Injections...

Angelina Jolie at 13 - she's real.

Price of Beauty Treatments and the Dangers

Botox - Brand name for a form of botulism toxin used to smooth out wrinkles.

The risks:

bulletBruising, headaches, double vision or temporary drooping of the eyebrow or lid.
bulletCan leave face expressionless.
bulletCan have toxic effects if more than 2,000 units are injected (50 units are usual in a session).

Dermal Filler - Fills out and plumps up lines and wrinkles or makes features like lips appear fuller.  Types of filler include fat, collagen and Gore-Tex.

The risks:

bulletSome people have allergic reactions such as rashes, joint and muscle pain, headaches, blistering, soreness and restricted breathing.

Chemical Peel - It can soften the skin, remove blemishes and improve pigmentation

The risks:

bulletStinging, redness, blistering and increased sensitivity to sunlight are normal side-effects.
bulletInfections, burns, scars and the reactivation of cold sores are also possible reactions.

Laser Treatment - Used to reduce wrinkles and scarring and to remove birthmarks, lesions, hair and thread veins.

The risks:

bulletBlistering, infections, permanently altered skin pigmentation and excessive redness are all possible.
bulletCan also cause burns and scarring if performed badly.

Source: 18 January 2004

See also:

bulletBeauty Products from the Skin of Executed Chinese Prisoners (in the sections on prisons) - puts new meaning into the term "dead skin"...

Plastic Surgery Programs Are Not ALL Bad

by Dr Andrew Campbell

Television shows like Extreme Makeover and The Swan can generate downright unrealistic expectations about what plastic surgery can do.  They also make it seem as though the patient magically emerges from surgery, completely healed in no time flat.  Actual healing time is just one reality left out of these fast-paced programs.  All that being said, I have to admit that putting plastic surgery on prime time has been a positive development for my specialty and the patients we serve.

In the past, patients had to contend with comments about their vanity.  "Gee, I’d never do that to myself."  That sort of thing.  But now that plastic surgery is in the limelight, the surgery has become more socially acceptable.  For patients who will feel better about themselves if their skin is less wrinkly, bags disappear under their eyes or if their profile is improved, then these shows may give them the confidence to address what concerns them.

The key is to have realistic expectations about what this surgery can accomplish.  No ethical surgeon would operate on a patient who was trying to please somebody else or who had grand illusions that the outcome would dramatically change his or her life for the better.  Patients must realise that healing time will take at least two weeks and they probably will look worse during that time because of bruising and scarring.  Some people even suffer short-term depression over it.  And, as with any surgery, there are risks — small as they may be — that something could go wrong.

However, the fact of the matter is that there is social importance to beauty, and many patients are eager to turn back the clock through plastic surgery — even if it means spending some money, taking time off of work to heal and accepting the risks that go along with elective surgery.  These considerations may not be accurately reflected in the popularity of these plastic surgery television shows.  Even so, many of the patients I see are baby boomers who just want to look a little better.  And they almost always do afterwards.  Of course, the wrinkles eventually will return.  One’s face will continue to age.  The body itself will age.  But as long as patients are realistic and understand that most of these improvements are not permanent, they will most likely be pleased with their results.  I’m not at all sure that shows like Extreme Makeover will ever get those points across.

Doctor Andrew Campbell is a facial plastic surgeon in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Source:  16 November 2004

So - netting it out: There's some risk, it's only temporary and it's expensive.  But if it puts off the day of reckoning when you have to face the fact that you are not "perfect" and/or are no longer young and cannot live forever, then it's worth it.  To some.

Changing Face of China's Women

by Rachel Morarjee

In Shanghai, a new pair of thighs costs less than a year's gym membership, which may be why many women are opting for liposuction rather than working up a sweat.

"I've never exercised, never even tried.  But I'm getting this operation so I'll be able to wear tight jeans again," says 43-year-old Zhang.  In a touching display of family values, Zhang got the idea for reshaping her body through cosmetic surgery from her 15-year-old daughter who went for a 1000 yuan (NZ$281) operation to give her a double eyelid during her school summer holidays.  Far from worrying that her daughter might be too young to go under the knife, Zhang footed the bill for the procedure to give her daughter's eyes a fashionable Western wide-eyed look.  "If she wants to do it, it's better to get it done when she's younger, so it looks more natural when she grows up," says the unemployed housewife, whose husband is a party official.

Zhang and her daughter are part of a growing number of Chinese women who are turning to plastic surgery.  Operations to widen the eyes, raise the brow of the nose and pump up the breasts are popular among young women, while face lifts and liposuction are gaining ground among the older generation.

At the Shanghai No 9 People's Hospital, about 120 patients a day come to overhaul their faces and the numbers are continuing to grow.  Last year, a surgeon at the hospital accepted 13,000 people for operations - a 44% increase since 1998.

United States-trained surgeon Michelle Yang, says that, when she began practising corrective surgery in 1985, there was a stigma attached to vanity and wanting cosmetic surgery.  But that has changed. "Fifteen years ago, people would have said 'oh look at you, you've had an operation', but now it is much more common because people are chasing after beauty," she says.  The bulk of her clients at the Athena International Clinic are young girls riven with insecurities.  "There's often nothing wrong with the way they look, but they lack self-confidence," Dr Yang explains, adding that many girls will come back for repeat operations and go to less scrupulous back-street surgeons when she turns them down.

Qingzhi Beauty, a beauty salon in downtown Shanghai, offers nose and eye surgery for 20% cheaper than licensed surgeons in the People's No 9 Hospital or the Athena Clinic.  A saleswoman at the parlour says that if clients are worried about botched operations and want a guarantee the surgery will not fail, they should go to one of the large hospitals.  She declines to say whether the parlour is licensed or not.

For 23-year-old Li Yuan, a nursing student back from the United States to have surgery for widening her eyes, fly-by-night beauty parlours will be the only hope of getting the face she so desperately wants.  Li has had surgery on her eyes four times and an operation to shrink her wide mouth, but is still not satisfied with her looks and wants more operations, despite being counselled against it by Dr Yang.  "A double eyelid makes your eyes look bigger and brilliant.  We all want to look like Caucasians, like Americans," she says.  Slight and pretty, Li would have got many admiring looks before she started surgery, but she is set on acquiring a Western face she can never have and vows to find a surgeon in Shanghai willing to perform more extreme, and possibly dangerous, surgery on her eyes.

Zhou Yanyan, 19, has already had surgery to raise the brow of her nose but she too wants more against the doctor's advice.  "All my friends said my nose wasn't pretty and now they say it's still isn't high enough," she says plaintively.

An estimated 20% of Dr Yang's clients come to buy a new face in the hope of improving their job prospects, she says.  "In China, your face is your fortune."- AFP

Source: The Dominion Monday 12 March 2001

Cosmetic Surgery Is Teenagers' Reward for Passing Exams

Chinese teenagers are being given cosmetic surgery by their parents as a reward for their hard work in school.  Three hospitals in Guangzhou reported that 90% of their plastic surgery patients were middle school graduates.  The South China Morning Post, quoting the Information Times, said parents were paying for the surgery to reward children for passing university entrance exams.  Doctors say the the girls generally favoured nose-jobs or work around their eyes, while most of the boys wanted liposuction.

Source: Tuesday 17 June 2003


Source: The Web

Which country has the most plastic surgery operations per capita?  The answer may surprise you.  In 2002, it was Switzerland, followed by Cyprus.  Spain was a distant 3rd.  The US weighed in at #20...

Beauty Queens Nip and Tuck Their Way to the Top

Rio de Janeiro - Miss Brazil Juliana Borges had plastic surgery four times and underwent 19 smaller procedures - one of many competitors determined to nip and tuck their way to beauty.  "Plastic surgery made me more beautiful and gave me confidence in myself and the perfect measurements that won me this title," she said after being crowned this week.

Miss Borges, 22, had liposuction and fixed her chin, nose and ears and, of course, boosted her bust.

