Mirror, Mirror Off The Wall – Plastic Surgery or Italy?

plastic surgery

DON’T GO UNDER the knife, go to Italy where men appreciate older women“, offers my friend Pam as we step into the convention hotel lobby in search for a much deserved glass of wine. These are words of wisdom shared by one of her female friends who recently returned from an obviously ‘lucky’ trip to Europe.

Pam’s ‘go to Italy’ advice definitely has me thinking… I’ve lived on both sides of the pond and come to think of it, I don’t have one single friend or relative in Europe who’s had much of anything ‘done’ that I can see. And they all look just fine.

Apparently the plastic surgery philosophy is more discreet in Europe, I remember my horrified Paris born and bred mom pleading “But pussycat, those aren’t the breasts I gave you, why would you do that?” when I told her I had gotten breast implants in my twenties. I think she felt she had somehow failed me and yes, I felt just a tad guilty.

It didn’t last, as you know from my last postDamn The Torpedoes’, I had my own reasons for bolstering my bust. Which didn’t last either…

Things do seem to have gotten quite of hand in North American  though. Parents are actually giving breast augmentations for their teenage daughters’ sweet sixteen!

plastic surgery

Just recently Dr. Michael Niccole, a Newport Beach plastic surgeon stated in an ABC 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters that he inserted breast implants into his eighteen year old daughter himself. Oh, and a touch of Botox as well.

All-righty then… plastic surgery really is a 10 billion dollar industry over here in the New World.

It seems in Europe people are more apt to play the hand they’re dealt in the looks department, getting less conspicuous rejuvenating treatments.  Something to be said for centuries of culture and appreciation of things old.

But what to do if you totally slept in the day the wrinkle-free skin and cleavage cards were handed out?

Pam and I are now comfortably bellied up to the bar and diligently practicing the French Paradox diet – lots of red wine, French bread, cheese and salad to keep that cholesterol down. After successfully flirting with the bartender to get an overpour of cabernet, we discuss a biography I recently saw about a famous, departed octegonarian actor.

Some of the female actors and friends interviewed for his biography were European and some American. The disparity in plastic surgery between the two

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groups was Botox-defyingly eyebrow raising.

While the American gals’s over-tightened faces appeared to be clinging onto youth for dear life, lips pumped up Hollywood style and brows fully immobilized (you know what I’m talking about), the European ladies were elegantly moving forward in life.

Not to say they didn’t get a little extra help from the scalpel, hell, a girl’s got to be able to look in the mirror with the lights on, BUT… It is clear to me how the North American obsession with looking twenty-five, ok eighteen, can drive a woman to extreme and unfortunate measures.

I’m all for plastic surgery if that’s your next pit stop, personal maintenance is always a good thing and sometimes it’s just more extensive when you get older. But don’t you agree the bar for beauty has been unrealistically set in this continent when eighteen year olds are getting Botox?

Am I being old-fashioned here or can we find a happier, more self-accepting medium (or large) somewhere in our souls?

If you do decide to get some surgical assistance for your appearance, you go, girl! But please take a lesson from our European counterparts, be elegant, not obvious.

It’s your face, not a fashion.

Heres’ some food for thought from Henri Cartier-Bresson “At a certain point, one gets the face one deserves.”

So smile, pardner, or move to Italy where laugh lines are sexy.

plastic surgeryEsmée SJ