One Step Closer to Stepford

by Emilie Branch

The New Beauty Magazine advocates plastic surgery as the sole way to become “beautiful”. In the current issue Megan Fox’s face is dissected using Leonardo da Vinci’s rule of thirds to summarize “why she is hot”. Essentially, her brow arches up at the highest point of her “feline-like” eye. She has high cheekbones. Her lower lip is slightly larger than the top. Her neck has a youthful contour, and her jaw is square. She is the paradigm for beauty in the magazine that is entirely about surgically altering yourself to look more beautiful.

 Following Fox is a story on the benefits of the chin implant, how to pick the right size breast implants for your body (it’s all about your shoulders) and whether to chose saline or silicon. A magazine written about plastic surgery doesn’t bother me, what I find troubling is the tone—it reads like a self-help handbook or a cult manual. The New Beauty Magazine may as well be encouraging lobotomy. Here’s their metaphor for a tummy tuck: “Imagine your abdomen as a pair of pants, and your plastic surgeon as the tailor.” What!? What about the pain? What about diet and exercise? “Imagine your brain as the cause of the stress in your life and your lobotomizer as an incense candle.”

 Plastic surgery can be empowering as well as medically necessary. I understand the appeal of a quick fix, or the intrigue of changing what you were born with. However, when cosmetic procedures are deemed the “new” beauty, I get unsettled. It feels like the future is upon us and in that future women are expected to look like Stepford wives. It’s the “new” beauty, dahhling. 

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