March 2009

He Says - She Says: Plastic Surgery

Author: Keith Kelson & Jean Wharton

He Says
By Keith Kelson

I’d just like to state for the record that I’m not a big fan of plastic surgery for men or women. I’m not totally against it but, I tend to lean towards avoiding surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary. The doctor says that I may need to have my appendix removed before it explodes? I’m willing to hop on the operating table. Some plastic surgeon says that he can get rid of my laugh lines? When is the last time you heard of someone needing emergency plastic surgery? “We need to remove the wrinkles from this man face!! These crow’s feet are threatening to sever his aorta!” It’s just not on the list of manly things to do, dude.

While it’s true that I’ve yet to hear any man outside of Hollywood utter the words, “I know a fantastic plastic surgeon,” I know that a number of you are thinking that maybe I should stop clinging to antiquated notions of what is manly. Maybe it is wrong to say that a man considering a little nip or tuck should be called a cupcake. We live in the 21st century, after all, and there are men getting facials, makeovers and manicures; so it’s only natural that some of those men may seek the help of a professional to improve on what nature gave them or, in some cases, didn’t provide. Those men shouldn’t be ridiculed by their peers; they should be applauded for their willingness to go against the grain and be trailblazers.

Hey, I say it’s my job to make fun of those cats for wanting to be prettier than the average woman, but I also say they’re wasting time and money—money that could be used to build an actual video game arcade in the garage. Imagine being able to play Capcom’s Street Fighter IV with your buddies in your garage. Women dig guys with their own arcades, you know.

It’s just time that those cats face facts. You guys getting a little work done are kidding yourselves. You’re chasing fool’s gold and there’s no reason to do so. You see, women are more evolved than men, and they’re not as hung up on the outside packaging as men are. Do looks matter to them? Yes, but we’ve all seen stunning women on the arm of average looking guys. When you ask those women what’s important to them, they’ll say “personality” every time. So, there’s no need for a man to seek out “Dr. 90210” or any other plastic surgeon with a reality show. You’ve got visible signs of aging? Well, so does Sean Connery, and you don’t see him complaining, do you? Suck it up and be a man, dude.

First of all, as a man, you have to realize that there is a natural order to things; and if you’re smart and want to lead a stress-free life, you don’t go around tinkering with nature. We’ve all seen by now how very fragile the average ecosystem is. Mother Nature intended for the lives of men to be relatively simple, just like a Tom & Jerry cartoon. For those not familiar with William Hanna and Joseph Barbera’s classic cartoon duo, Tom, the pampered house cat, chases, Jerry, the mouse. The majority of the time, it’s hilarity and hijinks galore, with Jerry usually outwitting Tom by the end of the cartoon. Spike, the burly English bulldog next door, chases Tom on those occasions when he appears as a guest star. Jerry, by the way, had to replace that prima donna, Mickey Mouse, in the 1945 musical Anchors Aweigh with Gene Kelly, when Mickey’s agent started demanding more screen time. Mickey’s posse didn’t help matters any when Goofy and Donald destroyed a sound stage by accidentally setting off several cases of very powerful exploding cigars. But I digress…

Remember when I said that women are more evolved? Women are playing chess while some of you poor chaps are playing checkers. Women are cunning creatures and they’re not going to tell you the real reason why they’re more inclined to not be as hung up on looks as men are. Women, you see, understand that they have a tactical advantage when it comes to dealing with today’s modern man, and they’re not about to play poker with their cards face up. They are perfectly content to let men go around scratching their heads when they see a gorgeous woman with an average looking Joe. For those willing to unplug themselves from the matrix, the truth is obvious.

The truth of the matter is that women generally don’t want to be involved with a man that’s prettier than they are. Do looks matter to women? Of course, but women are hard wired to want to be the prettiest half of a couple. You can’t fight millions of years of evolution, you know. Remember Tom & Jerry? The cat chases the mouse? Just like Tom had a certain role to play in those cartoons, a man has a certain role to play in society. That means letting women and children be cute and adorable, while you attend to manly things like rebuilding a 1965 Ford Mustang from the ground up.

Facials? Pedicures? A little nip here, a little tuck there? Stop looking in the mirror, you little dandy, and get outside and get your hands dirty. Leave all that primping and preening to the ladies. Truth be told, unless you’re a boxer or a mid-level minion in an organized crime family, the word “pretty” should not be used to describe you as a man. While everyone should be concerned with their appearance, as a man, you’re not allowed to even think about plastic surgery unless your face was horribly disfigured by hot transmission fluid while you were rebuilding a 1965 Ford Mustang.

If you were rebuilding an AMC Pacer? Well, it sucks to be you, dude. Don’t worry, however, as any woman dating you is obviously a saint if she was willing to be seen riding around with you in a Pacer.

She Says
By Jean Wharton

Plastic surgery is a touchy subject around this island. Believe me. When I broached the subject among friends and colleagues I got plenty of awkward stares and uncomfortable responses. Which leads me to conclude that some of my associates have had “work done,” unbeknownst to me. If so, good for you. Plastic surgery falls into the category of things that I really don’t have an opinion on, officially. Shocking, I know. I, Jean Wharton, illustrious columnist who always has an opinion, don’t have one…at least I don’t have a strong opinion either way.

Razzle the feisty feminist side of me, and I’ll fiercely disagree with the unrealistic expectations of what the modern American woman is supposed to look like. Ridiculous, fanciful, implausible and in many cases unhealthy. Women’s faces and figures are not all the same, nor should they be. Why do magazines, television, movies and runway models get to decide for all of us how big our lips should be, how high our breasts should be lifted and how wide our back sides are allowed to rest? This is a chicken/egg situation. Can the media truly be blamed? Were there not cosmetic treatments and extreme standards of beauty thousands of years ago? Whomever we allow to define what is considered beautiful holds a great deal of power.

As the range of acceptable beauty gets smaller and smaller, plastic surgery is clearly here to stay. Honestly, it’s not for me. That’s not to say that I’m content with all aspects of my appearance, because I am not. I do see women stress about the most minute details of their appearance and worry about every aspect of their body to the point that I wonder if their self esteem is what really needs the surgery. If you have the financial means, have your nose chiseled, your brow Botoxed or your tummy tucked if it means that you’ll stop stressing about how you look.

Have a little nip here and a tuck over there; what’s the big deal? The worrisome aspect of the rampant plastic surgery is that many people who go under the knife don’t address the emotional side of their decision to do so. I’m sure, for many people, having elective, cosmetic surgery is like going to the dentist: It’s just what you do. Those people give plastic surgery a bad name. I recently saw a woman interviewed who had had hundreds of surgeries in order to achieve her dream of looking like a Barbie doll, and she’s getting pretty close. I just wish that someone had stopped and talked with her 99 surgeries ago and gotten to the bottom of the reason she wanted to look like a child’s toy. I may have gotten my PhD in Psychology from the self-help section of Barnes and Noble, but even I can recognize a cry for help from a women with attachment issues, surely stemming from her father. The new trend in plastic surgery is for a medical practice to be tied to or associated with a health and beauty spa. This makes the process of having surgery seem more like going in for a mani-pedi day. I think they should throw in a psychologist or two, and then they really will be helping the WHOLE person.

Most women who go under the knife aren’t in search of an extreme makeover; they just want to fix or change that one thing and then everything else will be better. At least that’s the lie they have convinced themselves of. Just be honest with everyone: You wanted bigger boobs, and once you got them, you realized that your rear end needed to be downsized and your lips needed to be plumper. It’s okay to admit that you wanted things to look different. You don’t have to pretend that the rest of the world didn’t notice.

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