By Denise Mann
Forget looking younger. Live forever (or as close to forever as you want) with palmistry plastic surgery! Move over lipo, and make room for tongue patches that encourage quick weight loss. What about bird poop or bee venom facials? Ball ironing? A permagrin lift that turns that frown upside down permanently? … The list of bizarre, potentially very ill-advised cosmetic procedures goes on and on. They are often so wacky that they make Vampire facelifts sound conventional.
And these are the stories that go viral, and affect what people think about plastic surgery and plastic surgeons. As much as we would like them to, stories about the safety of combined abdominoplasty and liposuction, malignant hyperthermia risks, or microvascular hand surgery don’t spread like wildfire. They just aren’t as sexy or sensational as the far-fetched, who-would-ever-do-such-a-thing-besides-maybe-a-Kardashian procedures.
Sure, the stories that we would like to see may get picked up by reputable health publications, but it is doubtful that morning talk show hosts such as Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan will include the findings in their daily banter. (The two had a field day discussing the palmistry plastic surgery trend in Japan.)
Wacky plastic surgery trends are second only to plastic surgery disasters and celebrity plastic surgery scoops in terms of media fodder. Many of these reportedly true tales of off-the-wall plastic surgery procedures take place in other more exotic countries, and some are tied to celebrities—which exponentially adds to
For example, actor George Clooney was reportedly only joking when he told Italy’s Max magazine that he underwent a procedure to tighten the skin and muscle around his testicles, but growing numbers of men here and abroad are apparently looking to “tighten the tackle” as a result. I was initially told by many bigwigs that this was just a joke and that nobody offers “that,” but requests started coming in and practitioners eager to cash in added ball ironing to their menu. Who is the joke on now?
You may argue that by writing about these procedures I am also giving them lip service, and that’s true. If you can’t beat them, join them. Instead of scoffing at these reports and refusing to dignify them with comment, consider educating the public on the real risks associated with some of these crazy crazes.
As far as media coverage goes, you gotta be in it to win it. Doctors constantly ask me how they can earn more earned media. If you hear about something, say something. Blog about it. Reach out to reporters who may be covering it, and get your message heard. All of these articles need a voice of reason to balance the sensational tales.
Embrace the insanity, and put your own sensible spin on the sensational.
(PS: I have received many emails from readers inquiring about my impassioned plea in the August 2013 issue asking comedienne Joan Rivers to grace the cover of Plastic Surgery Practice. No, I have not heard from her, but I am still holding out hope. Hi, Joan?)