Monday, November 19, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Crime of Plastic Surgery

Yes, I think plastic surgery for women (who haven't been in an accident or been born with some horrific birth defect) is a crime. We are being held hostage by a sick societal view that female aging is unacceptable and if we don't get ourselves to the doctor to get cut up and refashioned, we are unpleasing to look at.

Why are plastic surgery and Botox being more and more popular? Why are we women buying into this foolishness? Can’t we just be ourselves? While it is true, in a minor way, that coloring one’s hair, getting acrylic nails, using make up and wearing a push-up bra is enhancing ourselves in a somewhat unnatural way, these accouterments are relatively minor embellishments and it is not unreasonable to expect that an individual might strive to look her best. I have no problem with a person working out, dressing nicely, and doing cosmetic touch ups to ones external surface. I do, however, think plastic surgery and Botox are blights on society.

These extreme measures are not only dangerous, but so unnatural that the changes achieved are both creepy and too far outside the norm for one’s natural age and physique that our perceptions and expectations have become skewed and unrealistic. Hence, we believe that we should never age, our beauty should stay forever, and if we start to look older, we are horrified at our decline.

Since I do a lot of television work, I have received emails as to which plastic surgeon I have gone to for my own improvement. I have to laugh because I am guessing the viewer must have caught me on a good make-up and lighting day. I am dead set against knives and needles. I am fifty-two years old and I think I look it. I plan to look fifty-three next July and fifty-four the year after that!

Why have I made this decision? I have a number of reasons. My top reason is I think it is horribly unfair to women to have to play this game of youth. Why should we have to keep trying to look young and perky and thirty instead of being allowed to become a more mature woman, beautiful at whatever number of years we are? Why shouldn’t we be able to be attractive older females that match the look of men of the same years? Why shouldn’t we do our best to be good natural examples for other women of our same age?

My other reasons include not wanting succumbing to this trend is that I do not think getting a surgical procedure is worth the risk for vanity, not wanting to get on the never ending treadmill of one more surgery to fix yet another part of the face or body, and not wanting to deal with pain and the general ickiness of it all.

I have decided to grow older with dignity and just be happy with myself. I continue to exercise and dance so I feel healthy, groom myself so I look pleasing to myself and others, and I keep smiling so that I will be a cheery looking 100-year-old woman when I hit the century mark.

So, ladies, how about it? Can I get an amen? Can we join together and stop all this plastic surgery nonsense and just live life? Please? If we get too ancient looking to get on television and or date men who want women half their age, so what? We still have each other, our children will love us no matter what we look like, and the Peace Corps will take us until we are eighty! What more do we need?

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Anonymous said...

Dear Profiler,

My reply is fifty fifty. I am the same age as you and I have also aged well. But then I was blessed with good features and a fine complexion.

Whilst I agree with you that is crazy to take to the surgeon just to stay looking younger, at times for other women I have known, surgery has been a good thing.

The first time I met a friend, her enormous nose was the most noticeable thing about her. It was huge and mashed, it did not suit her small boned face.

She quietly had it fixed and now she looks absolutely lovely. The big nose aged her by ten or twelve years. Her new nose is not too small, but it now suits the fine bones of her face.

Some women gain very bad bags under their eyes, so then why not have them removed?

But if someone has extreme plastic surgery to make herself look younger, well you cannot jog backwards. Far better to become a great cook or take up other interests.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

I think plastic surgery is an annoying Pandora's box. If it didn't exist for just cosmetic reasons, we would accept ourselves for ourselves and move on, More importantly, OTHERS, for what they are. We will stop expecting this stupid perfection. I too have a friend with a honker of a nose. I love her honker. It makes her Judy just as Barbara Streisand wouldn't be Barbara Streisand without hers, or, hey, Cher, without her nose either. I love those women's noses.

I have a scar on my face. I don't know how many people see this on me on television, but it is right there folks going down to my lip. I decided not to waste my time with a dozen surgeries back when it happened when I was twenty-three (I was attacked by a vicious cat; I wasn't in a knife fight although that sounds better in my profession)! I actually quit my very new modeling career because of this and decided I would just have to change career paths. So, I do not speak lightly against surgery. I had a reason to get surgery and, as I am in television, I have a stronger reason than many to get surgery.

But, I hate the idea. I just hate telling people they should change who they are. I approved of my son's surgery at age seven because he was in a bicycle accident and he had a crushed eye socket and a jaw that was twisted and glued shut. If my son were in a third world country and living in poverty, he might be on a curb with a tin can begging. So I am happy there were plastic surgeons. But, now as an adult he has a slightly drooping eye and a scar like an arrow on his cheek. He isn't perfect but he is a gorgeous young man. He used to think girls had a problem with his face until he started working out and became a hunk with a killer body. Then he realized he had just been fat! ::laughs::

I think this is the same problem women have as they get older. They think they can constantly get back youth and feel like they are twenties. Hollywood tells them this and plastic surgeons' publicity machines tell them surgery will make the feel so much better about themselves. Well, yeah, it may, if it doesn't kill you, for a time, until some other part starts sagging or another ten years goes by.