More and more, Brazil's would-be beauty queens are finding it easier to achieve the ideal measurements than a decade ago.  These days, young hopefuls from the steamy Amazon jungle to corn-fed ranching towns in Brazil's south are scheduling surgery.  A third of the 27 finalists at the pageant went under the scalpel after rules were changed in the 1990s allowing plastic surgery, coloured contact lenses, hair extensions and dye.  "It's a war out there and all of the beauty tools that can be used are valid," said Boanerges Gaeta, organiser of the Miss Brazil pageant.  "Other countries like Venezuela paved the way and Brazil is going to have to use those tools if it wants to compete in Miss Universe."

But Brazil's penchant for plastic is not confined to beauty pageants.  A new obsession with cleavage, sparked by Brazil's buxom supermodel Gisele Bundchen, has helped make Brazil the capital of plastic surgery in per capita terms, last year surpassing the former champion, the United States.  That's quite a feat for a country with one of the world's biggest gaps between rich and poor and where the minimum wage is 151 reais (NZ$173) a month.

Experts say the industry's success is due in part to the fact that plastic surgery is a status symbol.  Unlike the US, Brazil's "siliconadas" proudly display their enhancements on magazine covers.  Every week, Carnival queens, actresses and models show off new breasts and tummies.  "Plastic surgery symbolises modernity, shows you have money to spend," US anthropologist Alex Edmonds said.  "In Brazil, beauty is not something natural, it's something you have to work at." - Reuters

Source: The Dominion Thursday 29 March 2001 Photo credit of Miss Borges displaying her surgically acquired "perfect measurements" - Reuters

China to Hold Miss Plastic Surgery Pageant

Beijing - China is giving the beauty pageant a surgical makeover with plans to anoint its first Miss Plastic Surgery this October, state media say.  Open to women from any country, the only requirement in the made-to-order competition is proof of inauthenticity - in the form of a doctor's certificate of cosmetic surgery, the China Daily said.

The idea for the pageant came after one woman was barred from a traditional beauty contest because she had spent more than 110,000 yuan on plastic surgery that gave her a whole new face.  The recent rise of China's "man-made beauties" has been attributed to a common sentiment that better-looking women find better jobs and marry wealthier men.  Chinese people spend about 20 billion yuan a year altering their looks, the newspaper said.

Communist China, which once considered make-up and beauty contests as bourgeois, has increasingly latched on to pageants and played for the first time to the Miss World competition in 2003.  Last month, China announced plans for a beauty pageant for the elderly, with contestants aged 55 and over competing in the Zhen'ap Cup National Contest of the Beauty of the Gray-Head Group.

Source: 04 August 2004

I find it somewhat alarming that the young girls in China are having their faces carved on in a beauty salon and that beauty requires so much effort and resource.  There's something sad about these girls in the same way that Michael Jackson is sad.  When young people sacrifice part of their future to fulfill their present fantasies, they may find the future price (in the form of scars, crumbly cartilage tissue, autoimmune disorders, et cetera) to be quite high.  Wanting to look like a person of another ancestry is a distinct type of racism and implies a hollow interior which should be address (but seldom is) prior to surgery, not years later when it can't be undone.  Life is more than frantic fantasy fulfillment.

Source for photo: The Dominion Thursday 8 March 2001


To see for yourself the incredible changes in Michael Jackson over the years, click here: mjackson.swf (188k Flash file)


This is an artist's idea of what Michael Jackson might have looked like as an adult had he never had plastic surgery.


Jacko's "Family"

Pop star Michael Jackson kept a family of fully dressed mannequins in his bedroom for "company," his interior decorator, Charmian Carr, said in a British television programme.

Source: The Dominion Monday 26 March 2001

An Off Day

by Marie Cameron, Beachlands

Fiftyish Grace Allsop, browsing through a store, found herself pitying a downtrodden-looking woman on a tv screen.  Poor old soul, she thought, then realised she was actually only seeing a reflection of a passer-by.  She glanced around.  There wasn't another person in sight.  She fled home.

Source: the Book of Incredibly Short Stories selected by Brian Edwards Tandem Press 1997

Never Have an Off Day Again?

Kissability Permanent Makeup: Look Like Yourself, only Better!

If you look better than you really look, can you still be said to look "like yourself"?  This seems a bit of a conundrum.  The other thing I wonder is why Nancy Ruth would upload a picture of herself looking like she had just sat on a whoopee cushion?

Nevertheless, many of Nancy Ruth's clients are tired of applying eyebrow pencil day after day.  Or they don't want their eyeliner to smear every time they cry at a movie or rub their eyes.  Perhaps they want permanent color in their otherwise pale or thin lips.  (And maybe botox and collagen injections and lipo and lifts, nips and tucks - so they'll look even MORE like "themselves" [the selves in their fantasies]?)

Here are a few reasons women choose to enjoy permanent makeup.

bullet Busy, active and stressful lifestyles with little time to keep applying makeup.
bullet Visual difficulties, contact lenses, hard time putting on makeup without glasses.
bullet Difficulty applying makeup properly.
bullet Allergy to mascara and makeup.
bullet Health challenges: multiple sclerosis or chemotherapy hair loss.
bullet Women who enjoy water sports and outdoor activities.
bullet Aging changes such as arthritis of the hands and joints.
bullet Injuries to your shoulder or neck which make it hard to apply makeup.
bullet Convenience. The ability to look good 24 hours a day. To Wake Up With Makeup!

Who benefits from permanent cosmetic makeup?  (I can hear you asking yourselves this question right now!)

bullet Everyone who desires a soft and natural enhancement of their appearance.
bullet Women who want to look their best all the time, even when they wake up.
bullet Mothers and other busy professionals who don't have time for makeup.
bullet Physically active people who want to look their best throughout activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, aerobics, and don't want to worry about "Sweating off" or reapplying cosmetics.
bullet Vision impaired people who have a hard time putting on makeup without glasses.
bullet Motor impaired people such as, multiple sclerosis, stroke survivors, and those with unsteady hands who cannot apply their own makeup.
bullet Allergies and sensitive skin people often can't wear mascara and makeup.
bullet Men who want feature enhancement that looks natural and not "made up".
bullet Nancy Ruth

Considering some of the ingredients you can find in makeup and now the popularity of tattoos, I've often wondered why no one seemed to think of tattooing makeup on women's faces long before now.  (Next up: tattooed tans!)  I don't intend to utilise the services of Nancy Ruth nor others like her, but I don't mean to disparage (much) those who do.  (Most people remind me of bower birds - all instinct and little real-time thought.)  But go ahead - do what you can to look beautiful.  You'll probably make more money...


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Suggestions
Date: 22 Jun 2005 03:03:46 -0000
This message was posted via the Feedback form.
Name: Kelley S.

Comments: Seeing the lady "Nancy" makes me never want any cosmetic surgery, period.  The pic is absolutely horrible and not to mention scary.  I have been dying to get permanent make-up but now I am having second thoughts.  Nancy is a bad bad bad advertisment.

But Consider This - Permanent Makeup May Cause Disfigurement!

Researchers in the US have warned that going for a permanent makeup to enhance appearance could lead to disfigurement, especially in people who suffer from allergic reactions.  In the permanent makeup procedure pigments are injected into a deep layer of skin called the dermis to enhance eyebrows, eyelids and lips.  A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine said that the very procedures that are supposed to enhance beauty might actually result in unsightly side effects such as swelling or bumps.

Researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) interviewed 92 women who had problems following the procedure.  The researchers found that more than 9 out of 10 women had swelling and tenderness and almost as many complained of itching with more than 4 out of 5 experiencing bumps.  In 43 out of 63 cases, the reactions had not healed at the time of the interview and the allergic reaction lasted anywhere from 5 months to more than 3 years, reported science portal News Medical.

According to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the permanent makeup process could cause long-term disfigurement for patients who suffer allergic reactions.  FDA researchers said that when things go wrong they may be particularly bad because the pigments can be hard to remove. (IANS)  More than 8 million women undergo such procedures in the US alone to supposedly enhance their appearance.  The concept is catching on fast in developing countries like India.

