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Olga Crosse Headshot

Plastic Surgery - The Genie's Well and Truly Out of the Bottle (or Syringe)

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I've always thought that when the time came (and believe you me it probably has) that I would not be adverse to some surgical intervention - a bit of nipping and tucking. I am not alone I wager, admit you've thought about it too. However, a series of events all randomly bunched together in the same week convinced me otherwise. I'm calling it divine intervention a sign from above and beyond if you will. I literally saw sense while I could still move my eyes and thought nah not for me - EVER!

It all started with a well known British actress last week on Saturday Kitchen, the day after I saw a picture of a well known European First Lady (both back in the day renowned beauties, sadly those days are no more), the former has taken on the appearance of a pumped up bicycle tyre and the latter now looks like my friend's cat Coco after a good meal of Whiskas and a stretch in the sun. Its not just the female celebrities, who followed Strictly this year? Mmmmm...I rest my case! Definitely not what nature intended!

Take friend of mine who, like me always thought she would have a good overhaul when the time came - until that is, she actually went to work for a well known plastic surgery clinic. She describes her first management meeting as something out of a very strange sci fi movie - everyone was waxy, wide eyed, expressionless and frozen. Far from looking better, they all looked eerily exactly the same.

If you want to see for yourself and are in London for the day, I recommend as part of the tourist trail taking a walk down Harley St Central London where you will find pouring furtively out of anonymous looking Georgian houses women (and some men) of all ages looking similar - with bleached, smooth, creepy doll like features, wide eyes and lips that should carry a health warning. I've seen animated cartoons look more realistic. Think Joan Rivers who is about 178 but is honest about it and parodies herself. Far from looking younger these women well, look like Joan. I'm not sure that's quite the look they had in mind.

What drives people to pay to get themselves into that state, have we become that shallow and insecure? Now I wager these are the very people that could tell you to the ingredient the exact component and calorie content of every morsel they put in their mouths and wouldn't dream of eating anything non organic, genetically modified or unethically reared, but yet I could guarantee they would struggle to tell you whats in that syringe they inject into their faces every three months - if they could move their lips to ask. Not even nether regions are safe!

The surprise in all this is in the main plastic surgery Dr's tend not to be much of an advertisement for their craft. Talk about not practising what you preach or in this case what you scalp. Yet there they are hovering about like some ancient knight waving a syringe about offering the holy grail that is the fountain of youth. The original grail has yet to be found so I am not holding out much hope for this one anytime soon!

It doesn't just end with the first slice or pump, the 'revision' rate i.e. the rate at which these procedures goes wrong is a very scary 30%, so if you allow some surgeon to mess about with your boobs, face or other more intimate parts you stand a very good chance of ending up back where you started trying to get the whole thing rectified not to mention looking worse, sorer and a lot poorer than before. Its also highly addictive once you start and you are actively encouraged to add to the shopping cart. So you might go in for a smooth forehead but come out looking like Joan, a good 20 procedures down not to mention 20 grand.

Now before I go any further, I am not suggesting it's the plastic surgery industry's fault- it isn't, they are providing a service and giving into demand. In genuine cases of disfigurement and skin disorders it's a very valuable and essential branch of medicine. However, when it comes to tinkering with perfectly normal faces and bodies I feel a little saddened and wonder where does it stop!

So instead of indulging this year in a spot of facial grouting, burning, sand blasting the upper layers of your face, injecting a fatal poison to your forehead and eyes, and getting plastic sacs full of chemical solution into your chest, invest instead in a holiday, or a pair of shoes, pay down your credit card, save, buy groceries, get a new bathroom fitted, whatever, but just don't mess with your face or body because once that genie is out of that bottle (or syringe) you can never put it back.