If no women got surgery and we just aged normally, we wouldn't see so many fake faces and bodies around us to compare ourselves to. This is why I won't add to the illusion. I will stay normal and be a part of the landscape for encourage women not to go the plastic route.

Plastic surgery also makes us think that our outside beauty is so bloody important. What about doing something useful in the world. I guarantee if one is doing rescue work right now in Bangladesh, no one gives a rat's ass whether the rescuer is a beauty.

We are just to vain in America. We need to get more purpose in our lives so we can stop staring in the mirror.

Stop looking, start doing. What we look like rarely keeps us from doing wonderful things in life. Really the only place it matters IS on television, so if you aren't on tv, hey, and even if like me you are, stop obsessing over wrinkles and jowls and DO something instead. Your drooping face and sagging boobs won't stop you from dancing, painting, writing, loving, or helping others. Get a life, not plastic surgery.

preraphazon said...

I am a hypocrit on this subject. There, I said it. In principle, I totally agree. But I would love to be able to afford to keep my face from wrinkling as I age. I used to like my face, and I want to enjoy it unwrinkled until the day I die. My solution to this has been to get so fat that a wrinkle cannot form.

I do agree that the Hollywood, high fashion, and men's magazines standard is making it very hard on young women. I blame men. I know, it's unfair, but it's morning, and I'm grumpy, and that's how I feel. Many men, especially young ones who haven't yet mastered the art of finesse, are very vocal about feeling entitled to the perfect 10 (or as many I've known have compromised, the "girl next door" with only the body of a perfect 10), and it makes our beautiful young ladies feel inferior. I would love to see that stop, and I would personally be willing to slap the face of every young man arrogant enough to pop off such a comment to a girl and jar them out of their little model-wife-Playboy- mansion mentality. Ladies, please form an orderly queue and have your man tagged with proper identification for his safe return.

Which reminds me, here we are near Thanksgiving. Two years ago, I was at a friend's for the occasion and her 20-year-old daughter brought a male platonic friend, whose main contribution over dinner was how wonderful he thought it was that there was such a place as the Playboy mansion where people could do whatever they wanted (leaving unspoken 'butt naked'). I thought I was going to burst a vessel. And what really alarmed me is the girl had been brainwashed to accept this notion as cool and normal and the mother thought I was being judgmental to disagree. How do you explain in polite Thanksgiving conversation how very deluded this notion is and what harm it does? I need at least a few days alone with that girl to deprogram her. My only consolation is that I know she is a lesbian. Serves him right.

Back to the subject at hand: Unless there is an extreme feature that is causing a young person pain, I do not think anyone under the age of 40 should ever get plastic surgery. But I can understand the sadness in watching yourself grow old. As my mother used to say, I look in the mirror and I can barely see myself anymore. That's sad. If you can afford to keep a little of yourself intact in your old age, I say go for it. And bravo if you're like Ms. Brown and are perfectly happy to age gracefully. Me, I've never done anything gracefully...

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

Well, I think we would do better if EVERYONE stayed away from plastic surgery so there wouldn't be these fixed faces out there to compete against.

I am not saying that I LIKE getting wrinkles. I would prefer to look more youthful..duh. But, since it is a battle that can't be won, even with plastic surgery, I think our efforts would be better spent on achieving what we can - good health, good relationships, and good projects. Each part of life comes with its positive and negatives; we should learn to appreciate what our advantages are for our age and stop looking at the disadvantages. I remember being a hot young thing and I got treated like one. I was frustrated that I was always looked at like a piece of meat. Well, that has slowed down (at least in this country where older women aren't considered as lovely as they are in Europe or the countries of Mexico or Central and South America) and now I am treated like I have other things to offer.

So, I am trying to make the best of it!

BTW, I think a lot of it is in the head anyway. I have met women with much plastic surgery who think it has done so much for them and often I can't see much to brag about. Even if the surgery gave them a speck more youthfulness, it really doesn't usually make such a difference in one's life unless one is trolling for obnoxious men who want younger women to date (even though they are fat and bald and need Viagra or a sex servant in bed). My age and my natural face hasn't gotten much in my way. I was out Bhangra dancing with my son and a bunch of friends (half my age) for three hours without a break at a party where I was undoubtedly the oldest. I kept up with everyone and had many a man jump to dance with me, complimenting me on my ability and my Indian fashion. I had great fun. I plan to dance my way to my grave!

