Adventures in Plastic Surgery

About a year and a half ago I had breast reduction surgery. The experience was tremendously interesting, irritating, depressing, enraging, etc., but I’ve yet to write anything about it, which I cannot really explain. I mean, what kind of feminist blogger waits until she’s had a blog for seven months before writing about a personal experience with the wild world of plastic surgery? Weak.

When I was about 21 or 22 my upper back started hurting constantly, and I was always trying to learn new and bizarre stretches in an attempt to alleviate the pain. I went to the doctor, I went to yoga, I went to get acupuncture. The doctor told me I was too stressed out and gave me Ativan (good job, asshole), the yoga just made me feel like a fruitcake, and the acupuncture was just a rather funny experience in which an earnest dude from Zimbabwe practiced an ancient Chinese art on a skeptical American asshole. None of it worked.

This is pretty funny to me now, but at the time I had failed to even consider the possibility that it might be the several pounds of weight I was carrying around on my chest that was causing the problem. I’d taken birth control pills which had caused me to gain two cup sizes, and even after I stopped taking them things never went back to normal (yet another reason I think hormonal birth control sucks). Still, I assumed there was just something amiss with my back, figured I was just doomed, and got used to the serious discomfort and the fact that I couldn’t sit up straight without resting my elbows on a table for support lest I find myself in heinous pain.

I also lost the good posture my parents had gone to great lengths to teach me and got used to slouching and hiding under shirts that were way too big for me in order to avoid unwanted attention and comments like the one I received from a Mexican dude when I was on my way to work one morning: “I want some leche for my coffee.” Uh huh.

After a few years of feeling like I was carrying a papoose around, I had to give serious thought to how to remedy the situation. I’m not going to pretend, however, that physical pain was the only factor involved. I started traveling to Asia regularly in 2002, and the unwanted attention I got there catalyzed things. I decided after returning from a particularly annoying trip to China that the time had come to see whether I could get my insurance to cover a reduction. You see, among women in East Asia, breaking an A-cup is practically a mutation. I was like an anime character come to life, being fair, comparatively tall, and massively enboobened. People in China, especially, all stare at foreigners, but the stares I got all seemed to point in the same direction. Nobody was being particularly gross, but I knew what was up.

I had a serious problem deciding whether the whole thing was kosher. I mean, I’m a radical feminist. I’m opposed to people yielding to social pressure by wearing uncomfortable shoes, for fuck’s sake. Undergoing elective surgery in service of the fucakbility mandate is, like, the worst thing in the world as far as I’m concerned. But I eventually decided that living my entire life with heinous pain wasn’t an acceptable option, and that if I had a knee problem that was causing equivalent pain, I’d have had the surgery years ago. That there was the added discomfort of being stared at did not obviate the pain factor. I decided that if an evil health insurance corporation agreed that the surgery was medically sound, I’d do it. I mean, their desire to save money by avoiding providing what they’re in business to provide is even stronger than my disdain for capitulating to the patriarchy by having surgery, so I figured if they were willing to pay, it must be necessary. I also reminded myself that I wasn’t fucking with nature, but rather restoring it after birth control pills had altered it.

(The best part about the whole thing was telling people about it. I’d say that for every 10 dudes I told, 9 of them asked me if me having the surgery was OK with my then husband! I think I was almost as convinced to have the surgery by their dumbass questions as I was by back pain.)

I made an appointment to see a doctor and ask for a referral for breast reduction surgery. I told her how shitty constant back pain was and got all melodramatic about the pain I endured while wearing the torture devices that some medieval asshole had designed and called bras. She told me I was a perfect candidate because I was clearly “out of proportion.” If it hadn’t been for the fact that the extra flesh had been the result of birth control pills I would have probably been offended, but I was just glad she was going to sign the form. The next step was to find a surgeon and have her (no fucking WAY I was going to a dude) send a proposal to my insurance company, then wait for them to approve the procedure.

