The American Scene: Plastic People of the Universe

By Megan McArdle

Matt Feeney at The American Scene is rather harsh on plastic surgery :

There’s an article in the Daily Mail in which 44-year-old actress Demi Moore openly admits having undergone a half million dollars in plastic surgery. She laments, "It's been a challenging few years, being the age I am. Almost to the point where I felt like, well, they don't know what to do with me. I am not 20. Not 30.

"There aren't that many good roles for women over 40. A lot of them don't have much substance, other than being someone's mother or wife."

One of the reasons there may be especially few roles for Demi Moore is that, no, she doesn’t look 20, and she doesn’t look 30. She looks like a 44-year-old woman who’s had a half a million dollars worth of plastic surgery. Directors, I would guess, are rarely casting for that.

I don't think there's anything wrong with plastic surgery. Lots of it works quite well, and I'd happily get my favorite flaws corrected if a) I could get realistic results and b) I had more money. The problem is, women in Hollywood start getting surgery quite early, and they don't know when to quit. There's also apparently a tradeoff between young and old surgery, because your skin and muscles will only take so much. If you have breast implants when you're 22, the breast lift at 40 isn't going to take so well. Likewise, if you have a facelift at 32 to stretch out your youth roles, you shouldn't have another one at 40--but then you get to forty, and can't bear to look at yourself, and the next thing you know, you're Joan Rivers and can blink your lips.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2007/09/the-american-scene-plastic-people-of-the-universe/1918/