Nov 06

Beauty Junkies, by Alex Kuczynski

Fascinating stuff.

Did you know that there would basically be no plastic surgery if not for World War I, the first war in which artillery of such force was used in such close contact with soldiers that it was the first time there were casualties like having half your face blown off?

Faces were reconstructed out of necessity, and as times became more peaceful and people got richer, reconstructive surgery began to include cosmetic surgery, surgery done for purely aesthetic reasons.

Then due to the changing healthcare landscape – insurance nightmares, HMOs taking over, etc. – plastic surgery became more appealing to doctors. Because cosmetic surgery is never covered by insurance, they don’t have to deal with those hassles, and instead get a huge wad of cash for an hour’s worth of work.

And that’s just a sampling. The author explores the Botox boom and accompanying dangers and horror stories (hello, it’s derived from poison!), celebrities and plastic surgery (there’s a reason Nicole Kidman seems so icy – her face barely moves), and L.A. vs New York (not much difference). Makes me embrace the lines on my forehead a little.

Also, getting breast implants seems really scary. I mean, c’mon, you’re putting foreign objects in your body. Of course weird stuff’s going to happen, including:

  • Leakage
  • Scar tissue forming around the implant, creating a hard, immovable, painful lump
  • Moving around
  • Additional surgeries

Soooo not worth it.