There’s a great story in New York mag about how the new plastic surgeried face isn’t gaunt and pulled tight but pumped full of fillers! And puffy! Like a baby! Isn’t that great! Isn’t that, like, progress for women!
In the NY mag story, the male author writes:
A woman I have known for many years did
something to her face not all that long ago, and for a few weeks
afterward, I was not able to put my finger on it. Did she get her eyes
done? Restylane injections? Botox? Then I thought, Oh dear God, she got a face-lift.
No one whom I consider a friend and a contemporary had yet gone that
far. But there was no denying she had done something major, and frankly
I was worried. Had she ruined her pretty face? As the curtain of hair
slowly parted a little each week, I could see that her lips were
bigger. Nowhere near overcooked-hot-dog-turning-inside-out bigger like
Meg Ryan’s, and not even duck-bill bigger like Courteney Cox’s—but big
enough to make me feel uncomfortable looking at her mouth when she
talked. Don’t look at her lips!
Then one day, about a month later, I ran into her at a party and she
looked stunning. The puffiness had settled, the fire under the skin had
gone out. Even her lips looked like they belonged on her face. They
were shaped just like her old lips, but … juicier. Her whole face
looked as if it had been pushed out and plumped up—not unlike a
slightly tired but still very stylish down-filled sofa that looks
almost new if you keep those cushions fluffed. I cannot say that she
looked exactly like her old self—but so close! A fantastic
approximation! An uncanny resemblance! She looks like a very impressive
artist’s rendering of her.
there was also a faint likeness to someone else. She looked a little
like … Madonna? Strange, I know, since Madonna and my friend have
little in common, at least physically. But when I saw the Big Ciccone
on the cover of Vanity Fair a couple of months later, I
couldn’t help but notice the similarities: the Mount Rushmore
cheekbones, the angular jawline, the smoothed forehead, the plumped
skin, the heartlike shape of the face. Their faces didn’t seem pulled
tight in that typical face-lift way; they seemed pushed out.
Looking at Madonna, I kept thinking of the British expression for
reconditioning a saddle: having it “restuffed.” Perhaps that’s where
she got the idea to have some work done. After the hunt, Madge
dismounted her trusty steed and thought, My saddle needs restuffing. And, by George, so does my face!
have been availing themselves of new faces since the dawn of plastic
surgery, but suddenly it seemed that there was a better new face to be
had. There is a New New Face, very different from the old one, and both
my friend and Madonna now have it. Once I starting thinking of it in
these terms—the face as the new handbag, say—I started seeing New New
Faces everywhere: Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Liz Hurley, Naomi
Campbell, Stephanie Seymour. They all have it! Even the Olsen twins
seem to have a starter version of the New New Face, with their big
crazy doll eyes and plush lips. Just to be clear, I don’t presume to
know exactly what any of these women have done to their faces, if
anything at all. It’s possible (though in some cases before-and-after
pictures would seem to suggest otherwise) that this face is occurring
entirely naturally—after all, these are women who are famous for being
beautiful. The point is that there is a noticeable aesthetic shift
happening in the face, and that it’s dovetailing with quantum leaps in
plastic surgery and dermatology.
According to New York mag, this is a composite of the ‘ideal’ face as cosmetic surgeons (and women who pay them) see it: