The Hollywood Standard of Beauty
Hollywood has always set the standard for both feminine and masculine beauty since the dawn of the movie era. Actors made insecure by close-ups and unrealistic demands of physical perfection all have personal beauty secrets, from special cosmetics to diets, exercise programs, and plastic surgery procedures that help them to retain the youthful good looks they rely on to stay in the public eye—and employed.
The pressure to look young and appealing has resulted in some famous plastic surgery disasters—from the mask-like faces of Joan Rivers and Lil Kim to more subtle plastic surgery failures that have dogged Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith, and former male sex symbols like Mickey Rourke and Steven Tyler. While stars who are now caricatures of themselves are steady fodder for the late night comedy circuit, more natural looking, ageless celebrities like Michelle Pfeiffer or Will Smith have created standards of beauty that have influenced how society as a whole judges attractiveness.
While plastic surgery and other beauty treatments were well guarded secrets in old Hollywood, younger stars are more willing to talk openly about their favorite beauty procedures. As celebrities extol the benefits of Botox, facial lasers, or their new and improved breasts, demand skyrockets in the general public. A growing number of “regular” people—both women and men—are also lining up for injections, peels, facials, and the same surgeries that are popular in celebrity circles, from nose jobs, eyelid lifts, facial rejuvenation and liposuction. Even women who want to age naturally may choose less invasive procedures like Ultherapy to lift and tighten face, neck and chest skin, CoolSculpting to eliminate extra fat of the body, inner thighs arms, and neck, or Kybella injections to eliminate a double chin.
“While we as plastic surgeons are grateful that Hollywood celebrities are more open about the procedures they have undergone to retain an attractive, desirable appearance, we don’t want to promote a culture where regular people feel insecure about their looks,” says ESANA’s Dr. Pan. “Our goal is to enhance and reveal your underlying beauty, not to drastically alter it.”
“Instead I like to sit down with patients to discuss what procedures will work well for them simply to maintain a more youthful look or to fix something on their body that makes them uncomfortable,” she explains. “I want my patients to be happy with looking their best, not to be Jennifer Aniston or Ryan Gosling clones.”
“At ESANA, we recommend a natural look far from the unrealistic and exaggerated features of some celebrities,” Dr. Pan continues. “Most patients are turned off by bad plastic surgery—not by procedures that make them look better and more like the person they remember being.”