I searched high and low for information about the plastic surgeons in San Francisco, and eventually found out about a doctor who was known for her pro bono work for low income women who had undergone mastectomies and wanted reconstructive surgery. Now, I know there are some people who question whether having reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy is cool (be fuckable or die, even if the only reason you aren’t fuckable is because you almost died), but I was glad to find a doctor who, despite being involved in one of the most nefarious industries on Earth, at least made some use of her skills to help people who needed (or wanted) help. Plus, she went to Stanford, she was a big star at school, and she’d worked with some leaders in the plastic surgery field. She also did more breast reduction surgeries than anyone in town.

I knew I wasn’t going to like dealing with a plastic surgeon no matter what, but she was pretty cool. She didn’t give me a bunch of bullshit about how “beautiful” I was going to look or try too hard to convince me to undergo procedures I wasn’t into. I hear that’s the difference between male and female plastic surgeons: female plastic surgeons for the most part listen to their patients, while male plastic surgeons try to sell their patients on procedures they hadn’t even considered, knowing that their duderific opinions will likely create enough self-doubt in the patient that she’ll consider the additional procedure. I suppose the fact that I was in her office to have a procedure done to alleviate pain rather than to make dudes want to pork me might have had something to do with it, but she was business-like and didn’t patronize me or try to get too schmoozy, and I liked her enough, for a plastic surgeon.

Her office was another story. She shared a practice with two other female cosmetic surgeons, and they really played up the fact that they were women doing shit for women and that they conceived of their practice as one big, pink, flowery, sisterly, chocolatey self-esteem-boosting party. As soon as I walked into the place, I knew I was going to have to put on my most impressive poker face to avoid snarling and laughing at everyone and everything in the joint. Seriously, if I hadn’t already committed myself to the surgery (and gotten the referral), that office might have made me reconsider.

When I walked in I thought I had entered an Enya video.  I imagined the thought behind the decor in the waiting area, and I kept seeing a gay dude nodding knowingly at my doctor, who had just told him, “What I want is a special little world where women can feel good about capitulating to the patriarchy in the most egregious of ways. Make it feminine as fuck. Is there any way it can be candlelit?” The end result: a reception desk covered in artsy, tremendously expensive flower arrangements, boxes of some kind of luxury brand of tea for us ladies (all ladies love tea), and boxes of chocolates and other sweets, manned by a woman so gracious and accommodating she didn’t even seem to notice the retina-searingly tacky relief in white faux marble of a naked, 36-24-36, recumbent woman adorning the wall behind her. The seating area was inundated with throw pillows, copies of that fucking awful magazine Oprah puts out, and brochures telling you why you “deserve” to “indulge” in Botox and other forms of self-mutilation, not to mention even more flowers. I felt like those cats on Halloween decorations look, all bristly and alarmed and shit. It was just so fucking gay (think about what I mean by that before you get mad at me).

The examination room walls were all covered in framed articles about my doctor and her colleagues, articles clipped from various “women’s” magazines on how great it was that more and more female plastic surgeons were cropping up each day because these female doctors were much more likely to be compassionate, to pay attention to what their patients really wanted, and to create more “natural” results. I felt like someone had dosed the herbal tea I drank in the waiting room with 8 drops of acid, like I’d entered some alternate universe where customer demand had supplanted patient health (har har, I mean health insurance company profit) as the central concern of the medical profession, where people needed to cut up, remove, and rearrange nature to achieve a “natural” look, where it didn’t strike anyone as strange that we should allow ourselves to be cut open and have our flesh removed and objects inserted into us and risk death and disfigurement in order to meet a beauty standard set by the fickle minds behind the advertising and entertainment media.

I was jittery as fuck. I didn’t ask any questions, I just put on the plushy bathrobe and followed the nurse into the room where they’d take photos of me, topless, to send to my insurance company to prove that my boobs were big enough to warrant being made smaller. Yep. I then went in to discuss the whole thing with my doctor, who told me that she might have to suck fat from the space between my armpit and my chest to add to the flesh she’d be removing from my breasts, because the insurance company required that she remove a certain weight in grams. Besides, she told me, most women don’t like having that little bit of fat there, and I’d probably like the result. Ugh. I told her that I had somehow managed to avoid worrying about that little bit of flesh and wasn’t going to start, and that if that was going to be the deciding factor I didn’t need to do the surgery. Like I said, I was basing my justification of the whole thing to myself on my insurance company’s agreement that it was medically necessary, because I figured they’d be loathe to grant the approval unless it was.

After submitting to the humiliation of my first ever topless photo shoot and of being scrutinized, poked at, fondled, and discussed as if I were not there, I left the office and returned to the streets of Pacific Heights, where only 60 — rather than 100 — percent of the women around me thought injecting botulism into one’s face was cool. You know, back to reality.

I waited a few weeks, found out I’d been approved, and made an appointment to have the surgery. The day of the surgery things were a little less nauseating since we were at a regular medical facility rather than the beauty salon environment of my doctor’s own office. I don’t remember much about the whole thing except asking for my underwear the second I came to. I spent the entire day and night in the hospital in a morphine nod, intermittently noticing some show on television about lemurs and complaining that the stupid nurses kept coming in and messing with me too much.

I don’t think I’d realized beforehand how serious this surgery was. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t move my arms, couldn’t do shit for a whole day, and then had to spend two weeks at home on drugs with my mom and then-husband doing pretty much everything for me since my entire torso and both of my arms were useless unless I wanted to rip my internal stitches and suffer excruciating pain. The doctor wouldn’t let me shower for three goddamn days, which would have kept me from having the surgery in the first place had I known about it. (Seriously, I hang out in the shower all day. That was the worst torture I’ve ever endured.) But even when I could get in the shower, I needed help doing the simplest things. I was so incapacitated that I had to have people hand me things that were sitting a foot away from me, and I even had to have my mom wash my hair for me. Ridiculous.

I kept reminding myself the whole time that, once I had endured this nonsense, I’d be done with being in pain all day every day, but I still felt like I’d betrayed myself somehow, like I’d invited physiological injury on myself out of psychological weakness. I think that had something to do with the fact that I had two weeks to lie there and think about the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of women who endure exactly what I was enduring without the excuse of back pain, and I had plenty of time to doubt the decision I’d made once I was actually suffering the consequences of it. My doctor had given me a packet of papers, one of which discussed the psychological after-effects of cosmetic surgery. An all-purpose sheet, it lumped me in with everyone else, and helped me feel like I’d capitulated to fascistic beauty standards rather than chronic pain. It warned that pain, painkillers, and something called “post-op letdown” might make me doubt my decision, that unsupportive family members might bum my party out, but not to worry! Once I was up and about it’d all be good and everyone would see how awesome I looked! Party!

I really wish she’d made a separate sheet for people like me, maybe with some information about how our back pain would end once we’d recovered, because after I got off the Percoset and out of the house, and once I could pick up a book without crying from the pain, I decided I really had done the right thing, and that my mind had been playing tricks on me. My back doesn’t hurt anymore, my posture has returned to normal, and I can find cheap bras and clothes that actually fit me. But I told her to go with the least invasive surgery option, which meant I didn’t go that small, and that I still get stared at all the time. Oh well. At least now I really know I did it for the right reason and that I wasn’t just bullshitting myself.

So, I suppose all this means I’m qualified to discuss the ethical issues involved in the plastic surgery industry, which I’ll get to shortly.

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Hey, kid, don’t worry that your mom is all cut up and bloody. It’s for good reason.

I suppose I’m a bit late on this one, but I’ve been writing papers and marveling at how my blog has all of a sudden started getting a ton more hits (I have no idea why), and now I’m recovering from some kind of alcohol-abetted flu that’s kept me from doing anything but watching What’s Happening on, drinking Capri Sun, and complaining.

But enough about me. You’ve all, I’m sure, heard that some munificent plastic surgeon with a heart of gold has written a children’s book in an attempt to ease the confusion and fear that children experience when they see their mothers’ bodies cut up and put back together again in some new configuration that more closely matches what Cosmopolitan and America’s Next Top Anorexic deem acceptable.

What a sport. Basically, he’s clearing up a lot of confusion for the general public. We’ve all heard about the “mommy packages” on offer at the average plastic surgeon’s office that include tummy tucks, breast lifts, implants, and probably some kind of vaginal rearrangement. Modern medicine: the professionals are here to fix nature for us, because nature doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing. You can’t allow creating a new life from zero, carrying it around for 9 months, and giving birth to salt your game, ladies! I know some of us were thinking that there might be something kind of… I don’t know… unnatural about the whole thing, especially since kids tend to freak out a little to hear their mommy’s going to risk death and disfigurement in order to look like she didn’t give birth to them, but luckily this doctor’s here to straighten us, and our stupid kids, right out.

