Too Much Coffee – Plastic bags

Evan Redmon

This week’s column was inspired by Posh Spice’s breasts.

Perhaps the word “breast” is a misnomer, because if the skin of one’s chest is covering something called a “Smooth Round Moderate Spectrum Plus Profile Implant #1600-E,” then can it really be called a breast? I think not.

Victoria “Posh” Beckham must own a mirror – yes, it is quite a certainty that she does have several, very large mirrors in her walk-in closet/wing – but you would never know it from the above photo. No self-respecting person could possibly take a good, long gander at themselves a few dozen times and then head out on the town looking like that.

Ghastly orange fake tan glow that makes me look like a Martian? Check.

Hideous pastel dress that re-defines tacky for a new generation? Check.

Boobs that resemble those plastic cherry pie covers at your local diner, displayed in a way that would make a billy goat puke? Check and check. Here I come, world!

So what the hell happened here? When did our society decide that exchanging the natural beauty God gave us for a radioactive freak show exterior was a good idea? Who really thinks that is attractive?

One word comes to mind: desperation. The few pictures that I have seen of LA’s newest glamour-like couple have always screamed of a desperate need to be fabulous – Posh in particular. She oozes that unique Los Angelesian quality of a B-movie actress trying too hard to be the next Hollywood “It Girl,” but she fails so spectacularly that the rest of us deprived and unsightly people almost feel sorry for her.

However, I cannot bring myself to feel anything other than revulsion and scorn for her and those of her ilk – but it’s the funny kind contempt. It’s difficult not to laugh when looking at the above photo, albeit with a melancholy nod to the notion that people have really lost their way in this world. In a misguided attempt to look like what some societal notion tells us we should look like, many a moron has traded enough money to feed all the children of Botswana for an appearance that was, in the end, vastly less appealing than the original.

Yes, ol’ Posh is hardly alone in her quest to look like the unattainable standard set forth by Playboy, Gillette, Barbie, Glamour, et al. I don’t mean to pick exclusively on her, even if she is at least partially responsible for one of the worst songs in the history of sound waves.

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna
really really really wanna zigazig ha.

Oh gee, that’s pure genius. Makes “We Built This City on Rock and Roll” seem like Mozart. Bob Dylan is just kicking himself that he couldn’t have somehow worked those lyrics into “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Plastic surgery of all kinds is big business, for millions of people, not just clueless fake celebrities like Mrs. Beckham. In her home country of Great Britain alone, people are planning to collectively borrow £1.4 billion for upcoming plastic surgeries (taking into account the dollar is worth hardly more than 50 cents against the British Sterling, that’s well over $2 billion in US money). Predictably, boob jobs are the most common procedure.

The Brits are getting new tits!

How much do Americans spend, do you wonder? Try $12.4 billion in 2005. However, we’re getting liposuction a little more frequently than fake boobs. That giant sucking sound you hear is all those Big Macs and Twinkies being removed via cannulas (Latin for tubes – I guess the plastic surgeons throughout the land needed something that sounded better than “we suck the fat outta ya with a hose and a pump).

Americans also underwent 3,294,782 Botox treatments that same year, more than one procedure for every ten people in the country. Though to be fair, Sylvester Stallone had 347, 941 of them, so that evens it out a bit. And if you’ve seen the cover of In Touch this week – a reliable source of news if there ever was one – you know that Posh’s intellectual equal, Ashlee Simpson, has regularly undergone Botox treatments for some time now.

Ashlee Simpson is twenty-three years old.

Sigh. To paraphrase Mark Whalberg’s character Sgt. Dean Dignam from The Departed:

“I got a question. Just how fucked up are you, Ashlee?”

I’m not bashing all plastic/cosmetic surgeries here. There are procedures that make sense for certain people, the most obvious being victims of accidents which have caused disfigurement. Other situations make complete sense as well. Many people, women in particular, have an area or two that will never respond to diet and exercise. You know that genetic arc of fat that runs from the midsection to that, uh, certain area? Some women can eat nothing but tofu and broccoli for a year while simultaneously undergoing an exercise regimen that would kill a giraffe, and yet, the mound persists. Can’t really blame them for wanting go get rid of it.

And sure, Hollywood is a town that favors the young, so one can hardly fault an aging actor for a little Botox here and there, in an attempt to keep their flagging career from hitting the skids altogether. But the same thing that applies to alcohol applies to artificially altering one’s appearance: moderation is they key. Get one thing done and leave it at that, if you must get anything done at all.

Unfortunately, moderation just isn’t in some people’s vocabulary. I can sympathize with that notion, believe me. I’ve been an “all or nothing” kind of guy all my life. But I’ve always known when to stay away from something entirely if (a) I think I might really like it, and (b) there’s evidence that it will transform me into a smoldering pile of pigeon scat.

Take crack, for example. For all those people to get addicted to it, well, crack must obviously be some pretty good shit. Yet, because I’ve seen crackheads, I knew that crack was something I needed to stay the hell away from. There was evidence, ample in fact, that crack was going to chew me up and spit me out like a catnip hairball if I ever tried it. So I said to myself, “Don’t smoke crack.” And I never did.

So then – how much more evidence to we need that too much plastic surgery is a bad thing? Take Michael Jackson, for example. Have a good look at Joan Rivers. Have you seen Meg Ryan’s clown face thing going on? Tara Reid once had a really nice set. Now, even the cashier at her fast food restaurant won’t touch her slippery nipples with a 10-foot french fry, unless it’s dark and they’ve had a dozen slippery nipples of their own.

When did silicone orbs – which resemble cantaloupes glued onto a ribcage – ever improve the appearance of a pair of smallish, natural breasts? They never have, and they never will. Trust me on this, ladies. If you get cartoon boobs, you’re going to attract cartoon men.

Now maybe you’re reading this and saying, “Sure, Evan, that’s easy for you to say. You’re a fantastically handsome stud with a perfect nose and a Montana-sized Johnson rod. You don’t need anything done. But what about those people who are less fortunate? Getting plastic surgery helps increase confidence. It boosts people’s self esteem.”

My reply would be this: Yes, it’s true that I could handsome Gregory Peck under the table. But if you need a dozen artificial body parts to give you self esteem, what kind of self esteem do you really have? Confidence is supposed to come from within. What happens when the fake stuff doesn’t work out like you thought it would? And when is it enough? It makes more sense to accept your body as an ultimately perfect creation; you’ll be happier by doing that than any implant could ever make you.

Why torture yourself by constantly looking in the mirror and thinking “I hate my ______”?

Look not from a perspective of how you supposedly don’t measure up to the magazine people, but instead learn to love and accept yourself as you are. Our pop culture is full of bullshit, and we’ve been constantly fed nonsense since we were toddlers. If we view our self worth from the ad man’s perspective, we’ll never be satisfied. Don’t fix it until it’s broke, people.

Otherwise, you could end up like this.

Evan Redmon is a manager of a public golf course in Washington, D.C. and writes a few things about stuff sometimes. Contact him at evanredmon@yahoo.com if you really want.

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