The future belongs to plastic surgeons

by Natalie P.

February 22, 2009 | Filed Under Popculture, Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 15 Comments

I’m convinced that in the next 20 years, with the current demographics and our aging population, that there is going to be a HUGE market for reconstructive plastic surgery.

I’m all for people having the freedom to do whatever they want to their bodies, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think it’s stupid just the same.  It seems that so many young people are incredibly short-sighted.

I see someone like this and I can’t help but wonder what they will look like when they are 65. I keep hearing the words to that old kid’s song “Do your ears hang low” (Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow?) eeeeewwww.  And of course, one can’t help but stare when you see someone like this on the streets of any North American city, and yet, you aren’t supposed to stare because in our culture, that’s RUDE. Am I being incredibly prudish? I don’t think so.  I just think it’s fuckin’ stupid.  Only a limited number of people would hire you to work for them if you looked like that. And it costs a small fortune to do all this body augmentation, so it can’t be based on a rejection of our money-driven consumerist society – there’s a whole BUSINESS around selling the shit necessary to do this to your body.


And it isn’t just guys who have bought into this insanity: how about this one? 


Double Ewwww. 

Sure, it looks ALMOST ok right now, but again, what about when she’s in her 70’s and her skin is sagging, and…. well, you get the picture.



This one is definitely going to look like shit in a few decades.

Oh. my. god.



I had a friend who confessed to me that she wished she had the money for reconstructive surgery on her labia, because she had a labial piercing in her 20’s and by the time she was in her 30’s one labial lip was hanging a good 1/2 inch lower than the other… She no longer had the piercing, but felt self-conscious about the result now that she was in her 30’s. I’m tellin’ ya, there is going to be a huge business in the future for cosmetic surgeons who specialize in repairing the folly of youth.

And let’s not forget the “Complications” that can occur whilst stretching your ears (From a page dedicated to telling you how to do this):

Bleeding and soreness are common but can continue longer than necessary if you stretch too fast.

Blowouts can occur if you stretch too early and too quickly before the piercing has the proper time to heal.

Tearing can occur when you stretch too fast too soon. This particular complication will not heal itself, and the ear love will remain with a large split or opening. You may want to nquire about plastic surgery to correct ear tearing.

Infections can develop if the piercing is not cleaned regularly/properly, or if you use improper jewelry.

My youngest son (who is an avid snowboarder), was telling me that the ski patrol sees all kinds of horrible shit happen to people with piercings on the ski hill. Ripped noses, lips, eyebrows and ears – one tumble in the snow, and any body jewellery risks getting RIPPED right out.  OUCH!

Of course, while I was looking for photos of stupid monster ear plugs (and I don’t mean the kind that block out sound), I came across other crazy shit I had never even seen or heard of (And I used to have a copy of “Modern Primitives” on the coffee table for conversation.)

Check out this freakshow:

Too weird for words


 This next one left me speechless, but you can read comments that reflected my thoughts exactly over at The Tish File, where I found this photo:

Lacing?


And now that we are on the subject of “lacing”, I thought I’d leave you with these choice images.  ouch. ouch. OUCH.



I hope she doesn't gain any weight... 


And it’s one thing to decide to do this kind of shit to your own body. It’s another entirely to do it to some innocent animal who has no choice. THIS woman should be locked up for a very long time. (*ARGH*)

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15 comments so far
  1. Sheila February 22, 2009 2:40 pm

    I actually recall seeing an article describing the sales pitch for tattoo removal lasers–“buy one of these now, and you’ll make a MINT down the road when these kids grow up!”

  2. Piraterie February 22, 2009 5:58 pm

    This article made me lose a lot of respect for this website. Circumcision (mutilation of the genitals of some innocent child who has no choice) is common in today’s society and more comparable to animal abuse than people who knowingly do this to their bodies. Frankly, I think this is an ill-informed narrow minded article.

  3. Shemjaza February 22, 2009 8:20 pm

    I think stressing about how people will look when they’re 65 or 70 is enormously pointless. Just through natural aging (assuming medical science hasn’t advanced a lot more then we predict) will leave most of us quite unattractive compared to our youthful ideals.

    Using the incredibly modified people with their inhuman appearances is odd given how separated those people are from general society already… a little sagging and withering isn’t going to make them suddenly not fit in. They have chosen to be different, their appearance isn’t the result of a sudden whim; there is a huge amount of money, time and pain involved in becoming that different. (It’s defiantly not for me, but who am I to judge if it makes them happy).

    And while I’m talking about personal preference, the surface piercings that the lacings attach to can be temporary and leave minimal scars. I also happen to find them incredibly attractive.