Oh, and don't forget the use of candlelight and wine. These two erase many years from one's face. So, if you want to pick up a young hottie for the night, just meet them in low light, make sure they are drinking a bit, and, like Cinderella, disappear before the sun turns you back into an old lady ::laughs::

preraphazon said...

Thank you for the pickup tips!

I agree that some surgery, especially breast augmentation, is self-defeating. I think augmentation is stupid and self-defeating unless you need reconstructive surgery. As someone who had a tumor when I was a flat-chested 21, I think I can speak to the subject with authority. I was lucky I didn't lose everything because it wasn't cancerous, but it would have been a blight if I had without reconstructive surgery. Happily, I was mostly dating in the seventies when at least some men appreciated sleekness over unnaturally produce-like concoctions.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

Hurrah the 70s! Yes, real women were in then. It was grand! Now we are supposed to be Barbie dolls..yuck!

As I stated before, I have no issue with reconstructive surgery for serious body problems. Thank god for surgery for cleft palates and such. But, just to change one's look, it is just so sad. Variety is the spice of life, not cloning!

Btw, I think may small breasted women are absolutely sexy. We are not all attracted to the same kind of physique. I, for one, am not at all attracted to big men...huge guys with massive muscles, football player types. I prefer a smaller body. My first boyfriend was a young Korean man and he had a very strong, but fairly slender body. I thought he was terribly cute. If he beefed up with steroids, it would have totally turned me off. So, while we are making ourselves different to attract one group of folks, we are losing the other group. So what is the point?

preraphazon said...

Oh, I agree. And I'm with you on not being attracted to the big hulking guys. I do prefer them tall and lean, with defined musculature but not pronounced. But I have always also been attracted to some guys my height (5-7) or so. One of my BFs was about my height and actually had very little muscle definition.

Anyway, them days are gone, as they say, and yes, hurrah for the seventies. It was definitely a decade of excess for me, enough to last a lifetime, I think. It is only rarely now that I make a run at an old flame or something, just to keep them on their toes. I've let myself go, so I must not care, but you never know when I'll pull it back together and care again.

Ronni said...

I have run to fat. There are these two little pouches of flesh hanging off my jaw, and they give me a somewhat lugubrious expression. In a year or so, I will have figured out how to work it, but for now, it's a bit off-putting.

Still, I agree to age gracefully and naturally. I have earned every grey hair I will ever get, and I think they're going to look nice.

I don't want to be one of those women that get talked about. You know: "If she has one more face lift, she'll have a beard."

But I do want to lose a bit of weight.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown said...

It is funny that I have noticed while watching those plastic surgery shows that these folks could have skipped the surgery part and just done the weight loss, and changed their hair, makeup, and clothing, and they would have looked darned good!

Good luck with the weight loss. I know I always feel great when I am the right weight and "matronly" when I am twenty pounds heavier. I just wish we could lose weight without having to eat so darned little or exercise so much. THAT part of being older (and female) sucks.

preraphazon said...

Depends on whether you're looking good for yourself or men. With me, my face would look a lot older if I got trimmed down. I care about my face for my own benefit, not because I'm trying to get men. If I was trying to get men, I'd care more about being thin than having face wrinkles. My face would look better SOME thinner though!

Ireland Here said...

Each to their own I say BUT alot of these women who go for plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons, will go back again and again. When one job is fixed, they will find something else that needs to be fixed. They will never be satisfied with what they have. I think it is some sort of psychological problem or low self esteem. Alot of these women that are constantly getting surgery were actually gorgeous beforehand. Surgery destroys their natural beauty.
What may be ugly in ones eyes is beauty in anothers. So why bother getting the knife when someone somewhere will say you are ugly.

I wouldn't have it done at all, I couldn't care less about wrinkles, the only thing I really really hate about my body is the greying hair. I think I have a phobia about that LOL, I hate grey hair on anyone. So I dye mine and have done since turning 35 and will continue to do so until I die or my hair falls out. ;o)

Look at Michael Jackson, he was a handsome man before he went under the knife, now he is like a manequin. A living doll.

My husband once told me that my stretch marks are the maps my babies placed on my body to mark their life before birth and I should be proud of them. Now I wouldn't say I am proud of my stretch marks, at times I am embarrassed about them, like wearing a bikini on holiday I become a little self consious, but there is no way I would go and get rid of them (if that can be done at all). They are mine and I'm keeping them.
Our wrinkles, stretch marks and sags are the Map of our life. Wear them with contentness. (I won't say pride) ;o)

p.s I know a girl who gets botox injections on a regular basis and she is only 20 years old. Skin as smooth as a babys bottom. Why she does this is anyones guess.