The Cutting Edge
by Judith Newman
Sometimes a cosmetic change can change your outlook- and that can be a good beginning.
"No question, we"re all seeing more young patients in their twenties and early thirties," says Geoffrey Tobias, M.D., a facial plastic surgeon in New York City, who specializes in nose revisions. "Partly that"s because there are more procedures available that are not about turning back the clock, but simply about resculpting the shape of the cheekbones, thejawline, the lips. But partly, too, it"s about the media." Have people become more perfect? No, but photo retouching has.
"You see that perfect woman in a magazine, hawking makeup or clothing," Dr. Tobias says, "and you think, "Why can"t I look that way?" We forget that the computer can recreate and resynthesize the optimal person. So even "perfect" people are not perfect in real life." Is there a particular person who most exemplifies that physical ideal? "Not one, but a select few who show up again and again," says Dr. Tobias. "Young women are always coming to me with torn-out pages from the Victoria"s Secret catalog^ They ask for this model"s face, that one"s nose. The patients bring in pictures of women who don"t look remotely like I them. Plastic surgery can do a lot, but it"s not magic."