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One of the things women talk about is how to sort through the increasing number of new cosmetic procedures. There are so many options that Wendy Lewis, known as the Knife Coach, quit her job managing Manhattan plastic-surgery practices to start a consultancy in After finding out what her clients want to change, Lewis recommends doctors and procedures. My typical analogy is painting one wall of a room," Lewis explains. Her clients are mostly professional women.

Women are also getting recommendations on RealSelf. Seery figured the hardest part of his business would be getting women to go on the site and write about getting and wanting cosmetic procedures. But he was wrong. Women, and a few men, often use their real names and post public pictures not just of their faces but also their nearly naked bodies. One RealSelf user, Rosemary Hall, posted a thread titled "Had a baby and some people have thought I am her grandmother" in which she asked for advice on choosing a surgeon near Los Angeles.

She wanted a mini-face-lift to start a process of beating back aging. Many plastic surgeons and dermatologists advise starting a lifelong regimen as early as your late 20s so you "freeze" your look instead of drastically changing it all at once. Hall lives in the suburban San Fernando Valley and found the Beverly Hills doctors she met, many of whom have been on reality shows, to be too expensive and too rushed.

So she spent a Thursday in July last year with her husband Kevin Tantrow and their adorable 5-year-old daughter Stella driving two hours to Newport Beach in Orange County to meet three more potential surgeons. A pretty, dyed-blond former Chicagoan with prominent blue eyes, Hall wears jeans, a loose burgundy blouse and sandals that show off French-tipped toenails.

She will not reveal her age despite the fact that she's comfortable telling readers of TIME magazine that she's getting a face-lift. She was planning on telling her family and friends anyway. Which provides a modicum of relief to Tantrow, who--in addition to worrying about keeping secrets--is very much against Hall's face-lift because he fears the risks of surgery and the fact that she might not look like herself afterward, like the patients on E!

For a man, having an opinion on this huge cultural change is as fraught as talking about abortion: But perhaps we can also be a bit more objective about it, inventorying the changes both positive and scary without having to experience them. During Hall's doctor visits, Tantrow is trying his hardest to stay quiet and supportive. But it's not easy. Hall works as a video editor for a production company that makes reality shows, the industry most directly responsible for cosmetic surgery's growing acceptability. A year earlier, Howard Schultz, the show's creator, had been watching an episode of Jenny Jones' talk show in which women showed off their plastic surgery, taunting guys who rejected them in high school; he had also noticed women in Beverly Hills openly walking around with bandages on.

Schultz knew there was a national cultural shift when thousands of people showed up at auditions to get plastic surgery in the least discreet way possible--on network television. The show so redefined and enriched dentistry, increasing demand for pricey veneers and whiteners, that when Schultz spoke to a group of dentists in Nashville last year, they gave him a standing ovation before he even started his speech.

His show also launched a lot of spray-tan businesses and demystified surgery, showing it from the patient's perspective instead of the doctor's as previous shows had.

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Schultz worked with a psychologist to cast patients who, he said, had high self-esteem but low self-image. David Sarwer, a professor of psychology at the Center for Human Appearance at the University of Pennsylvania's medical school, says until recently the vast majority of therapists told patients that cosmetic procedures were a sign of depression and low self-esteem.

Academic papers on the subject in the s seem offensive today because they argue that nose jobs are an attempt to get rid of the father. Nose equaled penis, as all things did in s psychology papers. We have evidence that more attractive individuals receive preferential treatment throughout their lifespan. Acceptability eventually comes to nearly all forms of vanity.

In 19th century America, makeup was often sold under the counter because it was considered a tool of prostitution. And 15 years ago, getting your teeth whitened made you a tool; now dentists throw in free whitener in the goodie bag along with the floss and a toothbrush. It's actually difficult to find a toothpaste that doesn't include whitening. Since Botox was introduced as a cosmetic product in , most of the advances have come in dermatology--many from Harvard University's professor of dermatology R.

Rox Anderson, who helped invent and refine ways to use lasers to remove hair, tattoos and wrinkles, as well as the hugely popular CoolSculpting, which painlessly freezes body fat from a machine placed on the skin, causing the fat to disintegrate and come out with your urine. Dermatologists also use fillers, which replace the skin's hyaluronic acid instead of its collagen, the old method , to replace lost volume.

In November , Juvederm introduced Voluma, a filler for cheeks that can last two years, provides more lift and has a reversible antidote in case a patient changes her mind or a doctor goes too far. He also helped bring Kybella to FDA trial; the drug, available this summer, erases the fat in a double chin. These kinds of procedures are even starting to get normalized for guys. More than three times as many men are getting "Brotox" than in Grant Stevens, who has practiced plastic surgery in L. Last December he expanded into office space next door and built Marina ManLand.

There's a private entrance, a fake buffalo head and ostrich-leather walls in the reception area, leather scent pumped in and a TV screen looping the behind-the-scenes video of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in the bathroom. Inside, there's the Bear's Lair for laser hair removal, the Lion's Den for hair replacement and the Dog House for facial-like spa treatments. Bob Van Dine, the co-founder of the St.

Ives skin-care line, sits with an ice pack on his face after some fillers, Botox and a dose of liquid nitrogen to remove an age spot. He even got a friend to come in. Van Dine and Hall, like the vast majority of American plastic-surgery patients, are white. But that's slowly changing. A lot of that is due to the ease and price of injectables, but a fair number of those procedures were done to give Asians the crease above the eye that other races have, or to thin black people's noses, which conjures up images of Jews getting a "Diamond nose" in the s and '70s named after New York plastic surgeon Howard Diamond or Irish immigrants de-pugifying theirs in the s.