Source: 29 June 2007

See also:

bulletFeatherlift (an external site) - a new cosmetic procedure that lifts the face with threads.  It was developed by Moscow based, Georgian cosmetic surgeon, Dr Marlen Sulamandize.  The procedure actually involves facial lifting (not pulling) which is done with Aptos threads.  Once inserted under the skin, the Aptos thread cog will form a permanent support structure for the tissue of the face, actually lifting and contouring it.  Nasolabial lines (smile lines) will lessen as the patient's cheeks are raised and their jowls retracted.  It takes only 20 minutes and is performed under local anæsthesia with the patient remaining awake.  There is no surgery involved; rather the Aptos threads are inserted through a needle.''...
bulletEven at Work, Pretty People Advance Faster than Plain (in the section on Working) - Being ugly isn't against the law.  Workplace discrimination lawsuits must be based on such protected categories as race, sex, physical disability or religion.  If hottie workers bring in more business because they are more appealing to clients, why wouldn't a company hire them over someone who is dowdy and hasn't gotten a haircut during the past decade?  Unfair?  Yes.  Illegal?  Probably not...
bulletRules of Attraction (in the section on Money and Politics) - Is it worthwhile to lose weight?  Consider this: In 1992, the individual net worth of an obese woman (defined as having a "body mass index" of more than 35) was, on average, 40% lower than that of a woman of "normal" weight, after adjusting statistically for factors such as age, education, professional status, marital status and health.  By 1998, the economic penalty for being fat had increased: the net worth of the obese woman was 60% less than that of her slimmer sisters...
bulletBad News for the Plain and Ordinary (in the section on Society and Culture) - With every man vying for the attention of the most beautiful women, an averagely attractive man was almost as likely to be lumbered with Miss 900 as he was to get Miss 200 in his top 1,000 list...
bulletHouston, We Have a Big Problem (in the section on Lifestyles) - "Yes, Houston is fat, but so is every other city.  We are a fat society.  Period."  In fact, 61% of Americans weigh too much, and about 27% of them are obese - 30 pounds or more over a healthy weight, according to federal statistics.
bulletEnhancing Human Traits (in the section on Drugs) - ethical and social implications

Open to Life

"…While walking back to the hotel she thought, 'If most men never looked at her again, what was the big deal?  Why did she so crave those kinds of looks?  And as for the women on the beach who still enjoyed such greedy, masculine looks, did this superficial attention really give them substantial happiness?'  Before falling asleep that night she remembered her women friends.  Strong and admirable women; continuing their life projects far into old age.  Of course they had problems and inner and outer struggles, too, but even with wrinkles and fragile health many of them continued to open to life…"

- Kiki Suarez
Moving Through Midlife, Spring '97

How to Be Somebody

by Kenneth J Gergen

A report from a friend:

On Saturday I went shopping with my teenage daughter.  I needed a dress for a party the next week.  I saw a very attractive dress, black, a daring cut, and with silver sequins.  I was very excited until I tried it on.  Dejectedly I had to tell my daughter that I just couldn't take it.  It just wasn't me.  My daughter responded with gentle mockery, "But Mom, that isn't the point.  With that dress you would really be somebody."

Source: The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life

Perhaps Mom should stop here and explain to her daughter the difference between being and appearing.

See also:

bulletQuivering Flesh (in the section on Drugs) - plastic surgery to enhance beauty is very similar to taking steroids to enhance muscle mass.
bulletChill Out (in the section on Drugs) - Ritalin can patch up a marginal personality so you can remodel your kids inside and out.
bulletEnhancing Human Traits (also in the section on Drugs) - ethical and social implications
bulletRules of Attraction (in the section on Money and Politics) - a different article from that linked to above) - "Beauty and the Labour Market" considers how workers' earnings are affected by their overall looks.  The authors used household surveys from US and Canada, which along with information on earnings also included interviewers' ratings of the appearance of those they interviewed - from strikingly attractive to ugly.  The job market clearly rewards beauty: very attractive men and women enjoy higher hourly earnings...

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