Good Plastic Surgery

Why don’t you ever see tabloid headlines about “Good Plastic Surgery” or “Great Botox”? Or maybe “Fantastic facelift” or “Tremendous Tummy tuck”?

Well, besides the fact that 1) sensationalist headlines sell papers, and 2) we all have an excessive sense of curiosity about all things related to celebrities, regardless of their actual talent level, good plastic surgery should be basically undetectable. It shouldn’t be the first thing you notice when you look at someone for the first time.

Good plastic surgery is about restoring or enhancing what is known as “the beautiful normal” – that is, the attractive end of the bell curve distribution of normal anatomy. A good facelift, for example, should smooth the cheeks, eliminate the jowls and correct the neck, but without obvious scars, or any peculiar “pulled” appearance, so everything looks like it did five or ten years earlier.

“Good” botox should just soften the expression lines of the face, and not leave the person looking frozen, or devoid of expression. Nor should it drop the eyebrows, creating an appearance reminiscent of Mr. Spock. (the Vulcan, not the author-pediatrician!)

“Good” lip fillers make female lips look young and luscious, and not like two sausages next to one another.

“Good” breast implants do not look bolted on, or like two cantaloupes. There should be a soft-looking, flowing shape that is proportional to the woman’s frame.

“Good” eyelid surgery doesn’t make you look permanently surprised, gaunt, or feline. It merely removes overhanging skin or puffy fat, letting the natural beauty of the eye show through.

And none of it should be obvious. It should be a “Did she or didn’t she?” and not “OMG! Look at her!”

Bad plastic surgery distorts a feature so that it stands out from the rest, but not in an attractive, harmonious way. As one of my professors used to say, “Bad plastic surgery shouts, but good plastic surgery only whispers…”

As for the answer to the enduring mystery of why so many Hollywood celebs get some bizarre-looking work done – well, I’m as stumped as you are. One would think that these celebs, with their money and connections, would know which plastic surgeons are the good ones in town…

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