Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thinking about plastic surgery? Why wait?

I was thinking I'd do the American Society of Plastic Surgeons a favor and offer my services in coming up with this slogan for them: Why wait?

Indeed. You can get financing today!

The reason I'm writing about plastic surgery is because I came across a horrid progression of face shots of Courtney Love this afternoon down at the local cafe. Now generally I feel bad for women---even celebrities---who have botched surgeries (so I won't link to the numerous sites that exist solely to delight in bad plastic surgery). But really, this was so bad that I came back to my desk and decided it would be fun to make myself even more miserable by Googling recent news about plastic surgery. I get a little masochistic after lunch.

I got what I wanted, of course. I found this in the International Herald Tribune:

"In the past five years, with the advent of reality shows in the United States like Extreme Makeover and the popularization of nonsurgical treatments like lasers and wrinkle injections, people with middle class incomes and Beverly Hills ideals are embracing vanity medicine."

But it's not the rise in the number of procedures that bugs me as much as the fact that this whole article, in the business section, is about the ways in which plastic surgery is being marketed to women as a commodity---specifically as a "big-ticket consumer product" to be financed with credit cards and loans.

WTF? The idea that women are spending thousands---double-digit thousands---on boob jobs and lipo that's going to put them into massive debt that can only lead to strains in other areas of their lives (and their children's lives) ought to be the subject of public outrage. But it's not. Instead we poke fun at Courtney Love and Meg Ryan and whoever else's lips ballooned in size since the last issue of US Magazine and still somehow manage to convince middle class women that these procedures are not just attainable, but you can put them on your credit cards!

And so rather than try to take on the industry I decided to offer them my slogan. I think it's a guaranteed winner.