Blaming the Botoxed

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Kanye and Donda West, May 2007.

Kanye and Donda West, May 2007. Source: Vince Bucci/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Source: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

I admit it. I went through a pretty serious Nip/Tuck phase, watched I Want A Famous Face, and have even tuned in to the occasional Dr. 90210. For whatever reason, I, like many, am captivated by stories of transformation through plastic surgery (though, for some reason, I absolutely cannot watch nose jobs. There's something about the chiseling that churns my stomach). And though these shows are sensational, graphic, voyeuristic, and possibly exploitative, I actually think they've taught me something: There are all kinds of plastic surgery patients. It's not just about narcissism, so don't be too quick to judge the patients. Washington Post Fashion editor Robin Givhan takes it a step further, defending the most-maligned sector, those for whom it IS about vanity. In a day when celebrities never seem to age much, we suspect they've had work done, but praise their beauty anyway. But oh, if we find out allegations of cosmetic surgery are true? They're damned. It's a double standard... so what makes it ok?

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Too true!

Sent by Tony O | 3:48 PM | 11-26-2007

I had a facelift just before I turned 60. I didn't know what to expect, but I am so happy with the result. I look happier, younger, more like the self I know in the mirror. I know I am growing older, but this just helps me to accept it a little more gracefully

Sent by Chris | 3:48 PM | 11-26-2007

Look what the media did to Britney Spears. She was called FAT. Do you have any idea the numner of women who whould love to have a body like hers. Or the number of men who would love to have a wife or girl friend with a body like hers? We ar totalyy unrealistic in our definition of beauty.

Sent by Don Beck | 3:53 PM | 11-26-2007

It seems to me that people use plastic surgeons when they should be going to a psychiatrist instead. We all grow old, we all have imperfect bits and pieces. Get used to it. Wah

Sent by Tom from Juneau | 3:54 PM | 11-26-2007

It reminds me of the famous optical illusion by Charles Allan Gilbert, "All is Vanity"

Sent by Matt S. | 3:58 PM | 11-26-2007

I feel like this society places so much importance on being beautiful and even equates that to happiness; the more beautiful you are the happier you will be. So, people are constantly bombarded with the idea that they are somehow inadequate because they are not beaufiful enough, so they seek happiness and fulfilment through plastic surgery, dieting, etc.

Sent by Kiki | 4:00 PM | 11-26-2007

Most disturbing is the trend of parents who buy their children cosmetic/esthetic surgury as gifts... the very suggestion that your child "needs work" cuts far deeper than any surgical inscision!

Sent by Niesey Heckart | 4:02 PM | 11-26-2007

I feel you are wrong to condemn the caller who felt plastic surgery recipients deserve no sympathy for their mishaps. In an age where there is no health care for many of our children. where people are waiting for medical treatment, where medicare as a federal program is failing, it seems disingenuous at the least to not condemn this cavalier use of our health care expertise and dollar. (I am an RN working in rehab)

Sent by virginia broderick | 4:17 PM | 11-26-2007

I think it's that we want the youth and beauty that we worship to be authentic.

Sent by Darci Falin | 8:10 PM | 11-26-2007

I just heard your peace on Plastic surgery, and I totally agree witht hte very last caller. I feel the guest was a little out of touch. yes she is right that we all get judged by our appearance, but unfotunately (or fortunatley), like every thing else we live ina bell curve. The most of us out there look average. So when we get hired, go to court, or anything else tehy are not the person making the judgement isn't comparing us to Hollywood figures, they are comparing us to the best looking people in their firm or that has come through there court. And that person too is pretty average. Meanining if they have a few pounds, if there breast aren't symetrical or aren't 36 DD don't have a Rock Hudson chin we will not vanquish them to the trash heap. If you look average and (and don't have average money - you have an extra $3,000 laying around) and want to get some work done to look above average, by all means it is your right. But that person should asume all reponsibilty of the risks (unless there was malpractice)

Sent by Keith Jones | 2:36 PM | 11-28-2007