In the first half of Susan Douglas’ chapter entitled “Lean and Mean”, she details the way that women are told what the ideal beauty is from society and the media. From Victoria’s Secret, to magazines and television, movies, and advertisements, females are given the idea that skinny girls with enormous breasts are those who supposedly have the power and control because these traits turn men into “helpless, salivating dung beetles” (214). Douglas discusses in depth the number of reality television shows in which makeovers and/or plastic surgery are done, in which women at the end look “beautiful” at which point they no longer recognized themselves; but still were now empowered because all that matters is attaining the “Hollywood” standard of beauty, rather than being oneself (225).
I find it, in most cases, absurd that people can truly feel that their lives have changed for the better as a result of plastic surgery. Douglas does mention breast reconstruction as a means for those who have gone through breast cancer, and I have a family friend who has gone through this process. I can't help but agree that in these instances and others, for example a woman who has been mauled by an animal and her face has been destroyed, etc. sometimes plastic surgery is necessary. There are other situations, such as the one described in this video, “daytime in no time” on Yahoo.com, in which Christie Brinkley discusses how she wanted to get Botox to “like, spruce up for the big 5-0”, when she was turning 50. It turns out that she was taken by surprise by the needle, it moved in a weird direction, and her eyebrows got the brunt of it and apparently were affected. As she said on “The Talk”, a new daytime talk show, “when your eyebrows go like that it’s depressing”, and the commentator for Yahoo said, “the last thing any makeup company wants is a model with weird eyebrows…” Christie Brinkley was a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model in the 70’s and 80’s. I think that people would obviously understand if she looked a little bit older, even though you would never know she is 50 years old as she is absolutely stunning to this day.
I find it insane that even after having lived through some of the horrible side effects, like having “one lip up here, one lip down here, dribbling, a cyclops” and others that Douglas talks about in her chapter, Sharon Osborne and others still swear by Botox. Just knowing that I was having those foreign compounds being placed in my body would be enough to deter me in the first place, and I find it alarming that 2.8 million injections were given in 2007 alone, given that the ingredients of Botox are no secret.