Women are supposed to look pretty, kid. Don’t worry when some doctor cuts your mom up, removes parts of her, sticks foreign objects inside her body, then sews her back up. When she comes home all bruised, swollen, and covered in gauze, don’t even trip. And when she can’t talk to you or hug you for a few weeks or months because she’s too doped up and because it hurts to much, don’t be a little bitch about it and start crying. Because, just think, once it’s all over, she’ll be hot as fuck, and your dad will want to do it with her, which means he won’t be out looking for some other, younger, hotter woman to leave you and your mommy for. And besides, won’t you be proud when your friends call your mom a MILF?

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Things I learned on my flight to Atlanta

Here I am on a goddamned plane again, deprived of internet access and thus stuck reading whatever drivel I’ve brought with me or been able to buy at the airport candy/bad book/stupid “I heart New York” souvenir store. I’m avoiding reading a book about German militarism during World War I, so New York Magazine it is. The store had a fairly huge selection of magazines, but this was somehow the best thing I could find, which I think means that magazines suck in general. The store’s magazine displays, which mirrored those in most magazine shops, had some interesting ideas to communicate, though. There are two sections in any magazine store, the one for women and the one for men. The women’s section includes about 75 varieties of Urban Sexbot and 15 or 20 versions of Drudgery and Self-Doubt, also known as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, respectively. Then there are the decorating and cooking magazines, and of course bridal mags. The men’s section, where I did my shopping (fucking gender rebel, I am), includes a rather more diverse collection of titles. Apparently men are into stuff besides cosmetics, dieting, sexual subservience, and housework. They get to read about politics, economics, science, sports, architecture, cars, technology, music, surfing, skateboarding, and whatever woman is the chick-everyone-wants-to-bang du jour.

This (pseudo) literary segregation isn’t exactly a major discovery, but rather a reminder of the fact that women are here to look good, get porked, and wait on men. Men, on the other hand, are here to run shit and do all the interesting stuff.  This copy of New York — an ostensibly unisex publication — that I’ve just suffered through went ahead and poked me in the eye with that message, too. Besides the plethora of ads for obscenely expensive straight-outta-the-Hanoi-sweatshop clothing, tasteless faux-imported home decor, and overpriced midtown condos, the magazine also contains a wealth of information on enhancing one’s femininity… er… vagina.  The back section, as is the case with nearly every locally-focused publication, has several ads for plastic surgeons offering “vaginal tightening” surgery (a scientific term, I’m sure), something called uterine resuspension (you don’t want that fucker sagging, do you?), and perineum reconstruction (what is going on with our femme-bonches that they need to be reconstructed?). One surgeon’s office also claims to specialize in “building a Brazilian butt without the scars,” as well as calf augmentation. 

It’s a good thing these services are on offer, because from the looks of the dating services’ ads sharing the page with the plastic surgeons, women are going to need youthful vaginas, uteruses, and calves just to get in the door.  One agency, Model Quality Introductions, Inc., claims, “The most beautiful single women in the nation want to meet you!” But only if “you” are rich, because Model Quality Introductions, Inc. is an agency that only serves “affluent men seeking serious relationships.”  Amy Laurent International, another dating service with an ad on the same page, is run by “Amy Laurent & Fashion Model [sic] Alysia Ellin” and serves “successful men and the most beautiful women in the country.” If that wording is a little too subtle for you, there’s always American High Society Asian Match, “A place where affluent generous older men can be introduced to beautiful intelligent younger ladies for a caring loving relationship [emphasis in original].” These guys may be averse to comma use, but at least they’re (sort of) honest about the kinds of relationships they’re looking to create. Well, except for that shit about “caring” and “loving.”  What about men who aren’t successful or affluent? Or who don’t want to take on the burden of a long-term prostitute’s financial upkeep? I mean, who wants to commit to bankrolling a woman until she hits 27? Not to worry. The next page can steer you to a wealth of Asian women who can’t wait to give you a happy-ending rubdown for $100 or so, and you don’t even have to ask their names.

