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SouthCoast Today

Read the South Coast Make Me Heal article online.

April 23, 2007

By Susan Pawlak-seaman
Live and Learn

Beauty is only skin deep in this contest

Popping up in my email, the press release was headlined: "Make Me Heal celebrates natural beauty with enhancement."

Now, I usually ignore such unsolicited stuff. But "natural beauty with enhancement?" Well, I was intrigued enough to read on.

Turns out that Make Me Heal, a self-described "leading portal for plastic surgery and anti-aging" (based, surprise, surprise, in L.A.) is launching its inaugural awards event the "Beauty Enhancement Awards."

The announcement went on to say that the awards will "allow women and men of all ages and races to compete (in) various categories" and here's where it really started to get good.

Those categories include "best makeover," "best couple makeover," "best plastic surgeon," "best liposuction," "best breast augmentation" and "best tummy tuck."

Best liposuction? Breast augmentation? Tummy tuck?

I kid you not.

Apparently, the Beauty Enhancement Awards you can apply online at www.makemeheal.com/contests through April 30 constitute the latest chapter in the book of "Ways to Put Yourself Out There for Public Consumption."

In a way, they echo the reality TV show called "The Swan" where so-called "ugly ducklings" were transformed into gorgeous creatures by the miracle of nips and tucks, personal trainers, tooth bleachings and the like.

But while those contestants were judged on overall appearance, the BEAs (that's what they're dubbing them) will instead focus on the parts of the sum.

And they are some parts.

As for who'll determine "The Best," apparently that will be left in the hands of a panel of esteemed judges: top surgeons, beauty professionals and celebs. (This one has Paris Hilton written all over it.)

I can't help but wonder exactly how they'll judge. I mean, how do you rate one tummy tuck over another? Not to mention bust boosts. And the liposuction competition ... ummm, I'm not sure I want to go there.

And how much exactly will you be able to tell from an online application, even if it is a video?

Yet beyond the "How the heck will they do this?" element, I wonder, "Why the heck would anyone want to?"

Personally, I find the whole concept more than a little silly.

It's not that I'm against plastic surgery. I've had it done twice myself, both times on my nose. Once was to correct a deviated septum (which in the process conveniently removed a big, hawkish bump.) Once was to temper the scarring from a skin cancer.

However, as for things like breast implants, I'm flat out opposed. What I've got, I've got, and besides, now at age 54, there's a bright side: less to sag.

And while face lifts and Botox are fine for those who want (and can afford) them, I can't envision myself going under the knife.

Sure I'm vain enough to want to look the best I can. That's not necessarily a bad thing, when kept in perspective.

But I'm also a realist and I recognize that no matter what I do, I'm not going to look like a 20-something ever again. Nor, quite honestly, would I want to. Not given all the lessons I've learned.

Especially this one:

That time marches on and aging is inevitable the art comes in doing it gracefully.

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