Should I go classic Hollywood or Picasso portrait?
Do you ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself, 'I would be so much more beautiful and successful if only I could hack a few inches off this pesky, distended chin of mine'? TRICK QUESTION – we all do. Every single morning.
Until recently, I was of the mind that plastic surgery was a) a bit unnecessary, and b) only for the very rich, very old and/or girls whose boobs are so big that they have a medical need for surgery in order to stop them from deteriorating into exceptionally buxom hunchbacks. But my recent discovery of The Beverly Hills Institute of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery (at bevhills.com, lol) has changed all that by allowing me to visualise what I might look like after a few facial tweaks via their breakthrough, revolutionary FaceTouchUp software.
The highly scientific program (which I assume must have been developed at NASA's Harvard research facility) essentially consists of a blur tool and a move tool; the kind of tools I presume exist as part of a much wider range in any other photo editing software available for free on the internet. However, this software has something others don't: the potential to change lives.
Here's me as I look on a day-to-day basis; just a regular lady's head – a touch of the 90s roundface, perhaps – but pretty uninteresting all-round. For some reason, this photo wasn't accepted by the software and the act of sweeping my fringe off my fivehead and posing with my best neutral passport-mouth was nearly enough to make me take a scalpel to my own face, but I relented for the sake of deeply important investigative journalism.
I kicked off my face transition with a classic Cruella de Vil: high cheekbones and a pronounced jaw to counteract my non-existent eyebrows (thanks, ginger parents!) and liven things up around the jaw area, widely recognised by scientific and cosmetic professionals as the most boring part of the face.
Unfortunately, my "classic Hollywood" face came out looking like a poorly constructed, unauthorised Cameron Diaz Barbie. No offence, Cam (I'm equal parts scared by and for you, so I don't want to do anything that might tip your already precarious balance).
Unsure of how to top that masterpiece, I glanced over the website where doctors compile the results of their yearly patients survey, dissecting Hollywood beauty trends in order to determine which celebrity lips their patients want to graft on to their own faces the most. Results aren't in for 2012 yet, so I tried on a couple of 2011's "Desired Female Features" instead. That consisted of Taylor Swift's hair, Nicole Kidman's nose (a questionable inclusion) and Jennifer Garner's cheeks.
I'm sure you'll agree the new me knocks all three combined out of the park. If you need me, I'll be in paradise, taking my rightful place on the throne of absolute beauty forever.
The problem with contemporary beauty ideals is that they're so homogeneous and irreversibly rooted in that US Weekly cover star look, which is nothing other than mind-numbingly dull. I figured I'd take my face back to a classier time – a time where glamour meant sequined hats and fur rather than backless Lycra dresses and leopard-print stripper heels; the 1920s. So this, viewers, is my tribute to Picasso. Everyone knows that Picasso's paintings all look so weird and misshapen because that's how people look when you get close enough to them that their face starts to distort. Everyone knows people only let you get that close when they love you. Everyone is now in love with me.
This one was supposed to be a fun experiment to see how much I could make myself look like the epitome of a plastic surgery trainwreck: Jocelyn Wildenstein, but ended up making me feel really sad inside about the profound pain involved in botched plastic surgeries and the series of events that make people end up there. I get that this silly experiment has so far completely ignored those issue, but what do you want from me here, people? I'm just trying to use a fun piece of software to make myself look more like an Surrey housewife.
After looking at the course of my experiment, I think we can all agree that I've set the standard for Most Desired Everything 2012, but how to physically realise these looks and how to decide between them was giving me a migraine. I couldn't pick which new me I wanted and knew that there was no way I could keep going through life as plain, old, natural me. I started having stress dreams where my face was Silly Putty, constantly morphing into ever more enticing combinations. Amid all that mess, there was one thing I was sure of: that hacking bits of my facial bones off and having silicone fillers injected into my face would eventually set me up to achieve aesthetic perfection.
I sent a desperate email to the clinic to get some advice:
I've spent hours experimenting with your FaceTouchUp software. With the help of this technology, I've been able to envision a multiplicity of aesthetic futures for myself and feel unable to pick just one. Why should I limit myself, facially, to only having Scarlett Johansson’s lips or Jennifer Aniston’s chin for the rest of my life?
What if, after a few years, I get bored of the twinkle in my Amy Adams’ eyes? What if 2014’s most desirable celebrity hair is a luxurious afro and I’m sitting here with Jennifer Lawrence waves like a complete idiot?? What I propose is this: a rolling contract with you where you fix me up annually with all of the most desired looks for that year.
I’m pretty comfortable in my body, as I think we can all agree that “deathly pale and medium podgy” is basically NEVER going out of fashion, but what are we going to do about this face? Some days it feels like I’ll never be a Kardashian, no matter how many facial prosthetics I employ. I know you’ll probably say you're busy doing reconstructive work on burn victims or something else equally unimportant, but you knew what you were signing up for when you started this blessed work.
The world is full of uggos and you have a responsibility to the people who have to look at the world around them on a daily, if not hourly, basis to make sure they don’t need to look at their translucent ginger brows in a mirror ever again. Give me Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows if you must, as long as I can have Angelina Jolie’s ears and the cheekbones outlined in the attached photo.
Do you think we can make a deal? I can tell my friends and family are getting pretty sick of looking at me like this. Please help.
Yours in rhinoplasty,
PS. Seriously, what can we do about my nose?!?!
At the time of writing, I have yet to receive a reply, but I have developed this fun new pastime where I mould silly putty into noses and lips and wear these hot looks out to parties and clubs. It’s pretty cool and fun and seems to be attracting a lot of interest! Plus, I do this hilarious gag where I attach chips to my new face and call it a “chip putty”, so I’ve really been turning a negative into a positive, I think. Here’s hoping they hollaback soon, though – I’ve sustained some medium-serious burns trying to make “bacon putty” happen.
Follow Monica on Twitter: @monicaheisey
More examples of people changing their faces in the quest for beauty, or something else: