In the 4th of January edition of THE TIMES, South African Author Paige Nick and I discussed our views on Cosmetic Surgery. Our article appeared slightly edited in THE TIMES, but, like all writers, we prefer the original. Here it is:
SHE SAID/HE SAID
COSMETIC SURGERY – SHE SAYS:
I just tried Botox for the first time. Don’t look at me like that. The time comes when most women look in the mirror and wonder what if. Plus, I’m a journalist; it’s my job to research these kinds of things.
I remember not so long ago I said I’d never. But as the lines marched deeper I thought, why not? And I’d do it again too. Just a few jabs, nothing extreme. Next time you see me I won’t have duck’s lips and the tightest ponytail you’ve ever seen, despite the fact that my hair isn’t tied up. Although isn’t that what all women say, then you bump into them in June and they look like a set of Tupperware.
Interestingly the McKnight in shining armour I’m currently dating doesn’t seem to have noticed. Unless he’s just remaining cautiously quiet. But then he’d probably only comment if I plastic surgeried a third breast onto my front, and only then to thank me.
Cosmetic surgery, or what will hereafter be referred to as ‘work’ obviously has a different role in men’s lives than it does in ours. I think determining whether a passing woman’s boobs are real or not is the extent of the thought and discussion men give this topic. While women of a certain age feast on it much more obsessively.
Does a 41-year-old man ever look in the mirror and scrunch up his face to examine his age-appropriately deepening frown lines or crow’s feet? I don’t think so. He’s more likely to just buy a fancier car and date a woman who’s had work done, because that work reflects on them. Date a woman who’s had enough done, and it makes you look younger. It costs the same as surgery (those kinds of women don’t come cheap), plus the recovery time is quicker.
Although that’s the thing about stereotyping, while researching this column I asked a guy I know if he’s ever considered getting any work done and he said he regularly considers getting lipo. There goes my theory.
COSMETIC SURGERY – HE SAYS:
I begin with a quote:
“Women who love themselves are threatening;
but men who love real women, more so.”
- Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
At twenty-eight years old, I’m pretty sure I’m too young to start thinking about having cosmetic work done on my balls (though, that hanging neck wattle some old dudes are rocking has got me a little worried about my future selfies) – but these days, who really knows. What people lack in original beauty nowadays, they sure make up for in plastic surgery.
Before the howling begins, allow me to clarify. What I mean by original beauty has less to do with being physically attractive and more to do with being a beautiful human being. It used to be that when a girl walked into the bar, I’d lean over to whatever male was nearest and slur;
“So what do you think bro, are those bazoongas built for speed or for comfort?”
But now, the answer doesn’t really matter.
Are they real? Are they fake? And what about that pout she’s got going on… By the way – I’ve heard about this lip augmentation technique – or “fat recycling” – involving the removal of fat cells from one large part of your body, such as your buttocks, and then transferred into your lips… and I’m just not sure I want to live on this planet anymore.
But, I digress.
The answers don’t really matter to me anymore, as a man, looking at a woman. What really matters now, more than ever, is whether or not she’s a decent human being, and does she feel good about herself? Does her new nose give her newfound confidence? Does she find it easier to walk around now that she’s had those god-given, back-breaking mammoth boobs reduced?
They say men get better with age, like wine, and perhaps this really is a predominately female problem. Women lack confidence, and I’m not sure whether to blame Cosmopolitan or men or just plain gravity.
In a society which profits from your self-doubt, I’ll conclude with this – It’s good to be a man.
You can catch her blogging at A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL