Before and After

I love botched up plastic surgery. The tabloids provide me with endless photographs of these unfortunate celebrities and socialites. You think that if money was no object then why wouldn’t they all look amazing?

Beauty is subjective and certain wealthy people should not be allowed to orchestrate their transformations. Even though all doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, there are some who will do anything for money. Case in point, Michael Jackson.

The aging process is unfair. Women get the short end of the ugly stick when it comes to public opinion. Men age gracefully. There are some men who look better as mature adults. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and yes, even Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood, all maintain their sex appeal even a they pass into middle age.

That’s not to say that there aren’t men who have gone the route of cosmetic surgery only to do more harm than good. Take Mickey Rourke or Burt Reynolds for example. Clearly something went wrong. Unfortunately, we don’t hold them to the same standards as we do women. Mickey Rourke almost won an Oscar for playing down on his luck wrestler. He’ll likely have a long career playing villains due to his hideous face.

Women don’t have it that easy. I admit, I watched in horror and amazement as Joan Rivers metamorphosed into the taught, slant-eyed muppet she is today. “Good for her,” my friend Eric says. “If you have the money and you want to change something that bothers you, then you should.”


Perhaps he’s right. Yet when I see, Meg Ryan, Kathy Griffin, Ellen Barkin, and yes, even the late, great Farrah Fawcett, I cringe. Their faces are distracting and in certain lighting you can almost see the sutures pulling at the temples. Dolly Parton was on the Tony Awards last year and I thought she stole Jack Nicholson’s mask from Batman, before going on stage. The corners of her mouth were pulled back so tightly that even in her resting position her face took on the Joker’s sardonic grin.

But when it’s done right, it looks flawless. Check out Courtney Cox, Michele Pfeifer, Madonna and yes, Demi Moore, whose face and body seem to defy the laws of gravity. Either her plastic surgeon is a genius or I need to become a Kabbalist pronto.

Dr. Sam Riszk, a celebrity plastic surgeon, calls it the new face, when asked why these women look better than let’s say, Meg Ryan. His technique involves sculpting the underlying fat and muscle instead of simply pulling the overlying flesh. I think he’s a genius.

There are some women in Hollywood who not only choose to grow old gracefully, they seem to embrace age as it comes. Kathleen Turner, once a sex pot in Body Heat, nearly scared the be-Jesus out of me when I saw her in Marley and Me (but not as scary as the movie itself). A long time fan of Ms. Turner, I followed her career as well as her battle with alcohol dependance and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Unfortunately the booze and steroids transformed her. Others like Vanessa Redgrave, Kathy Bates, Frances McDormand, and Judy Dench have all refrained from surgery, looking wonderful in their skin and appropriate for their age.

I, too worry about age. I’m in my forties now. Okay 42. I broke my nose when I was twelve and never had it repaired. I often wondered if that was a mistake. Now as I mature (a word I despise), I contemplate if I will undergo the knife for a nip or tuck as I approach the big 5-0. Who knows? I already get Botox, but I do maintain my salt and pepper hair. Maybe Eric is right: if it’s your money and it makes you happy, then fuck everyone else.

But, that still doesn’t mean we can’t make fun of you.



  1. Ralph
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Do not REPEAT do not change a thing. You are spectacularly gorgeous. If I didn’t live on the west coast, I’d be smothering you in kisses non-stop. And yes, I’m one of the tall ones. lol

  2. Ralph
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    …make that “spectacularly handsome.” That has a better sound.

  3. mich lyon
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    an entire column on cosmetic surgery and not a mention of me? ive had more than any of them bitches . . .

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