Richard A. Baxter, M.D.

The Art Behind Plastic Surgery

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Dec 15

Dr. Baxter

Is plastic surgery to look like a celebrity a good idea?

Posted by Dr. Baxter

To those of us in the business, it seems self-evident that cosmetic plastic surgery is about being true to your best self. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use people who are in the public eye and known for being attractive as a reference for what features are considered desirable. Maybe you aspire to have J. Lo’s jawline or Sophia Vergara’s voluptuousness, maybe not. A good plastic surgeon will help you understand what is best for your own characteristics.

At one extreme, we hear about people obsessed with transforming themselves into a lookalike of someone famous. Actress Meghan Markle, recently engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry, is the latest to inspire trips to plastic surgeons’ offices. But how far is too far in the quest for self-transformation? It’s one thing to say for example “I like Keira Knightley’s eyebrows” or Penelope Cruz’s lips, another to say “I want to look like that person.” Cancer survivor Claudia Sierra, in the news for her transformation into a Melania Trump lookalike, explains like this: “I know I don’t look like her, but I wanted to strive for her grace and self-esteem, this has done a lot for me!” Judge her if you will – she’s an outspoken advocate against bullying and is obviously comfortable with her decisions.

Then there are those who have an excessive amount of surgery in a quest to become a true celebrity doppelganger, and they rarely seem to look much like them because they don’t know when to stop. The features tend to be exaggerated and unnatural.

At the other extreme, there are people who shame and criticize anyone who has plastic surgery. Clearly the average plastic surgery patient is a happy and well-adjusted individual seeking no more than a little enhancement or restoration. Most plastic surgery is inconspicuous, giving a mental boost as much as the body part being surgically lifted. That’s one reason I find it amusing when someone says they can always tell because it looks fake. Guess again!

These extremes are the exception. Plastic surgery has gone mainstream and acceptance is high. The fact that it is even possible to create such total transformations is a remarkable testament to progress, even if it is occasionally misused.

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