  4. "gunner" February 23, 2009 4:45 am

    no thanks on that stuff, i like my body, i’ve been living in it for nearly 73 years and find it still quite comfortable just as it is.
    “gunner”

  5. Ida February 23, 2009 6:42 am

    Pfff, “labial reconstruction” is the biggest scam ever, sold to women who are convinced there’s something wrong with their genitalia. If you really want a scare, google “vaginal rejuvenation” or “labiaplasty” — them pickins’ are much better than what you’re doing with this entry. And unless your friend had HEAVY piercing jewelry dangling freely from her much-maligned labia, the stretching would have been minimal; maybe her labia is simply mismatched, as these parts often tend to be?

    I’m latching onto just a tangent of your post, but I think this is important. Mainly, I’ve been trying to put my finger on why mainstream cosmetic surgery of the vay-jay bothers me a lot whilst piercings and ‘individualistic’ body modification leave me mostly indifferent (range from “oo, cool” to “whatever” to “uhh, wtf?”) and I think it’s this: piercings, tattoos, implants and amputations are often done by people who want to be different, or who already feel they are different and want the outer shell to match, sometimes by people who want to reclaim their bodies or to divorce from whatever idealised image mainstream society tells them they should look like. Looking, particularly with women, often amounts to being.

    HBI does a good job of getting together people who have found the standard insufficient and inadequate; plenty of body modification enthusiasts have as well. We don’t know the politics of every body modder, but I think it’s reasonable to assume divorcing society doesn’t only occur in their appearance, at least for some.

    Body modification has its roots in getting away from the norm, although certain things like navel rings and tribal tattoos are getting more and more mainstream by the year. Nothing wrong with either — people use whatever means they have at their disposal to identify with the norm or to break away from it.

    In glaring opposition to this, mainstream plastic surgery in general and genital surgery in specific (to clean up the nasty, dangling, gaping parts — someone should quote Sartre, that flaming misogynist) merely capitulates to the status quo: keeping women subservient by telling them there’s something wrong with their natural bodies and establishing unreasonable beauty standards, even for the down below. Most women will never be runway models; most women will never have a perfectly matching set of labia that’s “not too large”, or a cute teensy clitoris, or a ‘decently’ pink white-girl vulva instead of whatever darker shade Mother Nature saw fit to bestow on them.

    And am I the only one who finds this idealising of pre-pubescent-seeming genitalia creepy? Mismatched labia? Chop off some, and screw those sensitive nerve endings! EUUUUGH.

  6. Natalie P. February 23, 2009 8:45 am

    Yes, there are more serious things going on out in the world like Female Genital Mutilation, but this editorial isn’t about that. This is about people who DELIBERATELY mutilate themselves.

    There are plenty of people out there who are marginalized through no fault of their own and certainly those who are (or were) forced to be mutilated (footbinding, FGM, circumcision, neck lengthening – the list goes on), so I don’t have much sympathy or support for those who go out of their way to seriously mutilate/marginalize themselves.

    Where’s the line between “modification” and mutilation? I couldn’t tell you exactly, but putting 3-inch plugs in your ears certainly falls on the “mutilation” side in my mind.

    I agree that the bulk of cosmetic surgery preys on insecurities and tries to convince people (women and men both) that they should be trying to obtain some unrealistic ideal. But in my experience, I don’t see much difference in the behaviors of the tattooed and heavily pierced and those seeking beauty-modification surgery. Now I’m not saying this pertains to all people, but I know a few who have undergone this kind of modification that seemed to think it would change their lives in some mystical way. It was very similar to the justifications I have heard people give for cosmetic surgery. And you can’t tell me the people in the photographs aren’t obsessed with their appearance (well, you can, but I won’t believe you). It’s just that their obsession takes a different form.

    That being said, I think there is definitely a place for reconstructive plastic surgery (people born with horrible deformities, or those injured by fire or accident), but I agree with Ida – the new wave of demand for supposedly beauty-enhancing surgery, and our obsession with youth is really disturbing. And the whole emergence of genital cosmetic surgery (and I’m not talking about repairing damage) is REALLY whacked. I saw an interview with a teenager who wanted to get this surgery because she wanted to look like the women in the porn magazines. Seriously.

    And while I understand that there is a segment of the population that undertakes serious body modification as some way to “differentiate” themselves, I don’t think that applies to everyone. So much of it is mainstream now, that I believe there is a significant portion of participants who are just doing it to be cool or trendy, with little thought to the long-term ramifications.

  7. Ida February 23, 2009 9:13 am

    We-ell, some people vote Republican with little thought to the long-term ramifications.

    Ok, that was a cheap but satisfying shot.

    And I’m a horrible person for thinking up the slogan “FGM, not just for poor, brown folks!” What’s more horrible is that this is true: I’ve found, besides offered plastic surgeon’s services for vaginal rejuvenation (wtf?), a website that claims to “grade your vagina”. Yup, I kid you not. I reasoned the REAL point of this carnival of horrors was to a) get women to send photos of their ‘deformed’ genitalia to the owner and to b) get people to pay for browsing aforementioned photos, all in the name of science. I wish they’d at least gotten the name right — what you see is a vulva, dammit.

    Similarly, there are plastic surgeons who offer “correction services” for “tubular/malformed breasts”. Tubular breasts are a very particular deviation from the norm, usually resulting in a woman’s incapability to breastfeed her children because of a lack of the glandular tissue needed for milk production. What that website promoted, however, was ‘correcting’ perfectly normal breasts that simply weren’t super-perky. Misleading advertising? Check. Preying on people who feel inadequate? Check.

    As much as I rant about the necessity of combining personal responsibility and self-sufficiency with a fine-tuned bullshit filter, I don’t believe in individuating every problem — the “get the hell out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat” approach doesn’t work too well when we’re talking about a society that’s, not to put a too fine point on it, obsessed with looks and youth. I dunno. Non-mainstream body modification is beginning to look less and less strange in comparison to the more mainstream beatification projects.

  8. Piraterie February 23, 2009 9:15 pm

    “Where’s the line between “modification” and mutilation?”

    Consent.
    I think that if someone, who is “mentally healthy”, chooses to change something about their body… just like one might decide to exercise or bulk up then it is modification. Mutilation, in my opinion, is when someone (like with circumcision or piercing an infants’ earlobes) has a procedure done against their will or without their consent. People who practice modification to “extremes”, such as (the first image) of Pauly Unstoppable, know what they’re getting into, it takes time and dedication. I’d hold it in a much higher respect than most cosmetic procedures. You really can’t just pay someone to get your nose instantly to x-size, whereas you can do that with breasts or lips.

  9. Natalie P. February 23, 2009 10:22 pm

    So then because a teenager cuts herself, and it’s HER decision, it’s not self-mutilation? Oh wait, that’s “mentally healthy” – but who decides what that standard of mental health is?  I’m not sure I agree with your definition. I mean I agree it’s mutilation when it’s done without consent, but I still think that people make choices (informed or otherwise) to mutilate themselves.

  10. Shemjaza February 23, 2009 11:02 pm

    A teenager who cuts herself is clearly an example of someone who can’t consent to modify herself. Mental illness is a matter of diagnosis not the opinion of random people o the internet like you or me. Also I thin it’s totally reasonable to restrict anything more then basic ear and belly rings to people over the age of 18 (or whatever your country classifies as an adult).

  11. Natalie P. February 24, 2009 9:00 am

    If put in front of a psychologist or psychiatrist, would everyone who has gone in for more extereme body modification come out as “mentally healthy”? I wonder. And I wonder if it’s even possible to use that as a boundary for what is mutilation and what is not. I think that definition “mentally healthy” is so loose as to be meaningless in this context. Sure, there are people who are way out on the spectrum with things like schitzophrenia, but to paraphrase M. Scott Peck, “We are all neurotic to greater or lesser degrees.” As far as I know, nobody has to have a psychologist’s certificate to walk into a piercing studio, nor am I suggesting they should have to.

    That being said, can we truly consider going in for more and more body modification (whether it’s plastic surgery or “body art”), truly mentally healthy? Why is it that women who have excessive amounts of plastic surgery are said to have a “disorder” (body dismorphic disorder), while people who put implants under their skin and massive plugs through their ears, and cover themselves in tattoos are somehow exempt from that kind of classification?

    And on a side, note, I DO consider it mutilation when parents get their infant or young daughter’s ears pierced. I saw one woman at shopping mall with a screaming 3-year-trying to convince a girl at a shop to “just pierce the kid’s ears”. (I also think that circumcising male infants is mutilation too).

  12. Shemjaza February 24, 2009 8:25 pm

    I think you’ll find that people with heavy body modifications will also be classified as having mental issues. And I also find the hypocrisy of calling guy with the brow ridges free and the girl with the fake boobs a victim annoying.

    Some people see the difference as trying to conform to a social (real or imagined) ideal or trying to deviate from it. In general society a woman with inflated lips, silicone breasts, a botoxed forehead and a nipped and tucked neck is going to receive much less negative attention then a someone who just stretched out their earlobes a little.

    You could be right that getting more and more modifications to ones body could be unhealthy mentally… then again it’s just a harmless change in society. There was a time when there was much less freedom in what was considered acceptable clothing worn in public, now there is less social restrictions on body changes.

    I still think you are lumping too many things together. Total outsider body mod enthusiasts are as different from odd earrings and tattoos to show off in your club gear as wearing a weird tie to the office is from showing up to the board meeting in a bathrobe.

  13. Natalie P. February 25, 2009 12:06 am

    We’ve wandered a bit off-topic, but I agree that the total body modification types aren’t likely to have the same mindset as people who get ears pierced for a set of earrings, or a single tattoo.

    That being said, I think that outside of the standard clinical definitions for known psychiatric disorders, determining what is “self-mutilation” is very subjective. What I perceive as people mutilating themselves, others may not. Regardless, I still reserve the right to think that it’s foolhardy.

    And given the horror stories from the ski hill, it’s clear there are far too many people who DON’T think about the risk/impact of body mods even in the short term – instead trying to be trendy and cool – and getting pretty seriously ripped up by their jewelry when they wipe out.

    I stand by my supposition that there’s going to be a significant segment of people 20-30 years from now, who went for the plugs, “stretching” and other mods to be “in” or cool, or rebel against their parents (or whatever), that will regret the decision after they experience the impact of aging on those mods.

    …And the plastic surgeons will be there to capitalize on the folly of youth. Earlobe tucks, anyone?

  14. AK November 6, 2009 12:00 pm

    Here is some perspective on what it can cost if one has later regrets about getting a tattoo:

    Ten years ago (1999) I had some disfiguring blood vessels, tiny ones, that had developed on my face, due to a skin condition, acne rosacea.

    This was minor, minor..compared with the large sized tattoos some persons get.

    The laser treatments to remove those small blood vessals cost me $500. It took 2 to 3 months for the black and blue marks produced by the laser to fade.

    Anyone who wants to decorate their body and not have to pay a fortune for tattoo removal is best advised to do henna body art. Henna lasts a couple of weeks but is not permanent.

    Another note: I met a man who had once been a hard core heroin addict and who later, after much suffering, hit bottom and went through recovery.

    During his junkie years, when he felt proud of being a junkie, he had a big syringe tattooed on his forearm.

    He was now very sorry he did it because every time he looked at that image, it reminded him of the craving. And it scared away the kind of people he now wanted to be friends with. But he could not yet afford to have it removed.

    In my neighborhood, some of the homeless street people have tattoos all over their faces. They are literally marked for life. No reponsible body artist will modify someones face, due to the unforseen social consequences. Anyone who is renegade enough to mark a persons face is probably not all that reliable in keeping the tattoo needles and ink clean.

  15. AK November 6, 2009 12:15 pm

    Final note:

    Nathalie has given a very good tip on what kind of career to train for so we can be poised to take advantage of the need for reconstructive surgery. Am not playing this for laughs. Anyone with income or talent could train for a residency in plastic surgery, an assistancy, or at the very least, if they have investable funds, look for companies and gadgets used by practitioners in this area of surgery.

    In my neighborhood, so many people have tattoos and piercings that they no longer seem worth looking it. To me, body art has become routine, rather than worth looking at, because now, Everyone Is Doing It.

    If someone shows up who is unmarked and only has the holes they were born with–that, friends, has become unusual.

    Note: acne rosacea (different from teenaged acne) may be prevented if one eats plenty of omega-3 fats (fish oil works best, as some persons dont have enough delta-6-desaturase enzyme needed to digest flaxseed omega-3s), green vegetables, avoids hydrogenated fat. Applying a paste of neutral oil and high quality turmeric powder can make the acne rosacea flare spots go away.

    If I only had known this ten years ago, I would not have needed laser treatments.

    Final note: My dentist, who teaches at the local dental school, said people have come in with cracked teeth because they got heavy steel tongue piercings
    and whacked a nearby tooth, cracking it.

    And you’d better not have any of that stuff in you if you get in an emergency, need an MRI and the medical folks dont know where your gadgetry is.

    One law enforcement fellow said he and his pals in the sheriffs department had a very ghastly evening when they had to arrest and book a bunch of crusty punks who had stupidly gotten into a brawl at a club one night.

    Removing the earrings and various piercings was fun, fun funnnnn.

    Fashion is strange. In the 1970s, no one I knew considered it necessary to get body art.

    And thirty years ago, remember the old yoga shows on TV?

    People wore generic leotards and that was it. No one carried a sticky mat or endless cutsie accessories.

    A fashion victim is a fashion victim, only in most cases you are not marked for life if you find you are bored.


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