Addicted to Surgery
When you look in the mirror and begin to imagine the imperfect part traded in for the improved version, you cannot help but see your body as in need of or lacking the pretty jawline or upper eyelid. The economic aspect only underscores the flows of exchange, deficit, possession. You buy a nose.
What did it cost you?
Did you get what you paid for?
Did you find love through the new body part? A partner? Does your mother love you now? Your creator?
So what are the consequences of becoming surgical? The lifetime effects? These are questions I have asked myself throughout this study. Some people have a few carefully spaced surgeries—say, a teenage rhinoplasty, a thirty-something eyelid lift, a fifty-something full facelift. Others may start much later but then pursue it with intensity—like a patient I interviewed who began with her eyes in her late fifties and took it from there. What are the combined circumstances that might lead to a “plastic surgery junkie”? Or is there any difference, really, between the person who undergoes repeated procedures and the one who simply has incorporated a moderate surgical schedule into her or his life?