Plastic Surgery as Revenge: Cutting Your Nose to Spite Your Ex
The latest trend in getting over your ex is, guess what? Plastic surgery! Because looking good is the best revenge. Even if it means diets, Botox, boob jobs, recovering from surgery, and hardly recognizing yourself in the mirror. Surgery is way easier than loving yourself, take it from those who know. The New York Post today tells the story of divorcees who are finding new vigor after their relationships failed, via the doctor's office. They have "new life in their eyes," and a new verve in their step. "There's no reason to be in Dumpyland," says one of them.
Indeed, there is no reason whatsoever to make your address Dumpyland, because Dumpyland is not even a real place. We googled it. This does not exactly detract from the story, which seems to indicate a full-on love affair between the Post and plastic surgery (remember their recent glowing article about surprisingly not cat-faced lady Cindy Jackson, who's gone under the knife 52 times?). With this piece, they take on the feel-good "trend" of revenge surgery:
Driven to feel better about their looks after the devastation of a failed marriage, they seek cosmetic procedures, which can erase years -- and build self-esteem. "At 51, I not only feel better, but I look better than I ever have," says Solomon. "If you are smarter, wiser and you can look younger, don't you have it all?"
Indeed, more women are bouncing back from divorce with so-called revenge surgery; a recent study by the Transform Cosmetic Group in Britain showed that 26 percent of plastic-surgery patients are newly divorced women.
There are many reasons "revenge surgery" is great for women, according to these ladies. It will help you get out of a slump. It will help you recover emotionally. It will get you a younger boyfriend. It will help you buy your surgeon a yacht. Some women even use their alimony payment on it, for a double-revenge whammy.
"I have to tell you, it changed my whole outlook," says Sheffield, 50.
"He deserved to partially pay for me to look good -- I feel I earned it," says Sheffield. "There was a certain satisfaction in his seeing me look like this, especially when he saw me with my new boyfriend."
Our issue with this is not about women who are going through a divorce. That sucks, as does not feeling your best, physically, mentally, or otherwise, and, sure, everybody needs some brand of pick-me-up now and again -- our issue is not with women having plastic surgery, in itself. But the slick simplification of "healing = surgery" is a dash insulting, and certainly not the whole story. (It goes without saying that this is a very specific socio-economic bracket, for one.)
Further, as a revenge technique, this is pretty paltry. If you've been jilted and the best way to get revenge on the person who did it is to pay to have someone cut you up...well, that's problematic. It seems, in fact, that the very best revenge would be not needing plastic surgery (or him) to be happy with yourself.
But the real question is, why is the Post shilling so hard for plastic surgeons?
The women who have chosen the cosmetic doctor's table over the shrink's couch are feeling no guilt. "They say that beauty comes from within," smiles Solomon. "But it also comes from within Dr. Paredo's office."
I had revenge surgery! [NYP]
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.