Opinion » The Rant

The Rant (October 30, 2014)

The pitfalls and horrors of plastic surgery in our youth-obsessed culture.


  • Mario Anzuoni | Reuters
  • Renée Zellweger

Every day when I wake up, I go look in the bathroom mirror and say, "Hello, Dad." I no longer, however, stand and stare wondering, "What the hell happened?" because I've come to embrace the situation at hand. I just ain't young no more. Believe me, I understand wanting to maintain a youthful appearance for as long as possible, and I'm not opposed to a nip or tuck here and there. In full disclosure, I had excess fat surgically removed from my eyelids not too many years ago. It wasn't for vanity's sake; it had become a vision problem, unlike when I freaked out about my hair falling out in my teens and underwent a botched transplant that I've regretted ever since. So, I get it. Anything that can make you feel better about yourself and give you a more positive outlook on life is a good thing. But just as morbid obesity has become epidemic among the poor, the wealthy have been hit with an outbreak of obsessive and extreme cosmetic surgery.

The latest celebrity victim is Renée Zellweger, whose transformation from an apple-cheeked beauty into a homogeneous contestant on American Idol dominated last week's news — even above ISIS and Ebola. But at least she still looks like an inhabitant of this planet, unlike some of the other freaks and geeks out there.

Let's take Bruce Jenner for example. How does one of the finest athletes in the world transform himself from an Olympic decathlon champion into Mrs. Doubtfire? And Pamela Anderson? She has been watching that bay for a little too long. The examples are everywhere. Some of the grotesqueries I can name are Melanie Griffith, Meg Ryan, Mickey Rourke, Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow, Carrot Top, and Donatella Versace. Also, everyone on the Bravo Network, including the Real Housewives of Everywhere. Have you seen this thing? If Pamela Anderson was the innovator of bubble breasts, the Real Housewives have taken it to a higher plane. They have huge balloons implanted in their breasts that look so tight it seems they might explode at any minute, sending the poor Housewife flying around the room in a zig-zag pattern.

So many women have emulated them that you can see the same double-D dirigibles at the grocery store, or Walmart, if I ever went there. These women believe that this is what men want, but I'll clue you in on something — men don't care. Big and small, they love 'em all. For once, I'd like to see a small-breasted woman featured as the Playboy centerfold.

And can we discuss butts for a second? I saw Iggy Azalea on Saturday Night Live, and came to the conclusion that it's no longer the size of your voice that counts, it's the size of your ass. When did America go ass crazy? Between Iggy, Nicki Minaj, and J-Lo, they have enough rump to start their own parliament. (That's an Oliver Cromwell reference, by the way).

Suddenly women across the country are getting butt implants so they can twerk properly in the club. I'll bet Sir Mixalot never imagined that his "I Like Big Butts" song would become a national surgical obsession. There's no part of the human body that someone hasn't thought of accessorizing with an implant. I saw one dude that had implants put in his biceps and pectorals so he could look ripped without all that heavy lifting. He stated that next, he wanted to "do his wings." I think before you have surgery, you should have to know the name of the muscle that you're having implanted. There have currently been so many botched cosmetic surgeries that a whole new medical field has opened up devoted to the correction of the macabre results. Americans have become as addicted to surgery as someone hooked on crack.

If Michael Jackson was the king of facial demolition, Joan Rivers was the queen of reconstructive surgery. She had her face lifted so many times they had to slip in a new body underneath. Of course, it's not polite to kick the dead when they're down, so let's discuss Courtney Love instead. Or Suzanne Somers, who at age 67 looks more like 97.

I've never understood why women subject themselves to pancake make-up, stiffened hair, and spiked heels that make them look like unbalanced ballerinas. Since men are mostly oblivious to these things, I've surmised that they do it for each other. I've never met a woman in high-heels at a party who didn't complain about her feet hurting or wanting to sit down. You look perfectly fine to us menfolk barefooted. Not as in "barefoot and pregnant," but you know what I mean. We just don't want you to have to toe-dance all the time.

It's not easy growing old in a youth-obsessed culture, but once you're finished trying to impress others and begin to accept aging with dignity, a whole new world of "don't give a damn" opens. Ultimately, a beautiful face is not as meaningful as a beautiful soul. And there's no way to implant one of those.

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