Larry Nichter, whose offices are across the street from the Fashion Island Shopping Center, meets with Hall for her first consultation of the day, he asks her if she's had any procedures done before. She tells him about her eye lift, which she's quite happy with and which is utterly inconspicuous.

When Nichter probes further, she eventually remembers that, sure, she got Botox in her forehead and tried Juvederm fillers, but it didn't change her face enough to make the injections worth it. Nichter, who has fading, thin white hair and a calm, gentle demeanor, is known for the LiteLift surgery, a variation on a mini-face-lift, which he and his partner created.

With a LiteLift, Hall could avoid an operating room and general anesthesia. Instead she could take an antianxiety pill, get a local anesthetic, have a short incision hidden behind her ear and be done in two hours right in his office. It's pretty much the same procedure that was offered by a location national chain called Lifestyle Lift, which had commercials starring Debby Boone using her hit "You Light Up My Life.

But chains for other surgeries are growing: Sono Bello for liposuction 26 locations and Bosley for hair restoration 71 U. Nichter gently pinches the sides of Hall's neck as she whimpers at the attention drawn to what he calls her "redundant skin.

Cosmetic Treatments | HowStuffWorks

He advises her not to do the brow lift she wants, which he says might give her that "Hollywood, swept-away, wind-tunnel" look. As part of his regular list of questions, Nichter asks Hall, "Do you care if people know you had surgery? It adds two weeks to your recovery. She does, however, have a legal pad of other questions to ask him.


This takes a while. Way longer than her daughter Stella, who was in this just to go to the nearby Huntington dog beach, wants. Is Breathing the New Smoking? Is Hummus Really Healthy? What's Behind the Hype? Are Probiotics Really Beneficial? A Dirty Little Secret: Sound Bathing Is Today's Meditation. Drop the Razors, Guys! Chest Hair Is Back. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome on the Brain. Citing the Rise of Crazy Plastic Surgery Videos, Critics Draw Up Code of Ethics A new breed of plastic surgeons is using social media to post video of themselves doing tricks or wearing costumes while performing surgery.

Plastic Surgery Before and After Pictures Plastic surgeons use cutting edge medical developments to shape and sculpt humans into a perfection of form and fancy. Frequently Asked Questions Do you have questions about plastic surgery?

Is cosmetic surgery the new acceptable face of womanhood?

Smart Liposuction Overview If you'd like to lose your love handles but don't want to risk surgery, smart liposuction is a new alternative. Are breast implants linked to suicide? Contact Lenses Sometimes people who need vision correction don't want to wear glasses. What Plastic Surgery Can -- and Can't -- Do for You Plastic surgery can be used to fix physical features of the body but you should be aware about what it can't cure.

One of the Most Controversial Procedures Becomes a Medical Reality One of the most controversial procedures, human face transplants offer people who have been severely disfigured the chance at a new, more normal face. Liposuction Liposuction is the most popular type of cosmetic surgery in America. All About Varicose Veins Varicose veins are not just unattractive -- they can also be downright painful. All About Wrinkles Facial skin tells the world where a woman is in terms of beauty and age. At-Home Wrinkle Fighters Before you head to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for laser resurfacing or a facelift, there are steps you can take at home to fight wrinkles and preserve or recapture a youthful appearance.

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Liposuction Learning the risks of liposuction is important, and weighing the pros and cons will help you make a decision about whether or not liposuction is right for you. Beyond Liposuction and Breast Implants Liposuction and breast augmentation are the most prevalent body contouring procedures, but by no means the only ones.

Another Shot at Looking Young Botox injections could give your face the youthful appearance you long for, but find out the facts about Botox injections before you make the appointment. New Hope for Dealing With Unwanted Hair Excessive facial and body hair in a woman can be a heavy burden, both psychologically and socially.

Nip. Tuck. Or Else.

Find a Botox Doctor Looking for a Botox doctor you can trust? Increasingly, I am using vitamin injections to give a natural, fresh-faced radiant appearance. Volume replacement using hyaluronic acid is popular, too, but you need to take into account the naturally changing proportions of the face. If what you see is markedly different to what you expect, then it jars.

And clearly, many of her compatriots are with her on that one. According to the most recent figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons , which represents one in three cosmetic surgeons in the UK, 50, surgical procedures were performed here in , excluding walk-in treatments such as Botox. Katharine Wright, assistant director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics , is setting up a working party to explore the increasing use of cosmetic procedures and is linking with the Beauty Demands network to assess the pressures of beauty ideals in society.

Polly Vernon, author of Hot Feminist , believes that women have the right to choose and take ownership of their appearance. We are navigating a new world, where we are much more conscious of our image, and we must own it and delight in it, rather than do things because of social pressure. Appearance should be an extension of who you are, not about trying to be someone you think society wants you to be. Recent findings by the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons identified a range of factors driving aspirations for cosmetic surgery: With a seven-year-old daughter, I fear for the expectations of the next generation of women, who are likely to have little respect for the glorious beauty of age and the natural lines that come with wisdom.

Psychologist Ros Taylor, author of Confidence at Work, says: And it is only going to increase. I feel a little like King Canute seeing this wave coming and being unable to stop it.