Is the Future of Beauty Money over Youth?

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If you ever end up getting a facelift and someone is all “Wow, your facelift looks great,” your facelift doesn’t look great. ‘Good’ plastic surgery is notable when it isn’t noticeable. If we can tell you’ve had work done, what are we looking at, your beauty or your plastic?plasic

I live in one of the wealthier areas of Vancouver and lately I have been noticing A LOT of plastic surgery. I am not completely adverse to plastic surgery as a rule and the lines I draw do move around. For some it seems to be an appropriate choice. But while this service is supposed to remove or enhance some part of you, there’s actually an emerging ‘look’ that’s happening. It’s marked by the tightness over the cheekbones, the upward slope in the injected upper lip and that weird frozen forehead. I wonder then, with all this going on if the ‘look of a moneyed woman’ is not marked by a woman who can take care of her appearance and afford the best of the best, but rather by this particular face. This 'face', by the way, does not look like the face of a younger woman with tighter skin and fuller lips. It looks like the face of an older woman with a bunch of work done. In fact, many young women who get a bunch of work done actually end up looking less youthful, they begin to look like older women trying to look younger.

I’m not saying plastic surgery can’t achieve a natural youthful look, certainly it can and for that very reason we don’t identify it as having been done at all, those women maybe just look a little fresher and rested. But ‘the face’ that we recognize as having had work done, has become so normal. And to our trainable eyes, normalized, as though this is what a put-together, beautiful, wealthy woman should look like. So I wonder, as we roll along, will our aspirations for what we should look like as we age no longer be set against the beauty of youth, but rather emulating this face, the face, one that can't be acheived by the young, but only by the rich? Might this be a new mark of classism?

I imagine our world as I enter middle age, 10-20 years from now and I imagine as this trend continues just how different the camps of women may look. Those with work and those without. These days a little nip here or injection there don’t seem to be what a lot of women are going for. A lot of women are going for that tight-faced-upward-angled-super-surprised-punched-in-the-mouth-look. Of course I have my own biases, but these faces don’t look beautiful, they look sad and insecure. Once again, money can't buy you what you're really looking for.

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