Dr. 90210: Keep Your Chin Up

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night and sifted around the million unnecessary TV stations I have. I landed on Dr. 90210. I’m a little appalled that this show exists, to be honest, but I was very appalled to read the description of the episode airing: A young model wants breast augmentation; an older actress believes her recessed chin is keeping her from success.

The older actress was the ripe old age of 30, so calling her “older” kind of made me irritated right from the start. I suppose in that industry 30 is old, but for the rest of the world (barring 5 year olds, who believe 17 is ancient) that is a very young age. How sad that a woman is already over the hill by 30 or 31. The 30s are when life starts to get good. How did Hollywood get so bass-ackwards? Anyway, I digress.

This aged actress  was content with every aspect of her body except that blasted chin, which, by the way, looked just fine to me. Her husband, instead of assuring his wife that she was gorgeous as she was, agreed that her troubles would be alleviated and jobs would flow in if she just “fixed” her chin. Dr. 90210 agreed as well, and also found a couple of other trouble spots he could “fix” for her: slightly drooping eyelids or something. I wasn’t surprised he was able to find flaws where almost everyone  else in the world would only see a lovely young woman.

I had to stop watching at about the 20 minute mark, so I have no idea if this poor woman attained the successes she dreamed of.

Plastic surgery, when purely, superficially cosmetic, bothers me considerably. How far people go to achieve perfection, to “fix” things that make them who they are, astonishes and scares me. I won’t lie and say I’ve never considered having the fat sucked out of my arms, because I have. I won’t do it, though. Maybe I’m odd in thinking that a flawed but genuine smile is more beautiful than a perfect but artificial one. Maybe I’m odd in thinking that imperfections are what make people interesting.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    What appalls me is that the men were encouraging this view that her chin was the source of her troubles. Unfortunately, most actresses face a job crunch when they hit 30, thanks to the lack of roles available to them. If her chin was acceptable in her 20′s, “fixing” it is not going to suddenly land her jobs in the more highly competitive over-30 market.

    Fixing Hollywood’s stupidity… now that could help. Is there a plastic surgery for that? ;)

    I don’t object to all cosmetic surgery or dermatology. I see it as similar to getting yourself tattooed or pierced. But the look you seek should say something about YOU and how you want to look; not how others think you ought to look. And I think any qualified psychiatrist would recognize the “If only my chin/nose/butt looked different, I wouldn’t have problems” mentality as a warning sign of mild neurosis, which should never be the basis of a decision as huge as altering your looks permanently.

  2. sbg says

    Oh, crap, I posted this? I meant to timestamp it. D’oh.

    I don’t dismiss all plastic surgery, I just think it’s kind of a slippery slope. You go in for a minor tweak and find more things to tweak, thanks to a doctor who points out all the things that are wrong with you. “Wrong?” If it works, I have a hard time buying that something is truly wrong.

    And I’d guess there are lots of men getting plastic surgery as well. We just see women a heck of a lot more on shows like this.

    As an aside, part of the show gave us more personal information on the actress, including letting us see her in an acting class. Her chin was definitely not the reason she wasn’t getting jobs.

  3. Glaivester says

    Although my previous comments on “being yourself is the hottest thing you can do” might not suggest this, I actually do not like the idea of purely cosmetic plastic surgery unless there is a real deformity there (or unless you are counting really small things like removing moles, which I don’t see as a big deal one way or the other).

    I won’t say that cosmetic plastic surgery cannot make someone more attractive; I am sure that in many cases it does make the person look “prettier” in the sense that more people would regard them as pretty. But I don’t like the idea of putting that much emphasis on it.

  4. scarlett says

    I think it’s largely about making money, too – I know a lot of cosmetic surgeons have on-site councellors for precicely that reason, and won’t perform surgery on someone where the underlying cause is low self-esteem or neurosis (and I’m talking fairly superficial ‘flaws’ here; I can understand if you had low self-esteem caused by something really obvious) because one suregry is not going to fix that, and it’s unethical to take someone’s money when the product will not fix the underlying problem.

    But there are plenty of operators out there who really don’t care what problems people are suffering from. So you get this situation where people are either actively encouraging a culture of low-self esteem to make money off, or doing nothing to stop it, and their gravy train along with it. I guess that applies to the cosmetic, fashion, haircare industry etc across the board.