Write this down: for women, success is defined by being fuckable, and that means having a designer vagina, an appropriately-positioned uterus, an imported Brazilian culo, and a driver’s license that says you’ve yet to pass 27. For men, success is defined by being successful, which means having enough money to afford to pay someone who would never give you the time of day to let you touch them.   Write this down too: in the future, avoid magazines that aren’t Bitch.

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Plastic boobs can tell us a lot about our society.

Has anyone besides me noticed the strange goings on in the world of mannequin boobs? Aside from the problem that the vast majority of mannequins hover somewhere around a size 2 when the average woman in this country wears a size 12, there is something amiss here. It seems these days that if a mannequin’s breasts haven’t been grotesquely enlarged, they have at least been adorned with conspicuously erect nipples.


If we must have fake plastic people in the form of mannequins and dolls, I’m all for anatomically correct representations of the human body, but I seriously doubt that’s the intention here. I mean, I know most of us have nipples, and that most of them have the capability of becoming erect, but I also know that that isn’t their default state. It takes either cold or sexual arousal to create an erect nipple, and something tells me these clothing stores aren’t trying to create an association between their products and a brisk winter’s day.

Then there are the new mannequins with the ridiculously large breasts. The makers claim that these mannequins are hot sellers because of the growing number of women with breast implants and the resultant demand for clothing designed to fit a size 4 body with 34 Z breasts or whatever the fuck these are.



Isn’t this a symptom of the fact that our perception of what a woman’s body ought to look like has gotten away from us? That mannequin on the left looks like an anime character, not a human being. Mannequins purportedly represent an ideal (fascistic) body type, which makes this trend quite troubling. It means that breast implants are becoming so commonplace that the general public no longer thinks it odd for a female mannequin to have breasts six times larger than those that nature could provide a woman with. It means that the “ideal” body type is no longer something that can be attained without surgery. It’s distressing to me that porn culture (which is the source of the breast implant craze) has seeped into the mainstream to such an extent that the average woman now apparently doesn’t do a double-take when presented with a representation of the human female body that is so distorted that it reminds one of science fiction. In both the erect-nipple and the giant-boob incarnations, these mannequins are a representation of the fact that women’s bodies are, in all circumstances, to be seen as sexualized objects, and that mannequin makers have (probably correctly) surmised that women have internalized that idea to the point that they won’t demur when confronted with such oddities. Fucking sweet.

(This is kind of a silly aside, but what if some people in the future found these two sorts of mannequins and, knowing nothing of 21st-century American culture, attempted to construct some conception of our culture therefrom? I would really like it if people commented with what kinds of theories they think these future anthropologists would come up with.)

What Would A Dude Do?

I have a general policy that if something hurts, restricts my movement, or is likely to cause long-term health problems or discomfort, I won’t do it if that’s at all possible. I’m pretty sure that anyone who reads this will agree that this is a fairly sound policy, and one that dovetails with common sense and basic human instincts and tendencies. So why, then, do everyday women’s fashion and grooming practices seem to contradict such a simple set of guidelines?

I often wonder whether people will take me to be condemning women for choosing to wear revealing and/or restricting clothing and say that I’m adding to the problem of sexism by trying to add my own set of restrictions on what women ought to be doing. But that’s not really what I’m about. It’s my theory that, were it not for the fact that women are constantly inundated with the message that they are worthless if they aren’t sexually appealing, they wouldn’t wear uncomfortable and restrictive clothing anymore because the entire impetus for enduring the discomfort that wearing such attire entails would have been obviated. Really, why is sexiness the main criterion in choosing clothing, supplanting even utility and comfort?

I have a little test I apply when I stumble upon something I suspect is sexist or detrimental to women. If it’s media, I imagine that the woman being depicted is a man. If it’s a behavior expected of women, I imagine what a man would say to someone who suggested he do it. It almost never fails: if the switcheroo results in a sense of absurdity, I’ve found some sexist shit. If you think about it, fashion is kind of a catch-22 for women; men get to call us ugly (and therefore virtually worthless) if we don’t contort and torture our bodies in order to fulfill their standard of beauty, then they get to make fun of us for being insane when we do the things required to fit that model. Well, fuck that. I normally think this is a terrible idea, but when it comes to fashion and grooming, I’m advocating applying the test of “What would a dude do?” Here is a list of things that many women do regularly that most men would never consider doing, and that women should stop doing, with a handy little set of reasons why they aren’t cool and some alternatives.


  • · The problem: Pube (or any) waxing

° Why it isn’t cool: I’ve never done it, but I’m pretty sure it hurts, like a LOT, and that alone is reason enough not to do it. But if your own physical pain isn’t enough to override the insidious influence of the porn industry, think about what it means when dudes prefer women with no pubic hair.

° What you should do instead: Date people who are attracted to natural adult women, not children or plastic dolls.

  • · The problem: High-heeled and pointy-toed shoes

° Why they aren’t cool: Again, the main reason not to do this is that it causes physical pain, but it also restricts movement and causes long-term health problems. I used to work at a shoe store and I eventually got used to walking around for 8 or 9 hours in 4-inch heels with sharply pointed toes, but the sensation of wearing shoes like this for the first time should warn anyone off of doing it ever again. High-heeled shoes, especially those of the stiletto variety, vastly increase your likelihood of breaking your feet and ankles, and they force your toes into positions that will guarantee you bone spurs, bunions, and plenty of other heinous foot problems in middle and old age.

° What you should do instead: For fuck’s sake, don’t get your little toe shortened so you can keep wearing them. What would a dude do? He’d get some comfortable shoes and retain his ability to walk without fear of breaking his feet or incurring long-term damage, that’s what. Get some sneakers or flat shoes that at least somewhat follow the shape of the human foot rather than a garden spade.

  • · The problem: Make-up

° Why it isn’t cool: Women still make 70 cents on the dollar for what men make, so why are we spending 15 times what they do on grooming products? Make-up is not only a waste of money, it’s also a complete waste of time. Even if it only takes 5 minutes, it’s still too much. You could spend that 5 minutes reading my blog, thinking about ways to take down the man-chine, vandalizing misogynistic bus-stop ads, smoking angel dust, or sleeping. And then you wouldn’t have to deal with feeling like there was shit all over your face all day. Just imagine a situation in which your eye itches and you can just rub it, worrying not about exacerbating the problem by rubbing mascara flakes into your eye.

° What you should do instead: Not wear make-up. If your own money/time/comfort aren’t important enough to get you to knock off the face painting, just think about the fact that women have to paint themselves in order to be attractive. That situation ought to change, since it means that nature has been subverted and we are no longer born with what we need to propagate the species.

  • · The problem: Fake fingernails

° Why they aren’t cool: Let’s see… I can pay $30 to waste an hour of my life sniffing chemicals and making my hands less useful? Sweet! Although going to the nail salon does afford one the opportunity to get gossiped about in Vietnamese, it’s a waste of money and it isn’t good for you. The chemicals are carcinogenic, most salons aren’t sanitary, and they smell like a toxic waste dump. Plus, fake long fingernails make typing, dialing a phone, picking your nose, and… everything else you do with your hands harder. There’s a reason the only place you saw fake fingernails until about 20 years ago was in the porn industry: long fingernails are meant for people who do nothing but have sex and get looked at.

° What you should do instead: If you must have long nails, stick with growing your own pinkie nails out a la Chinese taxi drivers. But really, that’s also kind of stupid. Leave them short.

  • · The problem: Restrictive and impractical clothing

° Why it isn’t cool: Uh, it restricts movement. Anything that is so tight that it keeps you from being able to run, do the Kid ‘n’ Play, or step over things, and anything that will expose your private bits if you move the wrong way is a ridiculous imposition. And then there are impractical items of clothing like those fucking ridiculous short sweatshirts that leave the midriff exposed and those turtleneck tank tops. If it’s warm enough out to not clothe your midriff or arms, why the fuck do you need a sweatshirt or a turtleneck? What that means is that either a) you are suffering being too hot in order to wear the silly garment, or, more likely, b) you are suffering being too cold on one part of your body in order to sexualize yourself in spite of cold weather. Either way, it’s even dumber than wearing flip-flops with jeans.

° What you should do instead: Get some pants and a t-shirt.

  • · The problem: Plastic surgery

° Why it isn’t cool: The risks of death and disfigurement are pretty good reasons to not do something. I once had a neighbor whose friend had gotten a LOT of plastic surgery done all at once. For some strange reason, her body rejected the foreign objects she had implanted in her cheeks and chin, and didn’t respond well to having large chunks of flesh removed (imagine that!), so she ended up having to go through a year-long series of operations to try to correct the problems created by the first set, none of which were free of charge. She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and came out looking vastly less attractive than she had been in the first place. People think that stories like this are rare, but the truth is that they aren’t. A much too large proportion of cosmetic surgeries require what plastic surgeons euphemistically call “revision”. What that actually means is that they come out so fucked up that more surgery is required to fix the scarring, misshapenness, or other such deformity caused by the first surgery. It is terrifically disturbing that we’ve reached a point in which people don’t seem to think it unreasonable to have surgery, an option usually deemed a last resort when it comes to actual physical disorders, in order to make themselves more porkable.

° What you should do instead: Get counseling. If you’re considering having an operation for cosmetic reasons, you’ve absorbed the more nefarious messages of our distorted culture to the point that you’ve completely lost the plot.


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Milton Bradley to kids: Plastic surgery is a normal part of life.

I played Life when I was little. It was kind of a fun game, especially because it had a little 3-D wheel and exciting little game pieces that set it apart from plain ol’ flat game boards. I know that the message of the original game was a little uncool; it revolved around going to college, getting married, having kids, and amassing a fortune with which you were expected to buy a house, insurance, and stock, all before retiring as a millionaire if you were lucky, or going bankrupt (and then what?) if you weren’t. Apparently, any experiences that don’t follow this trajectory aren’t considered “life,” or at least won’t make you a winner in the game of life. I suppose it was already gross enough that the game gave children the idea that life revolves around getting married (and being straight), having kids, and money (not to mention wearing pink if you’re female and blue if you’re male), but the new version really takes unthoughtful participation in American consumerism and general tomfoolery to new heights.

One of the squares on the new version of the board says, “Have Cosmetic Surgery, Pay $100,000.” WHAT THE FUCK?! Have we actually reached a point where a room full of adults, when trying to decide on what to add to a children’s game to bring it up to date, would land on plastic surgery as the best option? I realize that the practice of allowing yourself to be put under potentially lethal general anesthesia and cut open, rearranged, and stapled back together has become more and more mainstream in the last few years, but I wasn’t aware that it had gotten to the point where the general public didn’t think it was inappropriate to suggest it to children who are still too young to know that their worth as human beings will someday be decided by how many people want to fuck them. Fucking unbelievable. And not only do the Milton Bradley people think that having plastic surgery is a normal part of life, they also think that a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS’ worth of plastic surgery is nothing to blink at. Do you have any idea what kind of damage you can do to the human body with $100,000? That’s enough money to turn RuPaul into Danny DeVito.

I should have seen this coming. Remember that show The Swan? In that show, the producers paid for several women to have multiple cosmetic procedures, starved them, forced them to work out all day for like 6 weeks, then put them in a beauty pageant to prove that all but one of them still weren’t good enough. Then there are shows like Nip/Tuck, which, aside from offending the senses with some of the worst writing in television history, attempts to make entertainment out of women who are so obsessed with increasing the number of men who want to have sex with them that they will put semen on their faces and have a million dollars’ worth of plastic surgery. Then there’s Dr. 90210, probably the creepiest show on TV, in which we get to see just how unethical and ego-maniacal plastic surgeons can get. That “doctor” can frequently be seen urging women to go with breast implants 2-3 cup sizes larger than the size they say they want, and he can also be seen pushing surgeries on body parts these women didn’t even know they should be ashamed of yet. I rarely hear anyone even mention how unbelievably creepy these shows and what they represent are, so I suppose Milton Bradley execs are just more in touch with where the general public is at than I am. They’re the ones with the marketing department and the focus groups.

So, I guess that’s it. It’s now officially pathological to not look like a porn star, and kids ought to get themselves prepared for the eventuality that they’ll need surgery to correct nature. Good looking out, Milton Bradley.

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