We have been watching an interesting series of programmes in which persons addicted to botox and cosmetic surgery are introduced to persons with horrible disfiguring medical conditions. Over the course of every show, it is of course the job of the latter to open the eyes of the former to the fact that It’s What’s Inside That Counts. This show could use a bit of My Left Foot, the Jim Sheridan film in which Daniel Day-Lewis’s author/painter/poet main character had cerebral palsy…and was largely an insufferable asshole. If it’s very possible that the disfigured are generally sweet, it’s no less possible that a few, at least, are frightful jerks.
This past week’s show featured a 21-year-old “glamour model”, one who makes her living pouting at lads-mag photographers with her collagen-engorged lips, flaunting her silicone-engorged breasts. Maybe I’m getting old (no maybe about it, big boy!), but these girls don’t arouse me in the slightest; I find them sort of desperate and pathetic, and often not entirely human-looking.
The model's hairdresser dad explained that he paid for her original breast enlargement because she had earlier been a suicidal bulimic. Better, we were to understand, to have a professional slut as a daughter than no daughter at all. I wondered if it had occurred to him to hire a psychotherapist rather than a cosmetic surgeon. Wouldn’t having a daughter who feels so ugly as she really is that she needs to submit elective surgery, and then makes her money arousing strange men, make you wonder if you really ought to keep drinking your coffee out of a mug that says World's Best Dad?
Not, of course, that I’m in a terrific position to advise fellow fathers of troubled young women.
I often wonder who actually reads the lads mags, just as I used to wonder who really reads Playboy and Penthouse. They’d like you to believe that it’s the kind of hip, affluent, self-confident, stylish young man you yourself would most like to be, one who’s forever receiving video messages on his iPhone from leggy young beauties with fantastically glossy hair and lips that needed no collagen, but I suspect that in a majority of cases it’s some misshapen, doughy embarrassment who can’t get a date.
Ooh, mama, let me fondle your implants.