THE KNIFE beauty consultant to the stars
James Skinner on
why so many of us now take to the knife instead of the gym
Humans, like peacocks,
care about their external image. As far back as the fourth millennium
BC, eye makeup and perfumes were used by the ancient Egyptians to enhance
facial and bodily beauty. Later came the Romans, and during the spread
of their Empire, further makeup improvements were introduced such as
rouge and body powders. By the early 15th and 16th century, cosmetics
of all kind were widespread throughout Italy and France. The Victorian
age frowned upon such trivial pursuit from across the channel, but by
the end of WWI, a dramatic change was to take place.
Terrible facial disfigurements to soldiers had been inflicted during
the war. This allowed surgeons to develop new life saving techniques
using skin grafts and other methods to repair damaged faces. Wounds
were healed using different parts of the body including bone, fat, muscle,
cartilages and skin. The era of plastic surgery had arrived.
It wasnt long, however, before society, especially in Europe and
America began to realise that not only damaged body parts could benefit
from this new type of surgery. Why not extend the use of the techniques
to cure minor malformation and natural disfigurements? From plastic
surgery, the medical profession developed cosmetic surgery. So began
a roaring trade for aspiring entrepreneurial surgeons of the twentieth
century. A new brand of human narcissism was born.
By the 1960s and 70s microsurgery was introduced. It included
the surgical ability to join small blood vessels combined with the usual
body parts known as face flaps in a single operation. This
paved the way for better and more beautiful faces. Doctors also became
artistic in their approach and carried out feature studies of a patients
face prior to surgery. Incisions were made to coincide with natural
skin folds and all scars were ultimately concealed through the use of
Modern cosmetic surgery concentrates on improving facial contours including
the use of implants. Surgeons may strengthen a jaw line or return the
linear balance of the chin and cheekbones with the rest of the face.
A young persons nose may need a reshape whereas a mature patient
would undergo an implant, usually silicone, to repair a pair of sagging
cheeks. Forehead lifts and eyelid remodelling are not uncommon requests.
The operation may take between one to four hours depending on the extent
of changes to be made. The patients medical history is checked
beforehand, such as use of medication, blood group, alcohol consumption
and other details. He or she will be requested to refrain from eating
or drinking prior to the operation. General anaesthesia rather than
a local one will be administered prior to surgery.
However, injuries aside, why would anyone wish to alter the ones face
in the first place? Is it because one wishes to turn back the clock
and look younger? Or because one doesnt like the look of ones
face and wants to change it, or is it to look like someone else? In
fact all three are the main reasons why today, human beings tend to
visit Sweeney Todds beauty saloon.
Women have always pursued the fountain of youth through cosmetics and
cosmetic surgery. In the forties and fifties, actresses such as Zsa
Zsa Gabor and Rita Hayworth were constantly renewing their declining
beauty in order to survive Hollywood. Others of lesser notoriety would
subject their tender facial skin to the professional scalpel in fear
of losing male attraction. There are even a few that opted a change
for changes sake. Tomorrows Penelope Cruz would replace
todays Kate Winslett model.
Rhinoplasty and Chin Enhancement are often performed together. It is
not unusual to find that someone has a prominent nose and a weak chin.
In these patients, the weak profile of the lower face makes the nose
appear even larger than it actually is. If a surgeon were to make this
patient's nose match her weak lower face, the nose would have been lowered
too much and look like an "operated nose". Instead, the chin was enlarged
and the nose modestly reduced. This gave her a balanced look and a natural
appearance. See the before and after pics below.
But what about certain conceited males? Are not men equally preoccupied
and enamoured with their physical aspects to ensure everlasting attractiveness
through the use of cosmetics or surgery? To start with, one only has
to visit Boots in the local town high street, and check out the mens
cosmetics department to see the amounts of body fluids, creams and sprays
that are on sale. Je taime pom-pom juice is constantly
advertised on the television as aftershave, splash on, or eau
de toilette. Sometimes portrayed by a naked female fondling an
entranced male with the flavour of the month lotion of love.
The only real difference is in the price.
As for male cosmetic surgery, its all the rage! And we are not
talking about the fifty something either. Many human masculine species
in their mid thirties and younger are retreating for days or weeks on
end to recover from post-operational facial surgery. All are being subjected
to the same carnage as their female counterparts and for exactly the
same reasons. But there is yet another twist to this human, particularly
male, ostentation; it is known as the change your chin operation.
Beards are out and chins are in, stated a tabloid a few
weeks ago. Whereas kings and gentlemen of old preferred to allow their
natural undergrowth to cover their faces, todays modern captains
of industry prefer a clean-shaven jaw line. That is not all; members
of the male sex in the USA are opting for chin look-alike operations.
It will not be long, if it hasnt already occurred, whereby European
males will be put through the same torture mill.
Brent Moelken, a Californian plastic surgeon stated: People with
weak chins in the media are portrayed as embezzlers or as having weak
characters. So a strong chin is very important. This has spilled over
from film to industry with executives and salesmen who feel a strong
chin would enhance their credibility.
So, hairstyles are old hat and chins are new vogue.
If you are a man and had a choice, would you go for the movie star look
of Kirk Douglas (circa 1950), Brad Pitt or Mel Gibson? Or would you
try a more political touch, seeing as it is election time, such as a
Tonys crony or a Williams Bruce Willis
look ? Whatever you do, dont go for the Prescott Special
. You might end up with egg on your face!
© James Skinner. 2001.
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