Marching you to the operating table:
Glamour's 'view' on plastic surgery
Hot on the heels of our critiques on plastic surgery ads in women’s magazines, Glamour has chosen to clarify their position with a ‘Truth about Plastic Surgery’ feature this week. Maybe it’s the fact that five plastic surgery clinics advertise in the back pages of their magazine, including a supersize one from the Harley Street Medical Group, that made you think that they might present a less-than-objective viewpoint - but hang on!
‘Let’s get one thing straight: at GLAMOUR, we don’t want you to have plastic surgery. We love you (and ourselves, thanks) just the way you are,’ simpers the first line of the ‘Plastic Fantastic?’ piece. Phewph, thanks, Glamour. Because if you did want me to get plastic surgery - and if I didn’t feel, right to the bottom of my cold, black, endlessly consuming, credit-card-sized heart that you didn’t really, really love me - I don’t know what I’d have ended up doing. That article could have been the start of a Michael Jackson nose and a boob job of Jordan-esque proportions for me, but your message of pure love and acceptance brought me back to the shores of my own self-security.
Anyway, the love-in doesn’t last long. ‘But,’ it continues, ‘these days, it’s a trend possible to ignore.’ Within 100 more words, the message has turned around to ‘we know you want it really’, before beginning the advice on how to procure it. ‘All the experts we spoke to confirmed that, in the right patient, at the right time, aesthetic procedures can have powerful positive outcomes,’ it continues, only a couple of paragraphs after its heartwarming message of love. ‘But to stand a chance of that being you, the first steps you take are crucial.’
I’m sorry - to stand a chance of me being the absolutely perfect candidate for plastic surgery, you’ve outlined some tips below? YES - because actually, the results are ‘powerful’ and ‘positive’ - it’s just the timing (or being ‘the wrong patient’) that’s caused all those other little hiccups in the industry, like poisonous implants and facelifts that prevent you from ever meaningfully expressing your emotions again. And this is where the load of stinking bullshit has already crept in to the chocolate pudding, because somehow I can’t see ‘all the experts they spoke to’ being anyone but the plastic surgeons who pay Glamour for morally suspect advertorial. Any independent experts that you gave a look-in on this piece, Hannah Ebelthite? No? But I thought you loved me.
As with all the most common forms of love, Glamour goes on to hurt you. Turn the page and you’re presented with ‘SO, YOU WANT TO HAVE SURGERY?’ as the headline of the next section into their so-called investigative feature. ‘Take the time to read our step-by-step guide to the process,’ Iago whispers in your ear, moving swiftly on to ‘Your essential pre-surgery checklist.’ Glamour will hold your hand and walk you right to the operating table if you want to, all the while reassuring you how beautiful and empowered you are. Among these tips are ‘expect to pay for the surgeon’s time’ after a consultation, and ‘don’t be tempted to fly ‘n’ fix.’ This focus on payment and staying in the UK makes me positively certain that the article was pushed right out of the press office of Harley Street. Stay in Britain, get your tits done, smile away, be the right patient, look like the right woman. The Harley Medical Group has a full-page advert of a smiley, busty woman not far from this piece, which really does give a whole new meaning to ‘leading somebody to the slaughter.’
So what’s going on, Glamour? Maybe it’s because all of their contributors have suddenly been hit by a tidal tsunami of stupid (one fashion piece in the same issue comes up with one of the most facile and nonsensical comments I’ve heard in my entire life: ‘Prints that look a bit animal-esque make a woman feel very feline’, juxtaposed, for the jokes, with a woman wearing a playsuit decorated with flowers...) but did nobody at the editorial office flag up that ‘Tips on your next plastic surgery’ might not be the healthiest choice for a women’s lifestyle magazine?
Glamour, you’ve hurt me really bad. And this time, I think we might be breaking up for good.