…those who are interested in plastic surgery, and those who are interested in plastic surgery and won’t admit it.
The first group find their way into someone’s office. The closeted group is secretly searching the internet about procedures, winding up on blogs like this one. Which is why it’s here. Not only is my goal to answer questions that people are afraid to ask, but to de-stigmatize the words, “plastic surgery.”
Not that there’s a stigma here in L.A., where it’s a badge of honor to walk around Whole Foods with a splint on your nose, and everyone calls their plastic surgeon by their first name. But I think the media—especially reality television and makeover shows (The Swan, anyone?)–scared the rest of the country away.
The Extreme Makeover show was just, well…too extreme. Not only did it make everyone involved–from the patient to the producer—seem beyond ridiculously superficial, but after being redone from head to toe, those patients were almost unrecognizable, which is what frightens most people about plastic surgery. Nip/Tuck was a brilliant show. But even though the producers consulted with plastic surgeons (and I know because I was one of them) for medical information, the storylines were purposely taken to the extreme. The writers didn’t want to know about “routine” plastic surgery. And why would they? It’s safe and boring and doesn’t make for good TV.
It doesn’t help that in entertainment, plastic surgeons are almost always depicted as egocentric, mercenary fame-whores. How could you take a plastic surgeon seriously after watching Dr. 90210? Obviously the network had to amp up the drama and absurdity to get ratings, but you would never see a show about a bunch of neurosurgeons doing push-ups before surgery, driving around in one of their four Ferraris, or arguing with their trophy wives about which eight million dollar house to buy.
And then there are the Housewives…OMG…While channel surfing last night, my husband and I stumbled upon The Beverly Hills Housewives Reunion, and I was thinking that if I was a novice, I would be so frightened by their plastic surgery that I would just let myself wrinkle up like a prune for the rest of my life. Three out of the five of their faces (Kim Richards, my personal childhood Disney idol, was absent) were beyond the point of no return.
But it doesn’t have to be like that! In fact, that crazy alien species look is the minority of what’s out there. You have to understand that in most cases, the women who look that way have chosen to chase away every wrinkle and puff their faces out like blowfish, which is the wrong approach. I have had so much stuff done—both surgical and non-invasive—and on a daily basis I hear over and over again, “Oh my God, your face doesn’t look like it’s been touched.” And I know it’s true. I’m in my forties but I know I look nearly ten years younger in dim lighting. I was at a party a few months ago and I got hit on by a twenty-three year-old Turkish oil heir. (When he whipped out his Black Card and started showing me pictures of his new Lamborghini I had to reluctantly show him my wedding ring, which was also disguised by the dim lighting, and tell him I was old enough to be his mother)
What’s the point of that story? Not that I’m a married-woman-wannabe-cougar, but that it is possible to have “things done” that don’t make you look like you’ve “had work.”
Besides, these days, it’s hard for savvy consumers to trust anyone. Unless he or she is a true leader of the field who has been sought after by the press, plastic surgeons in the media are usually just there to promote themselves, and have only made it to a TV spot by paying thousands of dollars a month to publicist, and most of you know this. So how can you believe anything they say anymore?
This is an anonymous blog. My patients and friends know where to find me, but this is not about promoting me. It is about a credentialed authority giving the facts in an unbiased forum, which has never really been done. Fortunately, I am in the unique position to have access to whatever treatments or procedures I desire (Have the neck Fraxel® with Christine at Ava MD today!) and I know “who” and “where” to go for what. As a member of the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the The American College of Surgeons, The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and The California Society of Plastic Surgeons, I am in the loop with everything “new.” I can distinguish “fluff” from true results and I will be honest about what works and doesn’t work.
And I like to write. It keeps me from talking too much to my staff and patients, who are always forced to be a captive audience.
More later, especially on the neck Fraxel®! I don’t have plans this weekend so maybe I’ll just go for broke and have her do my whole face…:)