The Lilac Pilgrim – Yet Another Blog

Plastic Surgery Musings I – Perfect Celebrities

Posted on: April 2, 2011

After doing a search for Paul Reubens on Google Images (good reasons, I assure you), I found a picture that led to a rather dodgy-looking plastic surgery promoting site (apparently affiliated with a suspicious clinic in Prague, but whether this is a real site or not isn’t really related to the post). Clicking on the image took me to an article about Reubens planning to make a comeback and asking its readers if he should have plastic surgery in order to make the Pee-Wee Herman image still palatable. Or something like that. Rather graciously it noted that he was still fairly slim but lamented his aging features. To my dismay, the three comments underneath the article insisted that he definitely needs a little surgery, perhaps around the eyes – the only female suggested a facelift. Personally, I feel that Reubens would look utterly terrifying if he had a facelift. His face hasn’t drooped all that much for it to warrant such drastic surgery!

Anyway, it got me thinking. I know that plastic surgery isn’t really in the spotlight any more and a lot of people have realised just how serious it is. Still, it’s quite unnerving to find articles discussing perfectly fine-looking celebrities (or even regular people) which ever so casually suggest that these people really need scarring, expensive surgery in order to look beautiful. Now, I was very aware of people criticising females, especially those celebrities who the public reckon have aged badly. There are conflicting cries of “She should get rid of those awful crow’s feet!” but also “How dare she have plastic surgery to remove those wrinkles??” I seem to remember the idea of such extreme vanity was limited to female celebrities who were even a day older than twenty-five. It got worse, as these things tend to, when men started getting procedures, though usually by way of hair transplants and eyelifts rather than tummy tucks. facelifts and botox. I couldn’t even begin to describe the reaction to the discovery that yes, some men get botox.

Now, it’s no new thing that people do talk about celebrities. I do it, my friends do it – my friend might want to squee about Orlando Bloom while I fangirl over Patrick Stewart but that’s besides the point. And ever since its sudden availability as elective procedures, people have been gaga over plastic (read: cosmetic) surgery. Even those of us who don’t like it, myself included, tend to talk about it, even if we’re wondering aloud why on earth you would let yourself be prodded, poked and knifed in order to look good. And of course the two subjects go hand in hand like chips and cheese. People will always be looking at the beautful people and thinking “she’s nice, but if she had a bigger rack/thinner frame/pointier face/plumper lips she’d be perfect.” It’s this part I don’t understand though. There’s a few things wrong with the scenario.

First of all, it’s not your body. A celebrity they may be and speculation happens whether they like it or not, but to suggest that someone you admit is already very good-looking needs surgery in order to be perfect for you, you’re not worth hanging around in he first place, not that they’d look at you twice in a crowd anyway.

Secondly, they already look good. Plastic surgery can have a devastating effect if botched or has any other outcome than “everything went better than expected”. Not only can it change that person’s appearance – it can have the opposite effect to what they were going for.

Thirdly, it really goes against the “we’re all beautiful” stand point that celebrities often go for in order to win a crowd. Their main audience can be hopelessly turned away from them if they have plastic surgery, because the notion is associated with vain perfectionists, the sort of people that well-adjusted normal folk can do without.

It rather bewilders me that some people discuss at great lengths how amazing it would be for people they don’t know to get surgery. Don’t get me wrong; it’s all well and good to say “Yikes, that mole that suddenly appeared on Glitzy McCoolperson’s neck needs looking at” since, you know, randomly appearing moles are bad news. It’s a lot less cool to say something along the lines of “I really like the tall, gorgeous Awesome O’Strongman but what is up with that slightly smaller ear on his left side?” Anyone who notices those tiny imperfections and has such a problem with them is clearly unwell.

I am aware, of course, that quite often it’s celebrities who are looking at other celebrities and commenting on how My Bestest Friend is oh so beautiful but she could be even more so! However, I just don’t understand the workings of the mind of an ordinary person who thinks of a celebrity “he’s awesome. he should be more awesome.”

Do we really need to hold them to such a high standard? I dread the day when Johnny Depp’s features finally fall foul of the aging process and people are yelling out for facelifts and tummy tucks. It’s as though celebrities, who are pretty much like the rest of us even with their quirks and riches, are not allowed to age or look normal. They have to be amazing and beautiful and have no imperfections. I wonder if it’s because people aspire to them, and our aspirations cannot be anything less than perfect. Or maybe it’s because people want the line between “us” and “them” to be as wide as it can be. I don’t know; maybe they like a challenge. Or is it because newspapers and glossy mags need constant gossip fodder? Whatever the case, I’ll always find it incredibly unnerving to open a gossip rag and see a column where a journalist is bashing this celeb or that celeb for not having the plastic surgery they need to be perfect.

Especially when I know the very next day they’ll be scoffing at some poor sucker whose surgery didn’t take.

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  • HoistTheColours: Dear author, I full-heartedly and absolutely agree with your above statements. I just thought I would let you know, since I don't quite understand w
  • richclark: I covered this in my blog too. Found your post on one of Wordpress' random (associated posts). Has Ask really made the impact it needed to from
  • The Lilac Pilgrim: I couldn't go anywhere without someone mentioning it. It was incredibly obvious and yet people were still arguing about it. Absolutely ridiculous.
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