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Plastic Surgery, The New 50th Birthday Present

Updated on December 7, 2010

According to a survey done by the Daily Mail (which, I must mention at the outset, is like saying, according to a book written by a troop of Capuchin monkeys,) one fifth of British women have decided that the early 50's are the best time for a woman to have plastic surgery. You know, so she doesn't look old.

I understand the fascination with not wanting to look old. At its heart, it must be a desire not to grow old. Not to become weak. Not to become undesirable. Not to be vulnerable to the great forces of entropy that not only make one's bosom sag, but which also cause great suns to go supernova.

At the heart of all cosmetic surgery performed to make the patient look younger seems to be the desire to remain forever young, to cheat death. Ironically, many of the women who undertake plastic surgery don't exactly live what Richard Simmons and that crazy Jillian woman from The Biggest Looser would call a healthy lifestyle. Unless scientists discover that Xanax and Margaritas in the morning are the new fountain of youth, these women are rocketing towards an early grave quicker than their frumpier, more naturally beautiful counterparts.

There's something inherently desperate about plastic surgery. I find it strange that we live in a society in which the desire to have a surgeon cut your face off and attach it further up your skull is entirely acceptable and not cause for admission to a mental health ward. But my opinion is not a popular one, according to the aforementioned survey, 29% of British women between the ages of 40 and 60 would rather look 20 years younger than be millionaires.

It's strange really, this fascination with looking young. Surely money would have more utility than smooth skin and sparkling eyes? It's sad too, that so many women are convinced that their worth must be attached to their appearance. What can there be said for the mental and emotional life of a woman who would submit to unnecessary surgery simply to appear more attractive to the rest of the world? How empty they must feel inside, how scared, how inherently alone.

But we must take heart, because although a fifth of women between the ages of 40 and 60 would get plastic surgery if they had the money, four fifths of women wouldn't. That means that out of a hundred average women, eighty of them wouldn't have plastic surgery. Hurrah for common sense.

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