Friday, July 4, 2008

Plastic Is American

Today is American Independence Day, when we Americans celebrate both our Declaration of Independence from England and the freedom our forefathers fought for and won. Being that this is an American holiday and this is an American-made (or authored) blog - no offense to our friends in other countries, by the way - I thought it only fitting that I publish a declaration of our own: the Declaration of Independence from Deceptive Marketing Practices and Poor Results. What is a declaration, after all, if not a statement of who you are and what you stand for? So, in honor of that thought, I bring you some information about what Super-Fantastic Plastic stands for, why it exists and what I intend to do with it.

Where did you get the idea for "Super-Fantastic Plastic"?

There were two conversations that inspired the idea:

1) I mentioned a mutual friend's upcoming cosmetic procedure to another friend. I could see the disgust in his eyes and I mentioned off-hand that I was considering having a procedure, myself and he replied, "if you do, I won't be your friend."

2) Another friend has just had the LAP-BAND procedure. Through this surgery, she has improved her health, her self-esteem and her general outlook on life. She wrote about her decision in her blog and said that she was not going to telling everyone because she knew their reaction was going to be unfavorable.

Frankly, I think it's horrible that people would be shallow enough to believe that our outsides matter so much more than what is inside. Our bodies are simply the vehicle for our minds and spirits, they're bendable, stretchable and changeable. None of what we do on the outside, however, affects who we are on the inside without the intervention of our own freewill.

So, what is a patient advocacy site and why do we need one?

A patient advocacy site is created of the people, by the people and for the people... that have had, will have, or want more information on cosmetic surgery. Although there are many ethical and talented surgeons operating throughout the world, there are also a number of unqualified, unethical and downright criminal surgeons and clinics that prey on the unsuspecting public. There are surgeons that claim to be plastic surgeons though they're not Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. Some cosmetic surgeons work with clinics that 'create' surgeries that don't exist and sell out-dated and possibly dangerous procedures as "state-of-the-art". Most of these scalawags don't stand by their results and leave their patients disfigured - the law in most states is on their side, stating that a surgeon does not have to guaranty results.

Together, as patients, we can put unethical surgeons out-of-business by dispelling their deceptive marking practices. We can hold doctors accountable for their results. Most importantly, we can educate consumers on making the best possible choices to ensure that they garner superior results and do not regret their decision.

Have you had cosmetic surgery?

Yes, I have had cosmetic dentistry (four all-porcelain crowns) and rhinoplasty after having my sinuses restructured for better breathing. I do not regret my decision and I feel wonderful, especially since my surgeon was able to fix the bump on the bridge of my nose.

I was in constant pain for a while. Right after the operation, I felt like I was hit by a Mack truck, or in my case, a M.A.C. cosmetics truck (I felt horrible and fabulous at the same time). Soon enough, about a week-and-a-half later, the pain faded and I love my new nose. Wonder of wonders, I can now breath better than I ever in my life.

Are you planning to have any other work done?

I'd like to have blepharoplasty on my under eyes and VASER liposuction on my abs. I've considered facial restructuring, but I'm not sure. Many surgeons advocate the placing of implants in the cheeks and/or the chin for facial contouring and I'm personally against facial implants (speaking only for myself).

Why do you make fun of celebrities on "SFP"?

I like to poke gentle fun of celebrities and plastic surgery in general because I think that our society's obsession with youth and beauty is a little silly. The more I learn about cosmetic surgery, the more I realize that we are greater than the sum of our parts. Our bodies are mostly mailable, the most important parts of us are inside and not at all visible to the eye.

That being said, no matter how silly it may be, we do live in a very image conscious, youth- obsessed world. Celebrities are, of course, ground zero for this obsession, as they spend most of their lives in front of the general public. Celebrities are people too.

I write about celebrity plastic surgery in the effort to get people to talk about it. Part of the reason unethical surgeons are able to do so much damage is that the public is very closed-lipped on the mater of body alteration in any form. This lack of conversation and openness breeds the shadows in which unethical surgeons hide.

Aren't you calling people ugly?

NO! That's the clear and simple answer. There are several cruel and unnecessary plastic surgery-oriented or themed sites that make a living off of making others feel bad. I find this practice to be morally reprehensible.

I want to make it perfectly clear that cosmetic surgery is a choice and it's not for everyone. Cosmetic surgery, like weight loss, must be done for the right reasons if the patient is to be satisfied with the outcome. One of those reasons must be that you (and you alone) want to change something about your appearance. If you are happy and confident in your appearance, it will show. Plastic surgery can do many things; it can give you an entirely new face, but it cannot change who you are at your core.

Aren't you afraid of being sued?

Not really, no. We live in a sue-happy world. Anyone can file suit against anyone else for any reason. If it happens, it happens. All that aside, I do my best to be fair to everyone. I don't publish something I know to be untruthful and I don't claim that rumors are correct. I do publish speculation, but I will never state that this speculation is fact.

What do you want "SFP" to become?

I want people to visit Super-Fantastic Plastic and be entertained, but also educated. I want people to be able to share their experience and help other readers to make the best decisions possible. I want us to be able to demand superior results and ethics from our surgeons. I want lively and interesting conversation. I want the world to be just a bit of a better place because we are all here, being open and honest.

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