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Washington Voices

Plastic front creates poor ‘perfection’

Sat., Feb. 20, 2010

I wonder how those hot Hollywood stars do it. You know, Demi’s smooth tummy after four kids and Jen’s fabulous 40 figure? Being female puts me in that wondering category. Besides, what else is there to do while standing in a grocery line except thumb through People magazine? Truth is, most of us wonder how they do it.

The stars claim their fountain-of-youth secrets are easy: “drink gallons of water,” they gush; “exercise four hours daily,” they pant; and eat nothing but organic fruits and vegetables. “It’s not hard,” they say with flashy smiles stretched across wrinkle-free faces. “You just have to be committed.”

Committed? I invented the word. So, I replaced my cookies with healthy stuff, ramped up my exercise to 90 minutes (four hours – who are they kidding?) and drank water until it spouted from my pores, but after two years, Demi and Jen look even more fabulous. I still look like me.

What am I missing?

The complex answer to that question is strangely simple: Imperfection begets perfection. Think about it. Perfection is the gotta-have golden calf, exalted and desired, particularly by those of the “imperfect” female species, who flock to its perfecting tenets with fervor.

Recently “The Doctors” television show addressed the perfection phenomenon, pointing their no-no fingers at the already beautiful 23-year-old Heidi Montag who, according to Dr. Frank Ryan, Montag’s cosmetic surgeon and guest on the show, aspires to be the perfect blond bombshell.

Apparently Montag never read the stars’ tips on achieving bombshell status, because if she had, she would have drank more water instead of having numerous augmentation surgeries, including the 10 she recently underwent in one day. Imagine, 23 years old and already Botoxed, lifted, lipo-ed, and implanted like a blow-up doll. The surgeries were not because of a genetic disfigurement or horrific accident but because, as Montag explained, “I’m obsessed.”

Ryan’s words were revealing. “It’s not that uncommon,” he said. “This is what people do. I think it’s controversial because the public doesn’t know, frankly, that a lot of these young girls are doing these things, but they just don’t talk about it.”

Strange, this perfection web that sucks and tucks for thousands of bucks and begs the question, how can one be happy without ginormous breasts, a J-Lo buttocks bubble and taut tummy? One can’t, or at least that’s the perfection perception.

Ryan, bless his little nip-and-tuck heart, then added the missing piece to the mysterious perfection puzzle.

“I think having celebrities say they didn’t do anything – they just drink water and eat a macrobiotic diet and do Pilates, and that’s how they look like this – is a lie. Frankly, I think it’s creating body dysmorphic disorders in women because they think, ‘Why don’t I look like that? I’m drinking water, and I’m doing Pilates.’ This is reality. This is really why these movie stars look like that.”

Ohhhhhh, they forgot to mention the plastic surgeries. What a shocker.

Later that evening, I stumbled across the classic 1965 Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” and watched while the Fab Four bounced, bantered, sang and, oddly enough, shed a perfect light on the imperfections of nature.

You see, no one in this distinctive black-and-white movie was perfect – John Lennon’s nose angled awkwardly, Paul McCartney’s eye lazed, a misaligned tooth bulged beneath George Harrison’s lip and Ringo Starr’s big nose was … well, big. Faces had wrinkles and women had honest-to-cellulite curves.

Before implants and rhinoplasty, dental veneers and liposuction, there were entertainers who focused on their craft and accepted nature’s flaws, be it facial, dental or physical, to create character and confidence in their perfectly imperfect state.

Now, if you ask me, that’s perfection.

Sandra Babcock lives in Spokane Valley. She can be reached by e-mail at


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