  5. Jennifer Kesler says

    You’ve touched on an interesting point. I do think certain marketers not only take advantage of low self-esteem in consumers, but encourage it. This has mostly been perpetrated against women in the past, but it’s recently started targeting men as well: we have “male enhancement” products with commercials that clearly imply every man will feel better about himself once he gets this “enhancement”. I’m sorry, but male sexual performance is supposed to decline after age 17 or 18. It’s one more manifestation of an unhealthily youth-obsessed culture.

  6. sbg says

    Oh, yes. During this particular episode, the doctor and his wife were whining how their three bedroom home was just too small and if they just had more room, the kids’ toys wouldn’t be scattered all over the place. So they looked at buying something like an eight bedroom mansion, marketed at well over $3 million.

    For some, I’d imagine it’s all about the money.

  7. sbg says

    Yeah, there are exceptions. I’m really not fond of breast implants, for example, partially because I can’t fathom wanting larger breasts myself and partially because I think it would be better for people to accept themselves as they are.

    Moles can be removed for cosmetic and health reasons – my sister probably has several moles removed a year because she’s had at least one cancerous.

    I’m also not opposed to hair removal. ;)

    Generally speaking, I’m of the mind that just because the technology is there doesn’t mean you should use it.

  8. Jennifer Kesler says

    Oversized natural breasts are not particularly healthy to have. They don’t do anything small and average ones can’t, except turn on extremely childish males who shouldn’t even be allowed to reproduce, and they frequently cause back pain and other problems.

    Breast implants offer a whole OTHER set of health risks that are really nasty. The tendency for them to become rock hard and yucky has been downplayed, but is starting to get some attention in – of all places – men’s magazines that are encouraging men to discriminate against fake breasts and go for the real biggies. I just bang my head against the desk. OTOH, yes, get over the implants. But could these little boys get over the size issue while they’re at it? This obsession with the size of genitalia is an exclusively male phenomenon. Women don’t seek out huge penises, for example.

    Anyway, it’s because of the health risks that I wouldn’t encourage even a very flat-chested woman getting a modest-sized implant. But I would sympathize with her motivations more than I sympathize with someone seeking a D-cup or bigger.

  9. sbg says

    I have no problem with breast reductions. I know women who are very petite, but have DD or bigger breasts and that’s just got to be painful. It’s bad for your back and for your shoulders and can be quite prohibitive to normal activities if you don’t have the proper bra.

    Anyway, it’s because of the health risks that I
    wouldn’t encourage even a very flat-chested woman
    getting a modest-sized implant. But I would
    sympathize with her motivations more than I
    sympathize with someone seeking a D-cup or bigger.

    Good point. I had a friend who was an A-cup and said she didn’t feel enough like a woman, which led her to have implants boosting her to a C-cup. I don’t fully understand that, but at least she didn’t go over the top with it. Pamela Anderson, for example, looks ridiculously top-heavy. Her breasts don’t fit her frame, and she actually chose most of that.

    And guys should definitely get over the size issue. I’m sure there are men who prefer smaller breasts, but we’re inundated with their obsession with large ones.

    Goodness, I wish I were a C or a B-cup again. Then I might avoid the ever-popular pick up line “You have a nice chest…”, which really doesn’t work. Seriously, what’s a woman supposed to say to that? “Thanks, I worked real hard on it?”

    I digress. Sorry. ;)

  10. Jennifer Kesler says

    LOL @ the pick-up line. That’s just sad.

    Yeah, I’ve had a few friends who got reductions, and they were thrilled with the results. In every case, the husbands were supportive, too.

    I don’t think one should feel like “less of a woman” with a flatter chest. That’s unfortunate. I’ve known flat-chested women who endured a lot of teasing in childhood. It’s hard to shut out the messages that you’re a freak if you don’t fit some insane imaginary norm.

  11. sbg says

    Yeah, second only to “You look just like my ex-girlfriend” on the scale of Bad. ;)

    It’s really sad when kids are so mean. I should ask my sister if that ever happened to her…and what it was like for her growing up with 6 sisters, all of whom were amply endowed. She only just recently moved up to a B-cup.

    And I hope she’d never cosmetically alter her body just to fit in. No one should do that, IMO, and I think a lot probably do.

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