Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery

By Virginia L. Blum | Go to book overview

SIX
The Monster and the Movie Star

“Can I drop off my face with you and pick it up later?” A woman to her plastic surgeon (interview)


BEFORE AND AFTER—HOLLYWOOD STYLE

By way of celebrating Oscar's seventieth birthday in 1998, we were treated to “Oscar's family album. ” This was a collection of former Academy Award winners packed on stage to have their Oscar turns recited. Never before had I beheld such a density of surgically altered faces in a single place. As the names of actresses such as Lee Grant, Ellen Burstyn, Shirley Temple, and Cloris Leachman were announced, I was unsettled by the radical difference between their current incarnations and clips from their award-winning appearances that hovered around them like ghosts from someone else's life. Of course, it was not the aging process that had so dramatically reconfigured facial contours, had widened cheekbones and emboldened chins. It was not time that had cast a shelllike gloss to their skin.

So why was I unsettled, especially when Hollywood face-lifts are hardly rare, and the Academy Awards ceremony is typically where I see

-188-

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Flesh Wounds: The Culture of Cosmetic Surgery
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • One - The Patient's Body 1
  • Two - Untouchable Bodies 35
  • Three - A Slow Dance 67
  • Four - Frankenstein Gets a Face-Lift 103
  • Five - As If Beauty 145
  • Six - The Monster and the Movie Star 188
  • Seven - Celebrity Culture and the Wages of Love 220
  • Eight - Addicted to Surgery 262
  • Notes 291
  • Works Cited 315
  • Index 341
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